Working From Home - Mystery Shopping Jobs Provide Supplemental Income
by Lisa Jenkins
Mystery shopping takes a number of forms, depending on the type of business involved.
Companies providing mystery shopping services can accommodate their clients' needs by
providing different kinds of services. Mystery shopping can take the form of a personal
visit, telephone interviews, and web mystery shopping.
Most people picture mystery shopping as sending a person into a business in person.
They have a specific list of things they need to look for during the shopping visit. The
mystery shopper is asked to report on what they see in an objective manner.
Before any mystery shoppers are sent in to for a personal visit, the client company
will set out exactly the kind of issues they want to find out more about. The specific
parameters for the mystery shopping visit will be set out in the mystery shopper's
instructions for the visit. That way, each visit can be set to evaluate specific issues.
In some cases, an in-person mystery shopping visit is videotaped through the use of a
small camera. This type of work is reserved for very high profile client companies and is
performed by very experienced mystery shoppers. (People who are new to the job will be
given more simple assignments to start, but with time and experience can qualify for
After the mystery shopper has finished his or her assignment, they will need to fill in
a detailed report about their experience and forward it to the company that hired them.
The information is then used to either confirm that the client company's training program
and customer service policies are working effectively. If not, then the client company
knows that it needs to make some changes if it wants to meets its customers' needs properly.
Telephone mystery shopping can be used to evaluate many kinds of businesses. If a
client company is an inbound call center, for example, a mystery shopper may be asked to
call in. The person will be given a list of questions to ask when they get a
representative on the line. The phone mystery shopper may even be asked to use a specific
script to find out how well the person on the other end of the line will respond to a
customer who is calling in to report about a certain kind of issue.
Ideally, the telephone conversation between the mystery shopper and the employee will
be recorded. That way, the client company has a clear indication of what was actually
said, as well as the way the information was conveyed between the people having the
Web mystery shopping is used to evaluate web sites to make sure that they are "sticky."
In terms of web use, "sticky" means that an Internet user will stay on the site for a
time, instead of taking a quick look and clicking away to the next one.
The web mystery shopper will visit the site to get an overall impression about the
design and layout. Whether the site is easy to navigate will be noted, as well. Web
surfers have notoriously short attention spans, and if it is too hard to find what they
are looking for or to place an order, they will go elsewhere.
The web mystery shopper may be given a detailed questionnaire to fill out as they move
through the site. They may be asked to go through all the steps involved in making a
purchase but to stop short of completing it. That way, the site owner will have a very
good idea of how their site looks to visitors and can make changes to improve the design
Working from home and telecommuting are hot topics. For some,
home based jobs are
ideal because they have childcare obligations or only the desire to work part-time. One
way to stay out of the office and earn a living is through
mystery shopping jobs.
Learn how on JobMonkey, a free website for ambitious people.