Mystery Shopper - Frequently Asked Questions
Where do you need Mystery Customers?
At the moment we only require Mystery Customers based in England, Scotland or Wales. See our Vacancies page for more details.
What type of mystery customer assignments does ITS Incognito offer?
There are a number of different options available. Some of our Mystery Customers get involved in everything we do, whilst some specialise in one or two areas:
Telephone Mystery Customers
These involve making mystery customer telephone calls to one of our client's sales staff as part of a mystery customer programme. The calls are recorded using our bespoke internal digital recording system. ITS Incognito incurs the cost of the calls. The timings of these calls are often flexible although most must be made during working hours. We normally require Mystery Customers who are well spoken given the type of venues they will be calling. Calls must be made from a quiet environment; inappropriate background noises would not be acceptable.
Postal Forwarding Mystery Customer - also known as "Dead Letter Box"
This is where either you use your address during a Mystery Customer telephone call or it is used by another Mystery Customer. If another Mystery Customer is using your postal address, you will be emailed with details of how it has been used (eg wedding enquiry at XX hotel) and the name the enquiry has been made in (eg Jane Williams). Any post received should be redirected free of charge to our office. We simply need to track how long it takes for one of our client's staff to send a brochure, booking confirmation or proposal and to assess the quality of the information sent. We need both business and residential addresses. This work is ideal for someone with little spare time to dedicate to mystery shopping.
Email Mystery Customer
This requires making an enquiry via our clients' websites and then monitoring the speed of their response and assessing the information sent to your email address. This is ideal for someone who works full time and does not have the time to make mystery customer telephone calls or visits. We are particularly interested in applicants who don't mind using their business email addresses.
Showround Mystery Customer
This requires making an event enquiry by telephone and then visiting the hotel concerned for a showround.
Hotel Mystery Guest
A favourite of all our mystery customers! This involves staying for one or two nights at a hotel and assessing a number of their services and facilities; check-in and out process, restaurant and bar outlets, room service, housekeeping, spa, leisure and concierge. Needless to say we only offer the opportunity to do a hotel mystery guest assignment to our most experienced and reliable Mystery Customers!
Report EditorThis role will suit someone looking for a few extra hours of work each month and who can work from home in a quiet environment. A PC and internet access is required. Only apply if this role is shown as being available on our Vacancies page.
An editor is an independent contractor who is responsible for proofreading and editing Mystery Customers' reports to ensure they have been completed correctly and provide useful and concise information for our clients. The editor verifies the information on a report by listening to Mystery Customer telephone call recordings, by performing a series of checks and communicating with the Mystery Customer.
Only apply if you have previous Mystery Shopping experience and preferably previous editing experience. Excellent communication skills are essential including spelling and grammar. An eye for detail is also essential along with the ability to meet performance expectations and deadlines. You must have good working knowledge of Excel and Word. Hospitality experience is also preferred.
SchedulerThis role will suit someone looking for a few extra hours of work each month and who can work from home in a quiet environment. A PC and internet access is required. Only apply if this role is shown as being available on our Vacancies page.
A Scheduler is an independent contractor who is responsible for scheduling assignments/evaluations and managing all field deployment for a specific geographic market area.
Responsibilities include contacting and matching Mystery Customers, Mystery Guests and / or Quality Assurance Auditors to available assignments/evaluations, explaining the role and expectations of mystery shopping to new Mystery Shoppers and giving them feedback, preparing and distributing assignment/evaluation materials, monitoring the status of Mystery Customer assignments, Mystery Guest audits, Quality Assurance evaluations and resolving Mystery Shopper concerns and problems. Other responsibilities may include; Mystery Shopping, data entry, proofreading, editing, and client service.
Only apply if you have previous Mystery Shopping experience and preferably previous scheduling / allocating experience. Excellent communication skills are essential including spelling and grammar. You must be efficient and have good organisation and co-ordination skills. An eye for detail is also essential along with the ability to meet performance expectations and deadlines. You must have good working knowledge of Excel and Word. Hospitality experience is also preferred.
What makes a good Mystery shopper?
You need to have excellent observational and report writing skills. You must show attention to detail and have a good memory. You must be able to commit and adhere to strict deadlines. You must care about customer service and want to help make a difference. In short you should be very competent and keen to do a good job!
What type of people do you recruit?
We don't have set criteria as such. We like people who've worked in a customer service environment or have sales experience; preferably in hotels or the hospitality industry. We're also interested in professional people who work full time and who want to do a little extra work and don't mind using their business contact details. We also like experienced mystery customers and people who have experience of booking hotel meeting rooms and accommodation. Given our portfolio of clients our assignments tend to be most suitable for mystery customers over the age of 30 as they need to be able to emulate our clients' real customers; but of course all competent applicants will be considered as long as they are over 18 years of age.
Does Mystery Shopping pay well?
Whilst there are some people who try to make a living from mystery shopping this is not easy to do. It's a good way to supplement your income or to earn a little extra to put towards a holiday etc.
How much will I be paid?
ITS Incognito always pays a fee; we believe that mystery customers will take more care over completing a report and an assignment if they know they are going to get paid for it! The amount we pay per assignment varies depending on its length and complexity. We will always tell you how much we will be paying you when we offer you the assignment.
What about payments and tax?
All work done by Mystery Customers has to be invoiced and settlement is usually the second week of the following month. All Mystery Customers are classed as self-employed and are responsible for declaring payments and paying any tax due to the Inland Revenue.
How do I get paid?
Payments are made via BACs to your bank account monthly. However, you do not have to provide your bank account details during the application process. You can provide your bank account details once you're accepted as a Mystery Customer by updating your profile on our website.
So am I under contract?
No - all Mystery Customers are free to decide whether they want to accept an assignment or not, and we do not guarantee a specific number of assignments each month. However we do expect that when you accept an assignment for us, you commit to carrying it out. Mystery Customers are also able to accept work from various other companies.
Will I have to attend an interview?
No, but we do carry out a telephone interview before taking on a new Mystery Shopper. We will also require you to complete a trial Mystery Customer assignment within an agreed deadline. You will be assessed on this and if found suitable your name will be added to our database for future work.
How do I get started?
Fill in and submit the online application form. Once we receive your details, we will acknowledge it and arrange a telephone interview and trial Mystery Customer assignment.
How will I know what work is available?
If your application is successful, we will either contact you to offer you assignments or you can check on our website for any available assignments.
How much work will I be expected to do?
There is no minimum or maximum requirement. The decision will be yours as to whether you accept an assignment or not.
What sort of hours are involved?
The work is not full time and although some assignments need to be carried out at weekends and evenings, more usually the time is during normal office Monday to Friday, so it is important to have time available during these hours. A Mystery Customer telephone assignment typically takes 30-60 minutes allowing for time to prepare, the actual telephone call and completion of the report.
How will I get selected for an assignment?
There are a number of factors we consider when selecting Mystery Customers for assignments. Demographics, location, experience, reliability, availability etc are all taken into account.
What equipment do I need?
You will need access to the internet and have an active email address (ie you must pick up emails regularly). You will also need a landline telephone and printer to print your assignment briefs.
What does an assignment involve doing?
Each assignment is different but normally involves assessing staff performance, customer service, sales skills and food quality and presentation. Our clients want to ensure that the company standards they set are adhered to and the customer experiences the best service possible. Clients use the feedback to assist in developing the customer service standards and training for their staff.
How long do I have to keep my notes and completed questionnaire?
You must keep your printed paperwork and any receipts for at least three months after an assignment in case we have any queries.
Is there a dress code for mystery customer?
Being a mystery customer is just like being a regular customer. The only difference is the reason you are visiting a venue. Mystery customers should not stand out in the crowd. If an assignment requires a particular dress code then it will be detailed in the brief. Your aim is to dress and act like a real customer. You must never reveal yourself as a mystery customer.
If your query was not answered above, please contact us.
If you are interested in applying, complete an application form.
- Make a real difference
- Get paid
- Experience prestigious brands
- Develop your skills
- Join a top team of Mystery Customers
- Enjoy flexible working hours
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