When you log into your iSS account and search for shops that are available to you, you will see that there is a separate category on the menu titled ‘Web and Phone Shops’. These shops are some of the most popular among shoppers; you don’t have to leave your home to complete these shops and the shops are mostly always straight-profit shops, meaning there is no out-of-pocket spend. However, it’s important to highlight the specific intricacies of these shops as they vary from the standard mystery shop.
We conduct web and phone shops for many clients, covering an array of different industries. We do these types of shops for universities, hotels, restaurants, and a variety of others. Our clients choose to conduct these types of shops to measure steps of service, phone presence, professionalism of email messaging, the timing of return calls and follow ups, and so that they can obtain an understanding of how their brand standards are being carried out through verbal and written communication.
Most often, these shops will include a scenario and/or a persona you must follow. For example, we do a lot of these shop types for colleges and universities, and most of those shops require you to have a background in a defined field of work with a specific undergraduate degree. While we don’t require you to have the background outlined in the shop requirements, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the persona and background as there is potential for a dialogue regarding the scenario outlined. For a web and phone shop in the hotel industry, the scenario is often something along the lines of calling to reserve a space or a block or rooms for an event. Having relevant information on hand such as the date of the event, number of people, and type of event are things you will want to decide on beforehand, so that you aren’t put on the spot and left unprepared when asked for this information. It’s important to prepare yourself, regardless of the type of shop you are doing, but especially for that where fictitious background information is a part of the shop.
The biggest difference between web and phone shops and the traditional mystery shop is that most often, these shops will take multiple days to complete. They usually involve more complex instructions that involve waiting for communication from the recipient of an inquiry and this can take an indefinite amount of time. For every web and phone shop you conduct, it’s vital that you enter the initial information on the shop report as soon as you start the inquiry, whether it be by phone, email or outreach through a company’s website. If you don’t start the shop on the date you are scheduled, the system will understand it as you didn’t complete the shop and remove it from your account. These shops are extremely popular and get picked up very quickly so it’s very likely that once you realize the shop has been removed, it’s already been scheduled with another shopper.
As this type of shop is so popular, there are often multiple requests from shoppers to conduct these shops. If your request is declined, please remember that we assign on a first come, first served basis and that we reward shoppers who have proven themselves capable of completing this type of shop in a professional and skilled manner. We want these shops to occur as naturally as possible; as a lot of these shops are recorded, they need to sound genuine and unscripted, and this can only be achieved by preparing yourself beforehand using the outline provided to you in your shop instructions. If you are interested in learning more about these shops, and about how you can set yourself up to successfully complete the shops, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.