News and Alerts

A Guide to Shopping for IntelliShop

As a scheduler at IntelliShop, I'm always happy to hear when a mystery shopper is willing to take on a shop assignment. However, our schedulers don't just need any shoppers willing to give an assignment a try; we need shoppers that can do the shops correctly! With that in mind, I offer this short guide on the preparation shoppers should put in before heading out and performing a mystery shop.

1) Confirm the shop. Besides enabling the "Guidelines" link, confirming a shop serves as an extra assurance that you will perform the shop. If you haven't confirmed a shop, your scheduler will know that you have not yet read the guidelines and will likely become concerned that you either 1) aren't planning on performing the shop, or 2) will not perform the shop correctly.

2) Read the guidelines, even if you've read them before. Reading the guidelines for a shop is clearly the most important step in correctly performing a shop. This is the case even if you've performed the same shop before, or at a different location. IntelliShop and our clients are constantly working to improve our mystery shopping programs, and thus often alter the rules for a given shop and the forms you fill out. To make sure your shops are acceptable and eligible for a "10" score, you should always make sure you know the most current rules for the shop. If you have confirmed the shop but the guidelines link isn't working, try refreshing your browser.

3) Read the "Comments". For each shop on your Shop Log, you will also see a "Comments"; link. For many shops, it is very important that you read this section as well. For example, in many car dealership shops, you will find the particular car model you are assigned in the shop comments.

4) Read the survey/form before the shop. Most shoppers read the guidelines and comments before performing a shop, but do not look at the form/survey itself. Of course, it always helps to know the specific questions you'll be asked in advance. We suggest that you read over the survey itself via the "View/Submit"; link on your Shop Log before performing the shop. However, if you look at the survey in advance, do not submit or save the report! This may confuse your scheduler, as it makes it appear in our system that you have already performed the shop. If you have read the guidelines but the "View/Submit" link isn't working, try refreshing your browser.

5) Double-check the location's address. Many shoppers see a shop and think, "I know that place!"; However, it's always important to double check the shop address and write it down. The particular store/location may have more than one location in the town, or may have moved. If you want to be very thorough, you can Google the location as well to double check the address we have in our system. We do our best to keep our location records very accurate, but occasionally a business changes locations without us knowing.

6) Fill out the survey immediately after the shop. Even shoppers with the best memories may forget some key details over the course of 12 or 24 hours. The best shoppers fill out their surveys as soon as they get home from the shop, while the memories are fresh in their minds.

I hope this guide helps you perform great shops! Do you have anything you do to prepare for a shop that you think should be shared with other shoppers? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Three Simple Tips for Mystery Shoppers

IntelliShop schedulers are always looking for the absolute best mystery shoppers to perform mystery shops. Here are three simple ways to demonstrate that you are an ideal candidate for any assignment.

1) Be polite and professional: You have a lot on your plate and so do schedulers. Making sure to communicate effectively and appropriately will help you stand out as a mystery shopper who is easy to work with. Schedulers do their best to ask politely when they need something and appreciate that same courtesy. If you have a question or extension request, make sure you are presenting yourself in the best light when you contact a scheduler.  If you cannot complete an assigned mystery shop by its due date, try suggesting a date you can reschedule. This will reduce the number of emails that have to be sent back and forth and prove that you are a conscientious mystery shopper.
 
2) Be reliable: While “life happens” and can sometimes prevent you from completing an assignment on time, mystery shoppers who complete their assignments or keep in contact with their scheduler are the most likely to continue to receive mystery shops they apply for. IntelliShop schedulers need shoppers who will stay true to their word and submit their reports on time. Schedulers understand that things come up, but also have to rely on each and every assigned mystery shopper to come through.
 
3) Be honest: Schedulers receive all too many notices from mystery shoppers that have to cancel their assignment. Reasons and excuses do not need to be tedious, so if you anticipate problems with completing your assigned shop on time, just say so. Schedulers can work with you on providing an extension more times than not.

Confirmed

Have you been assigned a mystery shop that you plan to complete successfully? You first need to confirm your shop. You can do this one of two ways:

  1. Follow the link provided in your confirmation email and follow the prompts.
  2. Log into your Shop Log and click on the "CONFIRM" link provided next to the mystery shop information.

Confirming an assignment lets your scheduler know that you plan on completing your assigned mystery shop. Your scheduler may cancel your mystery shop and assign it to someone else if it remains unconfirmed. This would be especially unfortunate if you had already completed the unconfirmed mystery shop.

Confirming your shop through your Shop Log also gives you access to the evaluation you will submit following your assignment. Reviewing the evaluation and shop guidelines are crucial parts of completing a mystery shop successfully.

Keep in mind that no matter how many times you may have completed a particular type of mystery shopping assignment in the past, you must always review the guidelines and mystery shop evaluation prior to completing your shop. You never know when something will change or if you've forgotten something.

What is GeoVerify?

You may have noticed a "GeoVerify" section near the top of your recent reports. This is a new feature available through JobSlinger's smartphone app that allows you to use your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android's internal GPS to mark your spot so we can confirm you were at the correct location.

It is NOT required, but certainly adds legitimacy to your report! You'll obtain a code through the app that you can enter into the report. This code will tell us exactly where you were, on what date, and at what time.

If you have a smartphone and want to make your shop reporting stronger, consider downloading JobSlinger's app. It's free, and is available here (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jobslinger-mystery-shop-mate/id390597964?mt=8) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Android users can get the app here (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.jobslinger&feature=search_result).

Time to get out of your shell….

Those that know me know that I am not shy. In small groups with my peers, I have no problem speaking and being myself. But getting in front of people and giving a speech or presentation, or being the center of attention of a large group, has always made me nervous.

In an effort to overcome this, I’ve started to do open mic stand-up comedy. This has helped me overcome my fear and anxiety. I’ve also found out I am, apparently, funny! I am having a great time doing something I avoided for so long.

This leads me to ask you: are there mystery shops that make you nervous? Are there some that you shy away from, afraid you won’t be able succeed? Are there mystery shops you look at and think, “I can’t do that!” or “That is way too much, I would never be able to remember all of that?”

Many mystery shoppers get stuck doing the same types of mystery shops they always do, month in and month out, because they are afraid to try something new. It’s time to get out of your shell and start completing different types of mystery shops. You may just find out you like it doing it.