Scheduling Tips

stock scheduleImagine the desk of a mystery shopper scheduler. Multiple accounts, each with locations in many states, different assignment letters and due dates for each – talk about multi-tasking! Then look at your desk – multiple shopping companies, different assignment instructions and due dates for each shop – an organizational dream or nightmare, depending on your personality. The goal of each person, however, is to get the report to the client as soon as possible. Here are some scheduling tips for you and ways you can help the schedulers:

  • When you respond to the scheduler, be sure to use your full name, address, phone and email. Create a signature in your email program to use only for mystery shopping that has all that information. Schedulers use different methods for identifying shoppers, and if they have all of your information you have a better shot at getting the shop.
  • Follow the instructions in the solicit email or web ad. Your response to the assignment is a reflection of your ability to follow directions. If you do not give what is asked for in a solicitation, can we trust you to complete the shop as instructed? This includes confirming that you’ve received an assignment. If the scheduler asks for it, PLEASE confirm!
  • Do your shops as early as possible. If you have a “Due Date” that is the last day it can be submitted, but the companies will gladly accept it much earlier.
  • Early completion of your shops allows more time for you to accept those last minute shops that schedulers are so desperate to fill when other shoppers bail out on them. Being available to help out in those situations makes you a star shopper!

The mystery shopping process starts with the scheduler. Using skills that are helpful to both you and the scheduler will make your mystery shopping business successful.

What tools do you use to keep your schedule straight? Please share below so you can help another shopper build their business!

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About Market Viewpoint

Market Viewpoint offers comprehensive mystery shopping services, complete customer service audits, employee and customer surveys, customer focused marketing strategies, and customer service training to help you improve your customer service and outshine your competition.
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9 Responses to Scheduling Tips

  1. Dave Mayo says:

    Schedulers can help themselves prevent “flaking” I have a resume that includes being trained to go into areas that are UNSAFE for suburban shoppers. The schedulers might say that they are unfamiliar with the ares.

    The schedulers are familiar with the feedback they get from shoppers by the fact that suburban shoppers drive by and do not stop. The shoppers do not match the scene. They are not driving the same type of vehicles. The vehicles they are driving equate to a “gift package”, a crime of opportunity to strip the vehicle or steal the vehicle.The shopper is not dressed like the people who are shopping. Different stores carry different lines of merchandise for the people who live there.

    Just as a shopper is restricted by age or the ability to speak a language or gender, if the shoppers educate the schedulers and the schedulers educate the shoppers the preventive precautions can be offered in the job description and qualifications reducing issues on both sides. .

    If a shopper drives by and does not feel safe they should have the scheduler’s blessing to drive by if they do not feel safe without thinking about being penalized because the scheduler was unaware of the potential risk. Shoppers should be told, “If you are not matching the clothes people are wearing and vehicles they are driving they will know you are the mystery shopper. There should be no stigma or penalty if you keep on driving and report your experience and reason for rejecting the shop. Now that will help BOTH the shopper and the scheduler a mutually beneficial solution for both the scheduler who will send qualified people and prevent unqualified people from the reality that every shop can be shopped by any person.

    Now that you identified the CLASS of shop, the person a scheduler sends should be paid for the risk (It is called “combat pay”). The scheduler and client must make a decision if they want to risk having an unqualified shopper flake or if they want to pay a person from the demographic get the evaluation done within a reasonable time.

    Officers who earn their money responding to “shots fired” calls on a frequent basis understand there are places that should be avoided by suburbanites. After all these years I still try to “protect and serve”. I take these shops because I am believable and the bonus is tempting and I love acting the part, the applause come when I get paid. I have a 14 year old “ghetto” vehicle not worth stealing and clothing and demeanor that matches the demographic. Schedulers had me on their Rolodex (remember the Rolodex? it is still a lifesaver for organization and information.)

  2. Michelle McDonald says:

    The most effective tool I use for me to keep my schedules straight is my calendar in my smartphone. I go through my mystery shop files and emails every Sunday and I print the shops and guidelines for that week. I put the dates on top of the reports when they are due. I also put in my calendar in my smartphone when are they due so I get the reminder in my phone.

  3. Janet Bolan says:

    I use the calendar at http://www.cozi.com/, which not only helps me keep track of shops and due dates, but all of the things going on within my family.

  4. Crickett says:

    I like things simple. I use printed shopping assignment logs, from Volition. They have all the info I need, laid out in the order I put them. I transfer them to another notebook when each month is over, and check off who pays and when, from the same sheet. I would be lost without those. 🙂

  5. Dilip Patel says:

    I have created my own Excel files to keep track of my shops from start to finish. When I applied for a shop I entered it with shop date, shop, city, MS Company, Time and comment. Once I am assigned the shop, I move the shop up in the assigned shop area. I have second file for completed shop. It is a file within a file so you do not have to come out and open new file. When shop is completed I copy the same information onto second file. This file also has column for Pay, reimbursement, miles, comments and check mark when shop is paid. When tax time comes the mileage information comes handy. Remember, the shop information entry is only made one time. After that it is copy and paste.

    This way I can find out all the shops I have done throughout the years. Here are the example of two files. If any one like to see or use the format please send me the email and I would be glad to send the files as an attachment so that you could use it right away.

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