Recently a shopper emailed to suggest to schedulers that they include an estimate of time – to prepare, to perform and to report – on the shop announcements in emails and on job boards.
This same concerned mystery shopper also requested that the complexity of completing the mystery shop be written in the assignment solicitations. What she was asking for was for the number of questions, length of narratives and type of pictures or documents needed to be obtained or uploaded. She wanted to see these detailed in the shop solicits.
All of her requests are valid appeals. After all, this type of information can help mystery shoppers make better choices about the shops they will choose to complete.
Certainly we can ask our schedulers to include more details about the reporting form. They can alert a shopper to know if there are primarily Yes/No or check off questions and how long of a narrative is required. Schedulers can also note if receipts, pictures or any other documentation need to be uploaded.
Telling you how much time it will take, however, becomes a slippery slope. Because it’s personal!
If we tell you it is a ‘quick’ shop – what is your definition of quick? And as compared to what?
One person may think that a 15 minute visit to a retail store is a quick shop, but if they live half hour away, does this make it a 45 minute shop?
Then add in the time to write up the report. Some people are masters at the keyboard and expressing their thoughts in writing. For others, it is much more of an effort.
And if we say it’s going to take you three hours to prepare, perform and report – would you even take a second look?
As a novice mystery shopper, all steps of the process will likely take a bit longer. As you become more familiar with the process and expectations, you will become more proficient at understand what you need to look and listen for, the words you need to type to communicate your observations, and your ability to organize your thoughts.
Once you are a ‘seasoned’ shopper, you will know which shops you prefer to do, which you have more time to do in a given week, and which mystery shops you have no desire to ever do again.
We will spread the word to make sure you are armed with the information you need to make knowledgeable decisions. We ask you to keep focused on honing your skills to make the time spent on any shop work most effectively for you. That way you will know how much time a shop will take YOU!
Do you have a preference for the types of shops you like to do? If so, why? (No company names, please!) Please comment below.