Theresa's Mixed Nuts: Staying Organized With a Busy Mystery Shopping Schedule

Friday, November 21, 2014

Staying Organized With a Busy Mystery Shopping Schedule

Being organized can impact your mystery shopping in several positive ways. Imagine being able to perform more shops, write higher quality reports, and submit them early with a sense of confidence and calm. With a small investment of time and money, this can be your experience. Here are some tips to help you organize mystery shopping tasks:

Develop a scheduling system. Find a calendar, planner, and/or to-do list that will help you organize site visits and report deadlines. Also, you might use different colored pens to color code shops and deadlines.

Read the directions thoroughly. Using your new system, schedule time to read through the assignment carefully before the site visit. Take notes of key details necessary to perform the shop, and write them on your calendar. While some shops are straightforward, others require a background story. Use this time to create that story so you aren't making it up on the fly. Review the instructions again shortly before the visit to make sure you complete the shop accurately.

Plan your shops close to each other. If possible, group site visits in the same area on the same day. This is especially true if the shops are a long distance from your home. Not only is this more time-efficient, it also helps to prevent excessive wear and tear on your vehicle. If you can’t group them in the same general location, an alternative is to select shops along a route from your starting point to the shop that is farthest away.

Include downtime and travel time. Account for travel time. Go a step further and pad the expected travel time to buffer against unexpected delays. Don't create such a tight schedule that a five minute delay snowballs into a disastrous domino effect. Plan for some downtime to refresh yourself and review the assignments.

Fill out the report ASAP. This tip is related to the previous one, but it deserves its own mention. As soon as you can get to a secure location, take detailed notes on the shop you just completed. Better yet, fill out the report if possible. If you are completing multiple shops on the same day, make every effort to complete your report before going to the next. This will help you avoid mixing up details.

Complete tasks as early as possible. Kids get sick, you get sick, the internet goes down – life happens. Unforeseen events can derail even the best laid plans. To increase the chances of your plans staying on track, complete your shops and reports as early as possible. This provides some “wiggle room” that you and your mystery shopping coordinator will appreciate.

Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than usual to complete your mystery shopping responsibilities because you are working on your system. These steps will require an investment of time and possibly a little money at the beginning. This small investment, however, has the potential to pay off handsomely in terms of increased pay, a higher shopper rating, and more peace. As you continue using it and making adjustments, it will become second nature. Just be patient and persistent, and the payoff will come.

Image credit: Wikimedia

This contribution comes from Sentry Marketing Group. SMG manages mystery shopping programs for restaurants, hospitality industries, and even automotive companies as well.


A special thank you to Sentry Marketing Group for today's post.
Have you ever tried mystery shopping?

19 comments:

  1. Yes that last tip is golden and true with any shopping I would imagine. The early bird is generally better off! Great and helpful list.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always wanted to be a mystery shopper, but wondered how they did it all. Now I know.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have done Mystery shopping, but the only assignments I ever got were $20 ones at Boost Juice. I did get one in a clothing store, but it was full of clothes I'd never buy so it felt pretty awkward :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never tried mystery shopping myself, but always feared getting one coming to my register when I worked retail. I don't think I could be stealthy enough not to give myself away as the secret shopper. And hey, I don't know what Boost Juice is, but $20 sounds like a good incentive to me!

      Delete
    2. Oh right, I thought Boost Juice had hit America by now. It's a smoothie bar that's one of those rare things - delicious AND healthy ;)

      Delete
  4. I've had an email or two come to me saying I should, but I think they were scams. Still I know a few who do it and some make some good money

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've gotten those scammy emails too. You know they are a scam when they want YOU to send THEM money to mystery shop. Yeah, I don't think that's how it actually works haha!

      Delete
  5. How fun it would be to do mystery shopping. I live right between two large cities so I have the perfect place to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've always wondered about mystery shopping. I would so love to do that one day.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is a great list. I belong to a few mystery shop companies and use a few apps. Problem is I am a really rural area so I don't check for shops unless I know I am going to be heading to that particular town. Then I try to grab as many as I can to make it worth the drive.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I always thought it would be fun to be a mystery shopper! I just wish I had the time...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I looked into mystery shopping ages ago, then I had kids and sort of forgot about it. Ill have to see what is in my area now that my kids are easier to shop with.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Although I don't mystery shop anymore mainly because of gasoline and the distance between shops where I live I definitely concur with all the above. Jotting down notes as soon as you leave the shop that you are likely to forget is very important! Ir if you can try to bring a voice recorder with you that can be hidden totally from view.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ok this might sound crazy but I've never heard of mystery shopping in my life!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was offered the chance to do this onc. It sounds interesting but the offer I got just didn't make financial sense to me.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I sold wine to someone under 21 years and years and years ago when I was a cashier at Sam's Club. Turned out it was a mystery shopper...and I didn't get in trouble, but I did learn a lesson and card everyone and their grandmother after it. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was training a new girl at KFC. She dropped chicken on the counter, then went to put it back in the box, which was a no no. Even though I corrected her, I still got marks off our score (my name written as the offender even though it wasn't me!). Thankfully my family was in management there so I didn't get in trouble though, but anyone else probably would have been written up.

      Delete
  14. I used to do mystery shopping and it was lots of fun. You'd be surprise of the place that actually use services like this.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That would be so cool to do mystery shopping. So you worked at KFC. My Daughter did also when she was in high school.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comments! I appreciate every one of them :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...