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?