From Shopper to Scheduler

By Amber Simmons, Customer Impact Scheduler

With over 60 shops under my belt, I thought I knew everything there was to know about mystery shopping. I enjoyed going to restaurants and getting free food or shopping at retail stores for clothing items. My favorite shopper experience was getting an email that said I had been *ASSIGNED* to a shop I had been hoping to complete. Nothing better than that! Then, I got hired to be a scheduler by Customer Impact, the mystery shopping company I had been doing so many shops for.

Now, I get to see the other side of mystery shopping, from a scheduler’s perspective. I am now able to understand more in-depth how and why different things happen in the mystery shopping world that may have gone over my head before. Here is a list of things I now have an insider look into:

1. Why I didn’t always get shops assigned to me as a shopper: There are many shoppers in a mystery shopping company’s database. Therefore, just because I apply for a shop does not mean that other shoppers are no longer allowed to apply for it. Also, just because I may feel I am the first one to apply for a shop does not mean I am more likely to get it. The schedulers view the applications all at once, without being able to see a date/time the shop was applied for.

2. Why an itemized receipt is needed: This helps the client as well, as the shopper, be sure that the shop was done properly. Did the server charge correctly for a meal? Did the shopper say they bought what they actually bought? How much reimbursement is needed? These questions can be answered with an itemized receipt.


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3. Why checking my email multiple times throughout the day as a shopper is important: Often times, schedulers and editors need to get a hold of their shoppers to promote available shops and/or to make changes on completed reports.

4. Why it’s important to turn in reports on time: Customer Impact’s clients (those who hire Customer Impact to shop their businesses) are promised that they will receive their shops at a certain time after they have been completed. If the shopper doesn’t complete the shop on time, the client cannot receive it on time.

5. Finally, I learned how important it is to keep the schedulers informed of any changes that may be occurring in my schedule that could affect a shop that is assigned to me. As a scheduler, I understand now that when a shopper fails to inform me that they must cancel/move the date of a shop, I am in an unfortunate position and must find another shopper on short notice.  I appreciate the shoppers who reach out to me when there is a problem and are pro-active in rescheduling.

These are all things that I am glad I now understand better in my position as a scheduler for Customer Impact. If you were to ask me which one I like better – being a mystery shopper or being a mystery shopping scheduler – I’d have to say, I like them both equally!