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.
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!