How to Succeed:
Advice for Our Shoppers
and Field Representatives
Advice for Our Shoppers
and Field Representatives
Today, we live in a gig economy—and Customer Impact thrives in it. Our independent contractors are the lifeblood of our operation. Without them, we would not be able to accomplish the goals and objectives that our clients set before us.
While we celebrate our field representatives, we also understand that being a freelance worker is challenging. Without an executive team organizing your schedule, balancing your benefits, and delivering a consistent paycheck, the responsibility for finding ample work falls entirely on you.
The good news? Our company has a symbiotic relationship with its shoppers. When you have a month of efficient earning, that means we had one too! To reach high levels of excellence as a mystery shopper and merchandiser, you have to stay informed about the opportunities in your home region, take inventory of your resources, and develop fluency in routing and planning techniques.
Whether you’re new to this work or an expert contractor, we want to aid you on your path to success.
Below are some tips, tricks, and pieces of advice that we’ve learned after 20+ years in the field.
Control your assignments.
- On almost every application you submit, our job portal requires a write-in confirmation that you understand the job’s requirements. Since this is an open text field, you can add brief requests to your application. In the example below, the applicant plans to complete a restaurant shop and a car wash shop in the same area on the same day. When a Customer Impact administrator assigns shops, they happily consider these notes, and will meet requests to the best of their ability. You don’t have to cross your fingers and hope for the best! Use this simple communication resource to ensure that you are assigned to your expected location roster.
Do your research.
- Before traveling into the field, open your computer or smartphone to confirm the validity of your job addresses. Unbeknownst to your schedulers, some assigned locations are out of business, temporarily closed to the public, or even have incorrect street addresses. If you find a location that is incorrect or inaccessible, please call/email your scheduler to request further instruction.
Check the weather.
- Just this month, America’s Midwest suffered Arctic temperatures and a dangerous freeze. For the sake of your safety and efficiency in-field, try checking the weather before planning a day of shops. Make plans a few days before your due date so that you can select a day of fair weather to travel in.
Diversify your applications.
- Customer Impact offers a wide range of unique shopping opportunities. Take advantage of our job board by scheduling a restaurant mystery shop in the same zip code as your retail work, so that even your pit stops pay.
Plan your day.
- You can earn a nice paycheck by packing a single day full of retail and mystery shop work, but not without a little forethought. Treat your time in the field like an upgraded road trip! Make sure to pack water and snacks, download entertainment (music, audiobooks, podcasts, etc.) for the road, and bring along any necessary safety equipment you may need in the event of a vehicle or health emergency. We tend to use a phone app for the majority of our in-field reporting, so make sure to pack a mobile phone charger!
Wait on shipments.
- Much of Customer Impact’s offerings in the retail services department require a shipment of materials. Before stuffing your day full of jobs, wait on your boxes and make sure they fit safely into your vehicle without obstructing your view. If you cannot tote enough materials to complete the jobs you’ve scheduled for a single day, you’ll need to move some to another day to accommodate. Luckily, Customer Impact’s sister company, Eagle Support Services, ships materials weeks in advance of your due date. The live tracking information is provided so that you can stay up to date on your shipment’s status and progress.
Route it out.
- Before you even click the ‘Apply’ button on a job, use Google Maps or Waze to determine the geographical relevancy of the shop location. We like to route ourselves in loops, so that we arrive back at home-base without wasting a single mile. (See photo.) You can intentionally route yourself to make a personal purchase, admire a landmark, or even to visit a relative. We asked our schedulers for routing resource recommendations, and they sent us here.
Put It All Together
Remember how excited you were when you first learned that you could be in charge of your own schedule while getting paid to shop & eat out? Us too. Don’t let route confusion or lack of planning zap your career of its magic—follow these simple tips to continue doing the work you love, and loving the work you do.
In the meantime, our phone lines and inboxes are open. Enjoy!