Many mystery shoppers dream of living the easy life of a mystery shopping scheduler. They imagine the scheduler sitting at her computer in her jammies and slippers, leisurely sipping a cup of coffee, during the few hours she works each day. Lots of schedulers dream of a job like that, too. The truth is that scheduling involves hard work and long hours and, contrary to the impression formed by many shoppers, schedulers are not getting rich at their jobs.
Of course, some shoppers might find they enjoy scheduling as much as or more than mystery shopping. If you think you want to be a scheduler, here are some things you should know about mystery shopping scheduling and how you can get hired for one of these jobs.
Some schedulers are hired as employees of the mystery shopping company. They may work in the company’s office, mostly during regular business hours, although they may work late or on weekends when necessary. Others are contractors who work out of their homes for mystery shopping companies or mystery shopper scheduling companies. Contractors may have more flexibility in setting their own hours, but they are still required to get all of their assigned shops scheduled and completed. That may mean working late into the night, after putting the kids to bed. (Have you ever noticed the time stamps on some of those emails you get from schedulers?)
But how hard can it be? All schedulers do is enter the shop information into the system, press a few keys and send out emails, right? Well, not exactly. Although scheduling some shops can be almost that simple, schedulers are responsible for getting all of their shops assigned and completed. That means that not only do they schedule the popular, fun and high-paying shops that everyone wants, schedulers also have to get the out-of-way, not-so-glamorous, fast food and other shops done, too. That can mean sending repeated emails, begging and pleading with shoppers to take the job. Or getting on the phone and begging and pleading that way.
Although schedulers may have bonus money to help with those hard to schedule shops, it is not always available. Sometimes all they have to work with is their charm.
And when shoppers “flake” on shops, canceling at the last minute or just not doing the job, the scheduler has to find someone else to complete the shop at the last minute. Because the industry averages about a 25% flake rate, that is a lot of extra work for schedulers.
If after reading this you still think you want to be a mystery shopper scheduler, here are some tips to help you get the job.
Most companies like to hire people with mystery shopping experience. If you have a good history as a mystery shopper (i.e., you have been shopping for at least a year with good scores and feedback) you may be approached by a company when they have an opening. You can also contact some of the mystery shopping or scheduling companies for which you have worked and ask how they hire schedulers. Many will accept a resume and consider you when they have an opening.
There is an expectation that schedulers will have good computer skills, along with solid writing ability. Being a “people person” is also important, as is being a self-starter. Although contractors work a flexible schedule, it flexes both ways. That means that when there is a big project or end of the month crunch, you need to be available.
Being a scheduler is different in many ways from being a mystery shopper. Some people who are very good at one are not necessarily even interested in doing the other. However, the skills that make you a good secret shopper can also make you a successful scheduler.