Being a valued mystery shopper means that you will get more and better assignments. Doing things that make life more difficult for schedulers, editors and others will mean that you get fewer and fewer assignments.
I talked with dozens of schedulers, editors, and mystery shopping company owners and managers. These were their most commonly mentioned pet peeves. Avoid these behaviors if you want to be a valued and successful shopper.
Not reading and following shop guidelines. The guidelines explain what the client wants. If you do not follow the guidelines, the client will not accept the shop. The mystery shopping company will not get paid, and neither will you.
Accepting assignments, then disappearing and not completing them. “Flaking” on shops happens on 25% of assignments. That means that schedulers have to find someone else to do the assignment, often at the last minute. Flaking may mean that you do not receive other assignments from that company.
Not communicating questions or problems. They can’t help you if they do not know there is a problem. If you do not understand the guidelines, you may not do the shop correctly. That means the client won’t accept it and no one gets paid, including you.
Inconsistency in report answers and comments. Confusing reports must be clarified, so make sure that your answers and comments match.
Rushing through shops and reports. Take the time to get it right. Read the guidelines carefully. Prepare for the shop. Spend the time needed at the location to get all of the information required. Make sure your answers are correct. Use the Mystery Shopper Report Checklist.
Poor grammar and spelling. The more time an editor has to spend fixing your report, the less they get done. That costs money. Make your reports the best they can be.
Not telling the truth. NEVER falsify a shop report. If a company asks you about a shop and you have lost the notes, admit it. Do not make up answers.
Failing to admit mistakes. We all make mistakes (at least those of use who are human). When you make a mistake, own it. Fess up and let the mystery shopping company decide how to handle the situation.
Submitting late reports. Clients require that reports are submitted quickly after the shop because information is most valuable when it is fresh. If your report is late, it hurts the relationship between the mystery shopping company and the client.
You can be a “super shopper” by doing your job as expected and not annoying the mystery shopping companies.
Cathy Stucker has been a mystery shopper since 1995. She is the author of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual.