Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? How many of them have you kept so far? Uh-oh. Maybe it is time to make a few simple resolutions that can make you a more successful mystery shopper this year. Why not give some of these a try?
Communicate more. Mystery shopping companies want shoppers to keep them informed. Let them know if there is a problem scheduling an appointment or something goes wrong on the shop visit or a location no longer exists or… One shopper told me that she discovered a major problem with the scenario for a shop: Shoppers were supposed to tell the salesperson the amount of their budget, and there was nothing in the store for anything close to that price. Oops. Letting them know about the error immediately helped them fix the problem before other shoppers did their assignments.
Try something new. Try a different kind of assignment or investigate doing other, related work such as merchandising and demos. You may find jobs you really love, and have more opportunities to earn.
Do shops sooner. When you have two weeks to do a shop, do it as soon as you can. This frees you up to take additional assignments and you don’t have to worry about unexpected events interfering with your shop. And if something does come up, you have plenty of time to get the assignment done before the due date. Something else to keep in mind is that many schedulers look at when you completed past shops when making assignments. The shopper who does their assignments early is often given preference over the shopper who always gets assignments done at the last minute.
That goes for reports, too. Report deadlines are shorter than ever, but if you have 24 hours to do the report you should not wait until hour 23 to start. Get it done as soon as you can after the shop. The details are fresher in your mind, getting it done means you can move on to the next thing, and computer problems or family emergencies won’t cause you to miss the report deadline.
Clear out the deadwood. Are there companies you no longer enjoy working with? Are there others that never seem to have interesting assignments? Maybe it’s time to dump them and concentrate on the companies you love. Or look for some new companies you have not worked with before. There are hundreds of mystery shopping providers out there—deal with the ones you love and forget the rest.
Learn something new. Acquire a skill that will help you to make more money as a mystery shopper. That might be learning about video mystery shopping so you can take on new, profitable assignments. Or it might be learning how to use technology to earn more money in less time. For example, you might learn how to mange your email more effectively to spend less time hunting for assignments, or how to use your GPS or mapping software to plan a route and spend less time (and gas money) driving from one shop to the next.
Start a savings plan. The money you earn as a part-time or occasional mystery shopper may seem inconsequential—$20 here, $50 there, it doesn’t seem like much compared to a “real” paycheck. However, when you add up the money and the extras you earn as a mystery shopper, it is probably a nice addition to the family income. Don’t fritter it away by cashing your checks and blowing the money. Deposit all of your mystery shopping payments into your bank account. Put aside a portion for expenses and taxes, and put the rest in an account earmarked for a special purpose, such as holiday gifts, a vacation trip, college for the kids or your retirement.
Implement a few of these resolutions and you will make 2012 your best year ever as a mystery shopper.