This is a guest post from C. McDaniel of Spot Check Services Ltd.
You’ve just completed and submitted your shop… now you get a notice saying your report has been REJECTED… WHY did it happen to YOU?
Everyone runs the risk of making a mistake at some point during their shop, whether you’re a newbie, or the most seasoned mystery shopper. Depending on the nature of your error, it can be nothing more than an email informing you of your error. But in those cases where the error was crucial, it can result in your shop and report being rejected by either the client or the mystery shopping company. The word REJECTION isn’t pleasant in any case, and the fallout can be detrimental to you as a person, as well as a mystery shopper.
As the Quality Control Manager for Spot Check Services Ltd, I have personally reviewed countless reports where the shopper has overlooked a part of the shop criteria crucial for the shop… failure to order the right menu items, failure to ask for specific product, failure to spend the required amount, or failure to visit the required departments. The list goes on and on. When I get a report rejection from the Quality Control department, I read through the report to make sure the rejection is justified before sending the notice to the Shop Manager, and ultimately the shopper.
While no one intentionally makes errors that result in a rejection, the results can be devastating to the shopper, the mystery shopping company, AND the client. For YOU the shopper, you run the risk of spending a potentially large sum of money on dinner, a hotel room, groceries, or an oil change. When your report gets rejected, you are out that money, as well as your time, because you skimmed and overlooked a specific shop criteria, or perhaps thought, “Oh, that’s not important.”
It makes me sad when a rejection comes through, and even more so when a shopper has outlaid their hard-earned money. It’s natural to want to fight or refute a rejection of any kind, and mystery shops are no exception. Most shoppers will put their tail between their legs, accept their rejection, and try to do better the next time. Others will fight tooth and nail as they try to prove their point in the hopes of having the rejection overturned. Unfortunately in the majority of cases, it was their own doing by failing to thoroughly read and understand the shop criteria BEFORE embarking on the shop.
So as a mystery shopper, what can YOU do to help your cause? I can not emphasize enough the importance of carefully reading ALL SHOPPER INSTRUCTIONS prior to doing your shop. Even if you have done a particular shop 100 times before, things change… shop times, shop dates, purchase requirements, spending requirements, etc., etc., etc.. Don’t take anything for granted and stick to the rules, they’re there for a reason. Many mystery shopping companies allow you to PRINT/PREVIEW your instructions and questionnaires. When I do a shop, the minimum I do is print out the instructions for reference. I then make notes on the CRUCIAL CRITERIA to look out for.
It is also VERY important to submit your shop information AS SOON AS POSSIBLE while the information is still fresh in your mind. This will significantly increase the accuracy of your information. Timeliness is also crucial as the client requires your information while it’s still relevant.
Good luck and HAPPY SHOPPING!