It’s pretty common for mystery shoppers to feel isolated in their positions. After all, when you are a mystery shopper you can go months and months without talking to another mystery shopper (except for communications on online forums and in mystery shopping chat rooms). In fact, if you are like most people, the only people you may regularly communicate with about your job and specific assignments are your schedulers. Yet even this communication is sometimes infrequent, as you can request assignments and submit reports for months on end without speaking to a scheduler. So communicating with your scheduler via phone or email can be a rare occasion indeed. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Respect Their Authority. It is pretty easy to view a scheduler as just another “low man on the totem pole,” so to speak, at your provider’s office. This may or may not be the case depending on the internal structure at that provider’s office. However, regardless of how they rank on the corporate ladder, you should know that this person has a lot of power of your work schedule. You should keep in mind that this is the person who doles out assignments. He or she can also adjust your shopper rating, either higher or lower. Many mystery shoppers have found out the hard way that getting on the bad side of a scheduler can hurt their paycheck and income-earning potential in a big way. With this in mind, all communications should be completely respectful, professional, and polite.
When There Is a Problem. If you are trying to reach your scheduler, chances are there is some problem that needs to be discussed. This may be an issue with your ability to complete the assignment, a question on the report, or even an issue getting paid. First, understand that a scheduler is a very busy person, and may or may not be aware of who you are and what your issue is. So first you will need to identify yourself and your problem. It can be pretty frustrating for you and the scheduler alike for you to embark on a detailed gripe only to learn many minutes into your monologue that the scheduler has no clue what you are talking about.
Have an End-Game. When you do approach a scheduler with a problem, in addition to explaining the problem or grievance, you should also offer some solution. For instance, if you cannot complete a site visit as scheduled, offer not one but several different windows of time when you can complete the site visit. If you haven’t received a paycheck, offer to accept a PayPal payment if that is an easier way for them to process the payment. If the problem is one that isn’t resolved immediately over the phone, such as a payment issue, you should set up a time to touch bases again if the matter isn’t resolved. For instance, you should ask when the payment should be processed by, and before ending the call, state that you will follow up and check back in if the payment isn’t received by that date.
If you are like most people, you absolutely dread being tied up in a conversation when you have a million other things to do. Schedulers are very busy people, and so any communications should be concise and to the point. Identify yourself, state the facts, state a suggested resolution, and plan for a follow up if the matter isn’t resolved. Also, while doing this, be polite and professional, too. You don’t talk to your scheduler every day or even every week, so you want to leave a positive impression of yourself with this person!