With mystery shopping, as with many parts of life, the adage “time is money” holds true. The more assignments you can fit into your busy schedule, the money you can make. Yet when you complete a hasty report, it can have negative consequences – often opening up time-consuming questions from your scheduler. Or worse yet, you could have holes in your report that lead the scheduler to not pay you for the work you completed.
If you want to make more money as a mystery shopper (and who doesn’t?), here are a few tips for completing a fast and accurate report:
What’s The Question Again? You can’t type out a fast answer if you don’t know the question. More often than not, problems on a report arise when mystery shoppers don’t answer the question that was asked. So read through each question in full rather than skimming over it, and then formulate your answer.
There is a fine line between providing too much information and too little information. Somewhere between the two lies the answer you need to provide. If you’ve had a problem on past reports in providing too much or too little information, take a few extra minutes on your next couple of reports and really nail down your answers. After you get the hang of determining that “just right” middle ground on the amount of detail in your responses, your reports going forward will flow more easily.
Take Notes. You can waste some serious time trying to answer questions you don’t know or remember the answers to. So first, read through the report before you head to your site visit. Know what questions you’ll need to answer so you can make mental notes on your site visit.
For concrete details, such as names, times, and so on, feel free to retreat to a bathroom or fitting room to jot down a few notes that you may have trouble recollecting later at home. Or if you use a video recording device, simply make sure you have the audio of the details recorded in some fashion. You can even call your own voice mail and leave yourself a somewhat coded message. For instance, if you met with the salesperson James at 3:50, simply leave yourself a voice message saying, Hey, it’s me. It’s about 3:50, and I wanted to let you know I spoke with James about dinner tonight, and he’s up for it. Talk to you later!” If you do the cell phone tactic, you can only record at most one or two messages within earshot of the same person before it starts sounding a little fishy.
Pay attention to the areas of filing a report that are slowing you down or causing you trouble. Whether you feel that you lose time by answering the questions slowly or you lose time by playing a game of “20 Questions” with your scheduler after you file the report, there are things you can do to increase your reporting speed and free up time to make more money mystery shopping!