When you think about the skills you need to be a mystery shopper, you may think about skills and qualities like being detail-oriented, being able to write reports fast and without errors, having a great memory, and even being a people-person who likes to get out there and interact with the various employees and managers you deal with at site visits. One of the qualities you probably do not think about but that is incredibly important to mystery shoppers is time management. Your ability to manage your time well as a mystery shopper directly equates to how profitable you are in this business.
In some jobs, you get paid by the hour, and so the more hours you work, the more money you make. In other jobs, you are salaried, and so you just simply have to show up at your schedule work time and do your job. Then there are jobs like mystery shopping where you actually get paid on productivity. With mystery shopping, you will make more money by doing more assignments. Since there are only so many hours in the day, it stands to reason that the answer to making more money as a mystery shopper is by getting more assignments done in less time. So how do you do this?
Choose Wisely. The time requirement of your assignments can vary quite a bit. Some assignments may have a distant site visit location that takes you a long time to travel to. Others may have a lengthy site visit with a lot of requirements for you to complete. Still others may have huge reports that take up your time. You should be very careful to pick and choose your assignments wisely so that you minimize things like travel time, and so that you only seek out those assignments that offer adequate compensation for a lengthy site visit or a lengthy report. Ideally, you will find the assignments that you can truly complete in less time but make more money from them.
How Is This Done? Unfortunately, when you peruse the job boards, the assignment description doesn’t come with an estimation of time it will take to complete the assignment. (But wouldn’t that be nice?) So it is up to you to use your own experience as a mystery shopper to read between the lines and make your best guess estimation. You likely know that some providers just have lengthy reports to complete than others. You can also get a fair idea about how long a site visit will take by reading the requirements. Do you have to wait just sixty seconds for someone to approach your, or ten minutes? Do you have to try on clothes in a fitting room? Do you have to order a meal at the counter or wait for waitstaff to bring you food? Are you required to shop during peak business hours or can you got during off-hours? These are just a few of the different things that come into play when you try to determine if your site visit will be a quick ten minute visit or if it will likely take an hour to complete.
When you start paying more attention to the assignments you sign up to do, you will find that you truly can start doing more assignments in less time. It may take you some trial and error at first to really gain proficiency in judging the time requirement for an assignment, but you will find that over time, you will become an expert at this!