When you click on the link to “Request a Shop”, does your request disappear into cyberspace? Is there an automated response assigned to send a quick response of “Sorry, this shop has already been assigned” to every shop you request?
The answer is simply no. The link goes back to a live person, who is known as a scheduler. These are people whose responsibilities include making sure shops get completed on time and accurately. It is important to understand that these schedulers are trying to secure more business from their clients – the companies requesting mystery shoppers. Further, the schedulers typically get paid a bonus or other such cut of all completed shops. So the schedulers need to make sure that each and every shop they assign has a high likelihood of being completed to their client’s satisfaction.
So when your request for a shop comes to them, it may arrive in a cluster of requests from other shoppers for that same job. Who will the scheduler choose to do the job? If someone who the scheduler has worked with in the past and has done a satisfactory or superior job has requested it, most likely that scheduler will opt to place the shop with the person they already know can get it done. They would prefer to go with someone who has proven themselves time and time again rather than with someone they do not know.
On the flip side, you can see it is a double whammy if the scheduler knows you as a person who cancels shops at the last minute, fails to do the shop at all, or does not complete the required reports with detail or accuracy. If you have the reputation of being this kind of shopper, most likely the scheduler will opt to give the shop to someone else over you.
A scheduler can also increase or decrease your shopper rating at their company, making you eligible for more or less shops.
Whether it is doling out the cream-of-the-crop assignments to their best shoppers, or changing your shopper rating, schedulers have a direct tie to your earning potential as a shopper. So building a positive relationship with your scheduler is incredibly valuable to a mystery shopper. Here are some ways you can foster a strong relationship with your scheduler:
- Remember that schedulers are busy people. You want to get to know them, but do not call them out of the blue and try to chat them up about new shops they having coming down the line soon. This may backfire on you, and you may soon get a reputation for being a nuisance.
- Instead, wait for your scheduler to contact you. And don’t worry, they will. Schedulers will call or email you personally when they have questions on your report. When this happens, respond to them as professionally, positively, and accurately as you can. Give them the impression that you appreciate them working on your report with you, and follow all of their instructions to the tee. They will remember you as someone they enjoy working with.
- A scheduler may also contact you personally about a shop they are having difficulty placing. Most likely, this will be a dud of a shop that nobody else wants to tackle. It may seem like more effort or time than the pay is worth. However, you may want to consider doing this shop as a means to make your name more memorable to your scheduler for future shops and to help your scheduler out. Remember, they need to get this shop done to satisfy their client, and helping them out of a jam is a great way to get your name to stick positively in their head. It’s the karma of mystery shopping – help them out, and good things will come back to you.
Following these steps will at least get your foot in the door and get the beginnings of a relationship started. Once the scheduler does give you an opportunity, use that opportunity and each one after that as a means to continue building the relationship. Soon enough you will reap the rewards of your efforts.