If you’ve done one mystery shopping assignment or hundreds, you likely have figured out that you want to avoid conflict with your scheduler. It’s definitely a big hassle to get in a tiff of any kind with a scheduler. But if your disagreement is over a report you just turned in, it could mean a loss of pay on that assignment. If your argument is severe enough, it could mean you may not be able to (or want to) work with that provider or scheduler at all in the future, which would result in the loss of future income. So it definitely pays to avoid conflict with your scheduler whenever possible. Here are some easy ways to make sure you don’t end up in a costly scuffle:
Follow the instructions. More often than not, a disagreement with a scheduler results from an answer provided on a report. Usually you will get an email from the scheduler asking you to verify or revise your answer to a question on the report, and usually there will be an explanation as to why this question has been flagged. You can avoid altogether the instance of your scheduler asking for follow-up information or clarification on your report simply by reading through the questions and making sure you understand them before you do your site visit. Before you make your site visit, double check and ensure that you understand what the scheduler is looking for. If there is a question as to what you need to do on-site, by all means, ask your scheduler before you do your visit.
Keep It Straightforward. On the vast majority of questions on a report, you will be required to give an unbiased and accurate accounting of what you witnessed on-site and the actual events that took place. Think of this is a play-by-play as if you’re listening to a football or baseball game on the radio. Be sure to keep your emotions, opinions, and beliefs out of your report unless they are asked for.
In most cases, you will be asked for your personal opinion of the store at the end of the report. This is your chance to really say what you thought of the store or associate.
If There’s A Question. In the event your scheduler does send you that email with questions about why you responded a certain way or for clarification, your first impulse may be to feel miffed or possibly get upset. Before you respond back with a testy email, take a minute to take a deep breath. Read through the question and answer that are being questioned. Ensure first that you understand the question that was being asked, and then be sure you properly, clearly, and thoroughly addressed the question with your response. Often, it just takes a few extra words or another sentence or two to give the scheduler the extra information she was looking for.
If you don’t understand why your answer is not acceptable, shoot back a polite and professional email asking for clarification. It may be appropriate to discuss the question over the phone as well, as email can get confusing at times.
When It’s Something Else. You can run into other issues with your scheduler as well, including scheduling and payment conflicts. You can’t go wrong when you keep the general concepts of politeness and professionalism in mind. Keep in mind that you likely will be working with this scheduler again in the future, and you don’t want to burn bridges that may be able to give you some paying assignments in the future.
As with any disagreement, try to look at the big picture and to see the issue from the other person’s perspective. When you do this while remaining calm, you are sure to avoid an escalation with your scheduler!