Everyone will occasionally have something come up that prevents you from completing a shop – a family emergency, an illness, or maybe your car broke down. These things happen to the best of us, and there is little to nothing you can do to prevent them. So what’s a shopper to do when an event like this prevents you from doing a shop you’ve requested?
Is It Really An Emergency? First and foremost, know the possible ramifications of not completing a shop. If you are giving the scheduler little to no advanced warning, know that there is a possibility your shopper rating with that company may be affected. And this of course means it can hurt your ability to get shops with that company in the future. Each company has the option to be lenient. They are more likely to be lenient if your excuse sounds sincere, and also if you can give them more advanced warning. Canceling a shop because you got great tickets to the Knicks game probably isn’t going to fly over too well.
Give Plenty of Notice. As soon as you determine you absolutely cannot make that shop, be courteous and notify the scheduler immediately. Keep in mind that the scheduler needs to find a replacement shopper and that the scheduler has her own deadlines to meet with the retail company. Putting your scheduler in a bind, especially if it’s not a true emergency, is not something you want to do.
A Repeat Performance. Make sure you aren’t forming a pattern of canceling shops. If you have to go to your great-Aunt Sally’s funeral every other month, your scheduler is going to catch on. If your personal commitments are interfering with your ability to perform shops responsibly, you may want to consider another profession. Mystery shopper requires some responsibility to follow through on your assignments.
Oops! Too Late! Well, you’ve done it. That shop you had scheduled for last night completely slipped your mind. Maybe it’s because you ate some bad enchiladas and mystery shopping was the last thing you had on your mind. Or maybe your son fell out of a tree and broke his arm. And while mystery shopping did cross your mind while you were in the emergency room, you didn’t have all of the contact information with you to notify the scheduler.
What’s done is done. Notify the scheduler as soon as you possibly can that you failed to perform the shop. Give the scheduler enough information to let them know this truly could not be helped. Be sincere in your apology and let him know that you understand your failure to complete the shop puts him in a bid.
The thought of doing the shop on another day or time may cross your mind. Don’t think that you can just go do the shop the next day. Discuss the situation with the scheduler first and offer to make up the shop if that’s an option. The shop may have specific time requirements, as the retailer may want to check on certain staff members or management on duty on certain days and times.
A Little Prevention Goes A Long Way. People miss their shops for any number of reasons. While many of them cannot be prevented, such as a death in the family or an illness, many times shops are missed for other reasons such as forgetfulness or conflicts with personal commitments. You absolutely need to write all of your commitments, both personal and mystery shops, on the calendar. Don’t over-commit yourself by accepting assignments when you do not have time to complete them.
Also, most mystery shop providers send out email notification reminders a day or two before a shop is due. Be sure you are regularly checking your email so you see the reminders.
It’s better to notify your scheduler ahead of time if you can’t make a shop, but if you can’t manage that, be sure to notify them and make arrangements as soon as you possibly can.