Let’s assume that you are doing all that you need to and you are getting shops in. You are completing them. Everything is rolling along smoothly. Then, you lose track. What was I supposed to do today? You get that awful email from the shops’ scheduler only to learn that you did not submit your report on time! How did that happen? Learn to keep track of your mystery shopping business in the continuous run.
The fact is that many people that work with mystery shopping have the largest problem when it comes to staying on track with what they have to do and how they will do it. They work hard and they just lose track of something. It is easy to do when your only form of communication is that of an email! But, you are sure to find many benefits along the way.
Working Out Your System
Each of us has our own way of doing the things in our everyday lives. For example, we all know how to wash our laundry yet we probably do it just a bit different then the next guy. Therefore, we need to do the same thing when it comes to finding your own system to keeping yourself organized and on track. Of course, we will provide you with some help though along the way.
The fact is that you need to come up with a system, a method so to speak, of keeping yourself on track. To do this, you will want to insure that you have all that is necessary to accomplish the necessary jobs. You should also get into the habit of doing things the same way every day so that you do not lose things as you go. Sounds hard? It doesnt have to be.
Here, we will give you some tips and hints to managing your own mystery shopping business. But, before we can do that, we need to get in place a system that will help you to make all of the necessary decisions when it comes to mystery shopping. Lets work out your method of organization first for mystery shopping.
Remember that you can change this up to fit with your own specific needs, but this will allow you to have some idea of what to do.
Step 1: Get a Planner
The first thing that you need to do is to get some way of marking all of your mystery shops down. Do this always in the same method and in the same place. The best way to do this is to get a day planner. Use it to write down a shop as soon as it comes in so that you can budget your time wisely and know what needs to be done and when to do it. Remember, as soon as you get a shop, write it down. Keep your planner with you at all times.
Another important tool, if you have it and know how to use it, is Excel. There are many things that can be done here. First, you can use it to store all of your shops as they come in. If you are good at programming, you can enter all of the necessary fields for things such as these:
- Shop date and time
- Shop location, city
- The amount you are being paid for the shop
- Date the shop is being sent in
- Date the shop was paid to you
- Mystery shopping companies name and website address
- Schedulers contact information
- Tally for the amount made per month/week
You can even prioritize them so that when a shop needs to be done today, it is highlighted red as a warning of the due date.
Step 2: The Morning Routine
For most of us, getting up in the morning is already a routine. Whether you stumble out to the kitchen as soon as you wake for a cup of coffee or head to the shower first, you have a routine. Add in mystery shopping here. You will want to make it a habit to check your email in the morning.
- Find out if any new shops have come in to apply for and do so right then and there.
- Determine if you have got any new shops overnight. If so, write them in your planner right away.
- Determine which shops have to be done today, print out any necessary paperwork and plan out when you will do them.
- Also, determine if you have any questions, problems, or other notes to take care of from mystery shopping company schedulers.
- Get your routes planned out for the day to ensure you know where any and all locations are located for today’s mystery shops.
Many people also take the time to insure that they go through their favorite mystery shop websites and apply for any new leads that may come up. Since most of the time is spent browsing the web, it makes for a good way to start the day.
Step 3: Perform the Shops
We have gone over just how you need to do your mystery shops, paying close attention to the details and following the necessary instructions to perfection. Now, how in the world will you keep it all straight? One way to do this is to take with you a notebook. Make sure never to write anything telling on the outside of it or leave it open. But, keep it in your car.
As you go to your mystery shops, come out of the shop, drive to a nearby parking lot (dont do this at the location!) and write down the details. Make sure to answer all necessary questions about the mystery shop and to be as honest yet positive as possible.
Some mystery shopping companies do not want you to overload on mystery shops in any one given day. Some may even limit how many you can do for them in one day. It makes sense. Too many shops mean that the details are likely to get messed up. Instead of overloading yourself with mystery shops, make sure you have enough time to input data and to keep track of everything carefully.
Step 4: Input Your Information
Make sure that you put in all of your mystery shops to the mystery shopping companys website correctly. For some, this is done after each shop is completed. Others will put them together all at the same time. In any case, you will want to provide all the necessary details of your shop into your system carefully. Make sure to make any necessary marks when the shop is complete that you have completed in it in your day planner or your excel file if you created one.
Step 5: Nightly Routine
Remember, mystery shopping companies release their shops during all times of the day and night. Some mystery shoppers will schedule themselves to do the applying for shops once per day. For others, the evening is another additional time to make sure that you got your applications in for any available mystery shops. It can also be helpful to go back an extra time about the third week into the month when shops that have not been done now have additional bonuses on them.
Develop a nightly routine in which you can go through and check all of the necessary websites for additional mystery shopping opportunities. You can then take the time to apply for any new mystery shopping companies that you come up with as well.
In the next chapter, we will give you some tips for managing your mystery shopping business to ensure that it is everything that you wanted it to be. You are sure to find them to help you to hone everything we have talked about right here.