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Why Good Manners Can be a Problem for Mystery Shoppers July 8, 2009

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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Recently, I was shopping (not on a shop) at a local retail store. As the cashier finished the transaction and handed me my receipt, I instinctively said, “Thank you.”  The cashier replied, “You’re welcome. Have a nice day!”

Now, really, that’s not so bad, right? Where this becomes a problem is when you’re answering a question that is typical on many retail mystery shopping reports – “Did the employee thank you at the end of your interaction?”

I didn’t give the cashier a chance to thank me. Of course, she could have thanked me in return and then wished me a nice day. More times than not though, when you thank an employee first, they say “You’re welcome” and the interaction is over.

If that were a shop, how would I rate the question? How would YOU rate it? You can’t say yes, because she didn’t thank me.  Saying no isn’t entirely fair, since you didn’t give the employee a chance to thank you. There usually isn’t a N/A option, so what do you do?

When you’re doing a shop, remember that manners may get in the way of fairly evaluating employees. Next time you’re talking with an employee, remember to wait for them to end the interaction so you can fairly evaluate the process.

Until next time…happy shopping!


Why Do Mystery Shopping Companies Send Me Shop Notices for DE When I Live in MI? July 6, 2009

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in General Mystery Shopping Information, Mystery Shopping Jobs.
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I wanted to share a common complaint we hear from time to time….mystery shoppers will email schedulers asking why they are sending email notifications for shops in other states. This fills their email boxes with too many emails that they say are not relevant to them, and can be a waste of time.

In most cases, reading the entire posting will reveal that the email invitation may be pertinent to someone in your area. There are many cases in which this might be true:

1. Aiport/hotel shops: when these shops are available, schedulers don’t know who might be traveling to the areas where these shops are located. If we only contacted people who live within 10 miles of the airport/hotel, we may be missing out on potential shoppers and have more difficulty finding people to fill these shops.  These are usually sent out to the entire country.

2. Telephone/online shops: the quantity of this type of shop has increased substantially over the last couple of years. Typically, you do not need to live in the same state where the call is to be made. Sometimes the client specifically requests that mystery shoppers call from a different part of the country. Because we are required to list the city and state where the company is located in our systems, at first glance it may appear that this shop does not pertain to you, but in fact it does.

3. Clients with multiple locations throughout the country: schedulers make every effort to group locations when scheduling shops to keep the emails pertinent to the area. However, there are many times in which this cannot happen, so one email invitation will be sent to several states. If you only look at the first few locations listed, you may not think there are shops in your area. Or, a location in your area may have originally been on the list, but already assigned if you did not get a chance to view the email soon after it was sent.

While I’m sure there are times mystery shopping notifications are sent in error, schedulers make every effort to send them to only those who it is relevant to.  We know that you are very busy, and we want to keep your job search time to a minimum.

I hope this explains the system better, and helps shoppers understand the reason for the emails they receive.

Until next time…happy shopping!

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