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Mystery Shopping New Year’s Resolutions December 31, 2012

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.

With 2012 winding down, it’s a good time to reflect on the year and plan for the upcoming year. Hopefully your mystery shopping work was successful in 2012. Maybe you just started in the industry and 2012 was a year of learning. Whichever category you fall into, now is a great time to get ready for 2013.

Here is your end of the year “to do” list to make yourself 2013-ready:

1. Update profiles: now is a good time to take a look at your profiles you’ve set up with mystery shopping companies. Are they current with the correct address, phone number, and email address? If you work with Sassie companies, is your profile set correctly to receive email notifications when shops are available? Due to issues with ISP’s in the last year or so, some shoppers have reported that the “do not email” option is checked on their profiles, yet they DO want to receive emails. Take a look to make sure you’re not missing out on any opportunities.

2. Reassess: take a look at which companies you currently do shops for. Which are the most profitable or consistent? Are there others that haven’t had work in a long time in your area? Shop availability changes on a regular basis – while you have a few minutes of down time, take a look at JobSlinger or your favorite message boards to see which companies have work in your area that you didn’t know about before. JobSlinger is a great tool to use for this purpose – search by zip code and mileage radius to find companies with shops in your area. If you’re not registered, take a few minutes to do so! New work means more opportunity in 2013.

3. Find ways to increase your workload: many shoppers say that they don’t get enough shops to make it worthwhile. Sometimes they’d be willing to do shops, but they’re a bit father than they usually travel so financially it’s not worth it. Spend some time learning about route shopping and how it can work for you. It does take some elbow grease, especially in the beginning when you’re establishing routes and stronger relationships with schedulers, but it can be well worth it.

One key tip to remember is that if you’re interested in grouping shops together, and you see a shop that may fall outside of the date range you’ll be shopping in, it doesn’t hurt to send a quick email to the scheduler to explain that you’re creating a route and wanted to see if other dates are available. While this isn’t always flexible, sometimes shop dates can be adjusted. This is a benefit to both you as a shopper (you can get more shops) and schedulers (they are getting a shop filled, and research shows that typically shoppers who schedule route work are more likely to complete shops and be more reliable). Read Facebook, message boards, and forums to learn how others successfully route shop.

4. Get immersed in the industry: there’s a lot to learn in the mystery shopping industry, whether you’re new or been shopping for years. Here are some places to get more information and learn about ways to make your work life better:

* Volition: one of the oldest and most popular forums for mystery shoppers. These shoppers provide a wealth of information on how to conduct shops, which companies are great to work for, and other tips and tricks.

* Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA): offers a forum for shoppers and helpful information on the industry. Certification is provided through this association.

* IMSC: this coaltion was started with the goal of educating mystery shoppers throughout the country while providing a network system for those who  mystery shop. The IMSC offers educational conferences three times per year – if you haven’t attended a conference, you may want to make this a goal for 2013. We have attended several conferences and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting shoppers! I have heard of several shoppers who, through careful planning, conduct shops during their travels to and from conferences, making it even more worthwhile!

What are YOUR goals for 2013? All of us at Ann Michaels & Associates would like to THANK YOU all for your hard work and dedication to our industry this year – we certainly could not do it without you! We wish you health, happiness, and success in the New Year!



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