Advice Needed for Remembering Details and Completing Reports

I am new to MS and was wondering how you keep up with the details of your visit while being discreet. I purchased a small recorder to keep track of the details while doing the shop, but that is very time consuming to review the recording and then do the narratives/reports. Also, keeping track of the time by seconds...what is your best method to use? Then last, the reports take me one to two hours to do or more. How do you do several shops in a day plus complete all the narratives? I have done about 30 shops, but surely there is a way to do this easier. Could you share how you remember the details from the shop and how you complete narratives/reports quickly? Help me, please!!

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Practice and repetition. Some of us use recording devices as a backup and still complete the reports from memory. In the early days I had to listen to my whole recording. Now if I need it at all it plays in the background allowing me to pick up a quote here and there while filling in the report. There are also many different types of shops and reports. When you read about shoppers completing 10 and 15 shops a day normally most of them will not be narrative intensive and certainly not all due the same day as the shop.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
If you have a voice recorder you already have one of the best ways to get timings. Just make sure there's an audible cue at each timing point on your recording. Then go back and listen. If it's a timing of something that's not audible, like when you join the shortest line at a fast food restaurant, I just cough.

What type of shops have you been doing?

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I also use the cough or clearing my throat to count the number of people ahead of me in line if it isn't too long. The downside is if there are more than three or four it might be mistaken for having a contagious disease.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
An hour or two to complete narratives seems very long to me. However, it depends on what shops you are doing. I've never needed more than 45 minutes and that's for a detailed shop.

After recording my shop with my iPhone, I get home and start by writing up the events of the night from start to finish. I don't put in every single detail - only those details that are pertinent to what the guidelines want, or are important to customer service.

I then open up the survey and fill it out by copy and pasting from my pre written narrative.

This allows me about 10 - 20 minutes to write up the narrative, then 10-20 minutes to fill in the survey.

You may want to consider shops with shorter surveys if you believe you are spending too much time on narratives.

.
Mike T
Looking for shops in Western Canada

"Life is good because the alternative is forever "
Thank you for all your comments! The shops that take me so long are the restaurants and car dealerships. Both had several narratives in their reports. I have also done post office, fast food, banks and taking a test at a testing center. Part of my problem is I want to do it perfectly and I am probably overthinking the whole process!!
Creating quality reports can help you build rapport with schedulers and MSC. This rapport, and great evaluations, will open the doors to further opportunities that you may not see right now.

.
Mike T
Looking for shops in Western Canada

"Life is good because the alternative is forever "
LisaSTL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I also use the cough or clearing my throat to
> count the number of people ahead of me in line if
> it isn't too long. The downside is if there are
> more than three or four it might be mistaken for
> having a contagious disease.


Or maybe it is just a fur ball! >^..^<

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
I text myself a lot things like numbrs in queues , as soon as i get out the persons description etc. i use the mystry topwatch for android and the geotag for timings when i go in and text when i leave or use the photo detail for the leavign time. as usua;y have to take a picture of the outside.
Like the other replies, I use my cell phone to text and a good recorder can be your best friend. I put mine in my bra and it works great and no one ever notices it. I will sometimes write on 3 x 5 index cards a few notes that I need to remember and then take notes in the bathroom if needed.

Good luck.
For dinners when we need to keep track of a lot of things and I have a guest with me (usually my husband) we'll text each other information during the dinner, then it doesn't look like one of us is taking notes - it just looks like we're kind of being rude to each other.

Ellie in Ohio - trying to get those ends to meet...
I have been using a post it note app on my cell phone to take notes. It looks like I am texting. It has speech to text option so I could look like I am talking on the phone if necessary, but I have not had to do that. I usually put the start time in walking to the store, usually just 1145 or whatever the time is. If I need to take a lot of notes during a shop, I'll put info in there as well, again looking like I am texting. The hardest ones are the grocery store shops in my area. I rarely do them but you have to keep track of 7+ employees by name and physical description. For those, I have note cards that look like a shopping list so I just make notes on there.

I have a digital recorder but it didn't occur to me to "take notes" in my bra grinning smiley. I'll have to see if I can find that!
Be very alert to shop instructions RIMS because I have seen a number of them that want you to stow your phone during a shop. The reasoning is that associates are less likely to approach a person who is on their phone, whether talking or texting.
I'm brand new to this and I, too find it difficult to stop watch and all of those things. I'm usually very dependent on my cell, but read that you should not have it out. Now, I am confused.

Silver Certified
Some shops tell you in the instructions not to use your cell, other shops I do specifically tell you to use your cell to take notes--make it look like you are texting. I try to come up with a memory device if I can--did a flower shop and the salesperson's name was Mary so I remembered that by the old Nursery Rhyme, Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow grinning smiley. For new shops I print the reports and have them in my car and fill them out in the car when I am done--move down the street if I have to. Sometimes I take some paper and a pen and make it look like a shopping list if applicable. There have been times where I have to remember brands of items shown to me in a retail shop. I ask the salesperson to jot them down on the back of a business card or whatever. I did a hardware shop where I had to name the brands shown to me and I told the salesperson that I wanted to go home and do some more research on the internet because I couldn't pick one and just wrote them down while he was there.
For many jobs a cell phone is just fine. Just watch your instructions and use good common sense. People don't tend to 'interrupt' folks who are on their cell phones--either talking, texting or just futzing around. So you do a disservice to store associates in giving them credit for offering you assistance in a timely fashion if you are dithering with your phone.

A cheap digital watch from Walmart (ca. $10) will have a timer that can be inconspicuously started and stopped without looking at the watch. It may make sense for you to do your timings that way and then later dither with your phone and enter the information.
Yes, some judgement needs to be exercised on when to use a cell phone if allowed. Certainly it is not something you would do while waiting for initial contact.
Also, the more traditional grocery shops (with the large item on the bottom of the cart, etc.) is a good one for learning. You need groceries anyway so not much money is at risk. You can either use the phone to take notes (as everyone uses a phone in grocery to get coupons, etc.) or you can use a cheat sheet on a regular piece of paper folded up like a shopping list. Also, some people use the sales flyer and write on it.

While learning, beware of the harder grocery ones that aren't the typical traditional grocery store format as they are more involved (like Whole Foods are more involved).

Shopping across Indiana but mostly around Indianapolis.
I never have a problem remembering the details of an interaction, but do often have trouble remembering names. I'll even double and triple check the name tag, and then as soon as I turn around I'm like "WTH was their name?!" Also facial hair (on men, I think I'd remember it on a woman) and glasses... those are just part of someone's face and I naturally don't even notice unless it's extreme. Like a goatee I may have difficulty remembering, but a 'Duck Dynasty' beard I don't think I'd miss. Also glasses... unless they're really unusual in some way they're just part of the person. So I have to really try to remember those items as well.

But how stuff played out? No issues remembering, unless they want direct quotes. I hate when they want direct quotes. smiling smiley

Happiness is merely life's way of keeping you off-balance.
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