How do you never make mistakes on these reports?

I'm finding this line of work more challenging than I thought it would be. Today I had a Panda Express shop, and it went fine. I also did one two days ago and reported it. The one two days ago was a dine-in shop. The one today was a drive thru at the same location. I named each file folder like this:

I use a PC and Windows to do my reports. The trouble is, I think that I might have uploaded the two required pictures for the 03-23 shop from the 0321 shop, which means that I might have uploaded the wrong pictures to the second shop. This was caused by the way the file folder opens up when I click the link in the report. When I clicked the link tonight, the folder that I last opened two days ago, was opened again. The pictures of the food looked the same, since I ordered the same thing both times (rice, orange chicken, chicken egg roll). But when I realized it, I found out there was no way I could correct the error (if I did make the error).

The report takes a long time to do. because you can only answer a few questions at a time. Another company lets you see the whole report at once and you just go down the page. But the company with the Panda shops is different.

How do you prevent these mistakes? Do you do your reports when you aren't tired? I feel the pressure of having to do many shops because few of them pay well. But then I find myself spending more time on the reports.

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Sorry to hear about your "Oh Crap" moment. I've learned to check, double check and triple check before I hit submit.

Yes, tired has a lot to do with it. Mistakes sometimes get made. Best thing to do is email the scheduler, apologize, ask her to check and get back to you. OR you could just ask to have the report sent back to you, without explaining the reason, other than you wanted to verify something for accuracy.

I used to label my files the way you do, but now I add little codes for location details in addition to the date. This helps because most locations won't allow you to repeat the shop for a certain time window. Then on a monthly basis I stick everything in a completed shop folder for that month.

Where are we going... and why are we in a hand basket?
Instead of just relying on the date, location and client to name your folders, name each individual shop a unique ID (ex. 0001, 0002, 0003, etc.). In your case:

0001 - 20150321 - (CITY) PANDA EXPRESS
0002 - 20150323 - (CITY) PANDA EXPRESS

You also rely on the metadata in your pictures. Does your camera list when the picture was taken?

In each of those folders, you throw in pictures related to the shop. Additionally, take some time and take some digital notes on your phone, screenshot it and then put them into their respective folders. It'll help refresh your memory if you need to reference back to them.

This method especially helps when I'm performing like 10 shops of the same client in one day.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
We all make mistakes.

If you think you messed up...Contact your scheduler. 9 times out of 10 they will try to work with you. I messed up a couple of weeks back. I was forgiven & managed to get a great score. When I first started, I was blessed with a scheduler who understands; stuff happens. I will be forever thankful for her.

Print out your reports. Use them as an outline for every step in your report. Utilize the recording app on you phone and have it running as you drive to the next joint. There is no such thing as taking too many notes.

When you get home and you're worried about getting your reports submitted on time...take sometime to calm down. I drive routes. I normally need a nap, before I start my reports. If I don't take my nap, my reports SUCK.

You will eventually find your groove. Don't try to push the envelope. The goal is to be a shopper that schedulers call and recommend.


Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!
I do a couple of same Client shops for the one MSC also. I have found that when there are pictures involved to label each set of photos with different name. I separate the photos taken with a picture unrelated to the theme of the shops. This way I know when the next set of photos are being taken. With each set of pictures a unknown object is taken, such as a car, bus, train..........something. This way I know when the next set of pictures are for the next shop. Because rarely do I have a chance to change out the memory card. I do carry a second camera and MC and extra batteries in case one camera battery source becomes exhausted.

Then when I use PAINT or a cropping source I named the files differently. Like------>

PANDA Express, Assign ID,MSC, and date.
The second file is named---->Assign ID, PANDA Express, Date, and MSC.
The third file is named---->MSC, Assign ID, PANDA Express and date.

I want the date to be included because I frequently do same shops different days and I don't want to mix up pics. And Assign ID is always different. So that my separate factor but this is the method I use. You will find your own method but this way you won't be submitting or mixing up photos. And you do want to be PAID. If there is still time get in touch with your scheduler and re-name of those two files so the possible mix up won't continue to happen. smiling smiley
The secret is that no one does it 100% correct every time. Fess up; offer to fix it; and then forgive yourself.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I put a file folder on my desktop and name it by the date. So today's will be named March 24, 2015. Then I put today's photos in the file folder. Later I drag it into my Mystery Shopping folder. I have never mixed up photos. As sojo said I also separate photos taken on the same day by a photo of my dashboard in my car. So I might have 13 photos from a gas station, then a photo of my dashboard then the next set of photos. That way I know which photos belong to which location.
Another suggestion is taking pictures of your "Start" and "End" mileage between shops. It's basically killing two birds with one stone; I can log down mileage that would later be transferred over to my overall mystery shopping tracking sheet.

So in between the picture of my mileages, I'd include everything related to the shop (receipt picture, pictures to help me remember something later such as the presentation of an entree, Geoverify, notes, etc.)

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
My strategy is to leave the pics on my camera until I am doing the report. Then I download only the pictures for the report I am about to do. That way the pictures I will attach to the report are always the last ones I downloaded, so if the folder is sorted by date order, I'm not pulling pictures out of the middle of the folder, always from the end. I don't make folders for each shop, all the pics go in the same folder. When I finish one report, I pull the next shop's worth of pictures off the camera and do that report. Like someone else mentioned, separate the shops by taking a picture of the header for the shop instructions showing the address or a picture of the building.

But no matter what strategy you use, there will come a time when a picture lands on the wrong report. Notify them immediately when you discover this; never wait until they tell you about it or you could get deactivated for re-using a photo.

Time to build a bigger bridge.
I had been confused 2x or so when I was doing reports galore and my laptop or scanner was acting up. It also happened because I had 8 or 12 hour deadline. I immediately emailed my schedulers and attached the correct photos. They were very accommodating. My reports went through but I don't know how much I lost in points.
Oh, my. I thought I was the queen of bloopers. Oh, well. Live and learn.

May I add one little thing about separating pictures? If you are walking between from shop location to shop location, you can take pictures of anything in between destinations. This is a variation on Tarantado's suggestion several posts about this one.

The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!"
Humbert Wolfe
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan {that was then; this is now-- the age of demanded and. apparently, permitted, infanticide. how far and how rapidly we have devolved!}
I have learned my lesson. The first thing I do when I have a lot of photos, receipts or documents to download in one day is to scan each one and name and date them individually. I have not had any mishap since then. Also, I am now very careful with not overdoing the shops. If there are any 8 or 12 hours, I tend to be extra careful since any distraction is an added waste of time. I lessen my load and consider the other obligations in my belt. And when it comes to reporting, I treat everything as an 8 hour or 12 noon deadline. When I go to sleep, everything is done.
@jpgilham wrote:

I put a file folder on my desktop and name it by the date. So today's will be named March 24, 2015. Then I put today's photos in the file folder. Later I drag it into my Mystery Shopping folder. I have never mixed up photos. As sojo said I also separate photos taken on the same day by a photo of my dashboard in my car. So I might have 13 photos from a gas station, then a photo of my dashboard then the next set of photos. That way I know which photos belong to which location.

Yes, temporary working folders are very useful! I do this too. Also my file names have become longer.

Maybe it may not be a good idea to start file names with the year. They can all be put in folders by the month and then year later after you are done processing. My date code is 032415 (for today) then I have a 2 or 3 letter code for location, sometimes a company code if needed. If you are frequently doing many shops, a date code of 240315 may work better (Euro style) because the first numbers you see will make the file dissimilar and stand out. I would decide on a method and stick with it though.

So for me 032415_MF_BH would be: today/Mayfield/Beyond Hello. This way if I forget what I'm doing, I never lose who the file goes to. I can log into Beyond Hello and I'm mentally back on track.

A few times I've shopped with just hand written shorthand notes for guidelines to avoid taking a book with me, and came home and FORGOT the company. Did the shop right - just don't know who the heck it goes to! (Sounds silly, LOL, but when you're tired and had a marathon day of 26 shops for 9 different companies, a few that you've never worked for before... well I'm sure you can picture the hair-pulling, eye-watering, cursing fit scene in front of the computer at 10pm when you can't figure out who to log into to file the report, 3 reports left due at 11:59pm and tick-tick-tick).

Where are we going... and why are we in a hand basket?
Looks like everyone has their own way of labeling their folders. Let me add my two cents. I keep a folder for each month. Within the month I have a folder for any shops with photos. Those folders contain the name of shop, date, and either city or street name. That way I don't get confused.

We do all make mistakes. Just learn from the ones that you can and move forward.
For me it would be:



We can often (if allowed) do two of the same shops in one day and when I am uploading pictures, just the name Panda is not going to be enough, I want the street I shopped it... to correspond with the pictures I took. smiling smiley
In my Pictures library I have a folder called 'Secret Shopper'. Within that folder are sub-folders for each store. When I download photos from my camera (one job at a time), I label them with Store Name, date of job, and location.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
Wow, all the variations. I have tried a few ways but for me the most intuitive and easiest to search through later is a Folder / Subfolder system that goes:

MS Co's

But with the company that does Panda - there is the "Summary" feature within the report. If you click on that you can see the entire report at one time an click the "Edit" pencil icon to change information. Sure beats clicking NEXT and BACK constantly.
I have a folder for each month and inside that a folder for each shop date. Since the majority of the MSCs assign project numbers I use that as a starting point. So if I do a shop, for instance, for MarketForce and the project number is 12855667, then I make a folder for that. I put all the pictures for that project in that folder. After I have edited my photos I save them in that same folder as 12855667-StoreName/number-title of picture, i.e BldgEntrance, ExteriorSignage, Receipt, etc.-date. So if I were doing the Panda shop it might look like 12855667-Panda567AlbNM-Receipt-032415.
I get very confused with this kind of thing. I use my phone for photos and it is set to upload automatically to my laptop with dropbox. I highly recommend this. They are in sequential order so I keep them straight that way. Once I open dropbox I save the photos to the desktop with names like Auntannnap. I don't put dates. After I upload them into a report I drag the photo into a folder on my desktop where I keep all my shopping receipts. It isn't super organized like most of the systems mentioned above but it is quick. I have my receipts in 3 places (a paper copy, a folder and in dropbox in the cloud.)

I also downloaded a time stamp. I believe that it can retroactively tell you the time and date of a photo.

Also, I usually open up what I download into a report to make sure it is there and is correct.

I like the company that does Panda b/c I enjoy seeing the whole report which is my finished product. Makes me proud and I think I try a bit harder too.
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