I did my second gas station shop and goofed it up. I didn't take all of the required photos, took many photos I thought were required but weren't. I probably won't get paid for the job, and possibly won't get jobs from them again. My frustration is that I think I've gotten their instructions straight, but have to assume I haven't.
Has anyone else had difficulties with these jobs?
In answer to your question, shoppers have difficulties with almost all shops. There is a definite learning curve to any of them, and the more you do of one kind the better you'll be at that shop. Most companies are understanding of the problems we have with "new to us" shops especially if we are new shoppers. The best thing you can do is do it over if possible and stay in the game.
If it's too late to get a reschedule on that shop, it would be good to let the mystery shopping company know that you want to do better and would like to continue to shop with them. They're not looking to get rid of you, they're looking to get you going. Your concern about this shop is a signal that you are conscientious and can develop into an elite shopper for that company. They need shoppers, not ex-shoppers, and as long as you're working at it you have a good chance of hanging in there with them. But you have to communicate. That is always key.
Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Each gas station has different requirements. Many find it helpful to have a cheat sheet. That way you know exactly what you need and can check off each photo requirement. You can contact the scheduler and find out if you can go back and get the missing photos. There definitely is a learning curve for each brand of gas stations.
Gas stations had a big learning curve for me, but I hung in there because I wanted to be good at it. The MSC wants you to be successful. You want to be successful. Your on the same team!
I took the advice of the good people on this forum and made my own cheat sheet, listing in order the steps to take and the pictures I needed, so I could check them off when done. I have one for each brand and I just print it off when I need one.
If you can go back and fix that station, do it. I made a mistake I couldn't fix, so when they called me to see if I was interested in trying some more, I took them at base price. Kind of a Mea Culpa because I'm all about my bonuses.
When I make a mistake (and I still do) I go back and fix it. No matter how far I have to go. We'll see how the next round goes. I look forward to completing my first route without any errors or go backs. I must say the MSC is very understanding. But I complete a LOT of gas stations for them, with very few errors now.
Hang in there. You can do this.
I also have a cheat sheet and on it as well as things I have to look for I have the required photos. At the end of the inspection I get in my car and go back through my photos crossing them off on the cheat sheet as I do so. It's not uncommon for me to find i missed a photo but since I'm still there I go back and take it. One of the companies that does these shops will just send you back there for the photos if you missed any.
Some time ago, I began bringing my laptop with me. As soon as I was finished taking the required photos, I downloaded them into the laptop, into their own file for that particular address. After downloading, I reviewed and named each pertinent photo.
Because, oft times the photo is not accurate or distiguishable. The naming helps me when doing the report. There have been many times when I've found that I've missed a photo.
As jpgilham says, a "cheatsheet" is invaluable. Make one in MSWord and keep updating it as the requirements change. For instance: the Pegasus stations used to ask about lubricants - no more! However, they now ask about customer surveys and most recently a loyalty type of card.
For me, I often review the actual questions on the report, if possible. There you shall be able to find the exact questions needing to be answered and areas of the shop needing scrutinising.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2015 12:24PM by Tatjana.
Some very good advice above. Once you think you understand the requirements I feel the most importatnt thing is a worksheet (cheatsheet). I have revised each brands worksheet several times but basically it is set up in the order that I do the gas station - fuel - c-store - restroom - inside pictures - pumps - MID - overall. At the top is a list of required photos which get checked off. It is best to check your photos while still parked at the station to make sure they are clear and nothing missed.
It is also important to have a clear beginning and end to each shop. Mine is the beginning photo of my worksheet with the name and address and the ending photo of the receipts. Everything in between belongs to that station.
Keep at it - you will find what works for you.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2015 02:08PM by LIJake.
Had one where they said that I didn't report the squeegee or the windshield washer fluid when you can see them in the overall station photo. I wrote back that when it is frozen solid it isn't gonna clean your windshield. They took it.
After a few they begin to make sense and go faster. The first few gas station photo audits I did took forever. There are also variables like the size of the gas station and the types of fuel they sell. I do a happy dance when there is just 2 or 3 pumps and no store. Makes life so much easier.