Phone Calls from Schedulers

I received my first phone call from a scheduler today. He saw I had newly signed up for the company and he had some bank jobs in a few different areas as well as some other jobs available. The problem was I was driving in the middle of my route for the day and was on a tight schedule. I suggested he email me the job info but he said they would call me back later when I wasn't so busy. Is this normal? I didn't want to seem rude or burn a bridge but even if I was interested in some of the jobs I couldn't pull over on the freeway to check my calendar. Which leads me to my question; how do you handle scheduler calls during the day while your out shopping? Since some are calls you don't want to miss like important info about current jobs or schedulers looking for last minute help. How do you deal with them and still get your jobs completed?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2016 06:25AM by wwin.

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Yes, I'm pretty sure it was. I was focusing on roads and LA drivers but I'm pretty sure he said Maritz.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2016 06:48AM by wwin.
Maritz hobbles their schedulers by constraining them to phone contact only. With rare exception, they don't have access to email. I rarely work with them anymore, and a large reason was the frustration of dealing with everything by phone. Phone calls are intrusive to me, particularly when I know the schedulers must hang up and ask permission for bonus requests, then call me back. They're way behind the times when it comes to communication and technology.
I answer when I have time to talk and am interested in considering a shop. When I get a call and can't talk, it goes to Voice Mail. If it's not a scheduler I have a relationship with and they don't describe the shop (at least the basic description of what kind of shop it is. Bonus points for a mention of two out of these three: the location, the pay, and the timeline when they need it completed by). Often they don't provide any of this information. Those messages don't often get a callback from me.

Shopper in California's Bay Area
I think it is good business practice to respond to all business calls. I did it in my last business and do it now in this business. As for Maritz, my most profitable week is the last week of the month when I do urgent bonused shops. It is my belief that Maritz calls me because they know I will either answer the phone or call back and I think they call me because they know that when a shop is accepted it will be done on time and correctly. They also know that I know this is somewhat of a desperate situation for them and do not generally accept the first bonus offered. The schedulers are under time restraints and I respect their time but I find negotiating fun and profitable.
I have Maritz in my address book (shows on my caller id) so i know not to answer unless i want to (rarely). So frustrating they do not use email and don't have descriptions with their shops on their website. I don't answer the phone for anyone while driving. I found having only one hand on the wheel can be dangerous.
It sounds like this is a Maritz calling issue and not common with most other schedulers. Maybe I can give Maritz its own ringtone so I can recognize them calling when I'm driving since my car has hands-free speaker phone I don't see the number on my phone. I don't like talking when I drive but I can't stand letting the phone go to voice mail. My husband says I'm the ultimate pessimist always sure the phone is ringing because something terrible has happened.
I have several MSCs phone numbers in my address book (so they show up on Caller ID). I tend not to answer the phone at all if I don't know who's calling, and especially if they can't be bothered to leave a message.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I have my schedulers' phone numbers in my phone contacts. I usually don't answer the phone if I don't recognize the number.

It does seem funny, however, that Maritz usually calls me when I am either in the middle of one of their shops or when I am driving to one of their shops. I either let it go to voice mail and return the call later, or I may push the "answer" and "speaker" button and tell them to hang on while I find a place to pull off the road.
This seems to be the week for bonuses for some of Maritz ones. I got a $30 bonus for a home improvement store about 5 miles away scheduled for Thursday.

Shopping across Indiana but mostly around Indianapolis.
This seems to be the week for bonuses for some of Maritz ones. I got a $30 bonus for a home improvement store about 5 miles away scheduled for Thursday.

Shopping across Indiana but mostly around Indianapolis.
@wwin
If you remember the name of the bank, give Maritz a call today and ask to speak to the team that handles the client. Anyone on that team will be able to look up the phone log and see who called you and what they called about. They will then be able to continue the conversation. Plus, they will document that you called back, and that will only look good to future schedulers when they are deciding who to call with their next offer.
I don't pick up the phone while I'm driving on the expressway. Ever. I don't think it's safe (even with a hands-free set). But I do return my business calls as soon as I get to a place I can park and return them. You never know--a returned phone call might be profitable!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
A good tip, like someone else stated, is to save the phone number in your phone so you know who's calling next time. It'll give you a chance to decide whether to answer your phone on the spot for a potential bonus shop, or to let it go to voicemail if it's one of those "reminder calls" some MSC's tend to give out.

A suggestion is to create a "category" in your phone contact to isolate your MSC contacts from your personal contacts and other contacts, in general.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 31 year old male and willing to travel!
In my experience, the people at Maritz are very good at leaving detailed messages, when my phone goes to voice mail.
@spaztck wrote:

In my experience, the people at Maritz are very good at leaving detailed messages, when my phone goes to voice mail.

That's weird, because I've found the opposite to be true. For a company that likes to use the phone as much as it does, I'm surprised they don't provide more detail when they leave a message. I seriously got one the other day that said, "Hi CaliGirl, this is xyz at Maritz. We've got some shops available that are near you and I was wondering if you would be interested in picking some up. Please give me a call back and ask for Team X. Thanks!"

Seriously? I returned the call, but I felt like a dunce. "No, I have no idea which shop it was for, when it needs to be done by, what the proposed fee is, what location the scheduler was calling about, or any of the other pertinent details. None of those things were included in the message." That was when I decided to stop returning vague voicemails. When they really need something done (i.e. when there's a bonus), they usually provide more detail.

Plus, Maritz has the annoying habit of calling to see if I want to pick up shops for base rate that are posted on their job board. No thanks. If I wanted that shop for the base rate I would have taken it. I take plenty at the base rate, what makes you think that one just escaped my notice? grr.. ok, vent over. I, of course, didn't say any of this to the (very nice) scheduler on the phone.

Shopper in California's Bay Area
@wwin wrote:

Yes, I'm pretty sure it was. I was focusing on roads and LA drivers but I'm pretty sure he said Maritz.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but Maritz bank shops are usually scheduled through KSS.
My experience is that, whatever the company, unless you talk to them then they will not call back and they all enter what you said in there files.
First thing to say is 78% of the people you will deal with are nice. They are trying to get a job done same as everyone else. Then you have the % of newbies trying to fill their quota. They are just as nervous as you. Than the 2% that you don't want to talk to you can say I'm in the back of Walmart and I can't hear you, Call me back I'll let it go to voice mail.

Pretty much schedulers know that they could be calling you at a time when you may be driving; lost or in the middle of a shop. Answer the phone and if it's them. something like: Hi honey. You know what, I'm at the Hardware store right now talking to the guy about that patio furniture I wanted to look at. Can you call me back into about _______.

They would not be calling unless there is an issue. They will call back and/or leave a message. Ask them to throw you a few bucks. They will probably say yes. This is going to save them hours of phone tag. What is the worst they could do say no.

I
The only other MSC that has called me more than Maritz was Market Force (before the loss of the big account). Ray from MF was always hot on the trail. I had to save the two numbers I got called from so I'd be able to know right away that MF was calling. The different ring tone someone else mentioned is a good idea. I personally hate phone calls, though. Send me an email or text and I'll reply ASAP.

Maritz does seem totally archaic, though. I was just finishing up my application with them and they were still asking about ancient technologies from the late 90's and early 2000's. Like 56k modems and portable CD players or something.
I also have them listed in my contacts so their name pops up when they call. Let it go to voicemail if its not the best time but if you have a few minutes answer you my get a nice bonus.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
I wish MF would leave a message_. I know theyre calling for a food shop because thats all i do for them.
@optikdave wrote:

I wish MF would leave a message_. I know theyre calling for a food shop because thats all i do for them.

They leave me messages about half the time.
I got a call from MF yesterday (only about the second time I've ever gotten a phone call from a scheduler), and the guy left a message. I wasn't going to call back because I didn't feel like doing the shop, but it's a fast-casual place that the family loves, so I called back and got a bonus. So, it was worth the call!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Hi wwin,

Anytime anyone calls I let it go to message to screen my calls. I then return or email the answer accordingly. I do this because I like to have email proof of the communication. I do this for my benefit as well as the scheduler. This is not "to get them". I do not just ignore calls though. I am usually busy. This is my advice to you. When you are busy let it go to message. How you respond is up to your system. I have seen other people complain of a company that is vehement in their telephone communication. I ignore these type people because I am not signing up for the shops. Also, eventually, they do stop.

Your time is precious and valuable. Best of luck!

Sandra P. Dunne
Phone Mystery Shopper
www.linkedin.com/in/sandrapdunne
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