How do schedulers decide on who gets assigned a shop?

I have been shopping for over 15 years and have pretty strong ratings with most companies that I shop for. It remains a mystery to me how shops are assigned. Can anyone enlighten me?

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I personally assign shops based first on rotation, then by quality of work. Since Servimer managers both schedule and edit I would rather assign shops to shoppers whose work I know will need little editing. But honestly I've given shops to people who I'd rather not just because of rotation. Not being outed as a shopper is EXCEPTIONALLY important for cash integrity shops.

Servimer Regional Manager- Midwest, including Chicago, Wisconsin & Minnesota
Goodf or you to give newbies a chance! Even though you do this primarily because of rotation, you always have an opportunity to discover a star or nurture a soon-to-be wonderful shopper.

.. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
@Shop-et-al wrote:

Goodf or you to give newbies a chance! Even though you do this primarily because of rotation, you always have an opportunity to discover a star or nurture a soon-to-be wonderful shopper.

Servimer will ALWAYS give a new shopper at least one shop to see what kind of work they submit. If I have a brand new shopper apply AND take the required certification quiz they may not get the exact location they wanted but they will be offered at minimum one shop in the area to try.

Servimer Regional Manager- Midwest, including Chicago, Wisconsin & Minnesota
Too bad Servimer never has shops for me. And I'll go up to (and even sometimes beyond) 400 miles in any direction!
@ceasesmith wrote:

Too bad Servimer never has shops for me. And I'll go up to (and even sometimes beyond) 400 miles in any direction!

Feel free to come visit Chicago (or Minneapolis/St. Paul... I am ALWAYS looking for shoppers there). I will keep you super busy for a few days in Chicago!

Servimer Regional Manager- Midwest, including Chicago, Wisconsin & Minnesota
Thanks for the invite -- if I'm ever there, I'll take you up on it!

smiling smiley

(But I don't do cities, sadly)
I take a lot into consideration if there are several applicants. With SASSIE, it generally will not let a shopper apply if they are not in rotation for the shop (if all is set up properly). With some of my accounts, I still have to check if the shopper has done one recently, since some do not allow more than one per month.

First, I look for a shopper that has helped with a difficult location. Just as most shoppers are willing to help out schedulers that have helped them, I try to remember those shoppers that have helped me and push them to the top of the list for shops they want (I sometimes will hold shops that are very desirable and fly off the boards for these shoppers).

Second, I look at flakes and cancellations. Shoppers without any are going to be more likely to get the shop, obviously. I don't mark reschedules (that is kept in my head if it is done frequently).

Third, is rating. The higher the rating, the more likely the shop gets done correctly and I don't have to refill it later.

If those three things did not narrow it down to one shopper, I look at the date in which the shopper applied. The earliest date will get the shop.

*Edited to add that new shoppers do get preference sometimes, if the shop is not a very desirable shop that is detailed. Have to pay your dues before you get desirable shops over the established shoppers.*

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/19/2019 07:21PM by KSSPete.
If I were a scheduler, then In the absence of a good reason not to, I think I would just assign the shop to the first one to apply. Wham, done, on to the next one. Most would work out fine, and the ones that didn't would henceforth fall into the "good reason not to" category.

What actual schedulers actually do, I haven't yet figured out.
In general, I try to assign a shop to a proven shopper who has never done that location before. That way they are new to the client but have already proven themselves reliable to me. From there it depends on the client. Some clients I work with only want new shoppers, others may have a rotation. If a client doesn’t care about rotation I still try to find new shoppers so the client isn’t always getting the same point of view. That said, when it is a remote location or a really challenging shop, that can change the decision also.

By the way there are so many times, just like shoppers, that I wish shops were in self-assign mode. It would make our lives so much easier. But it is usually up to the client, or there is usually some other reason why we can’t.

Thank you!

Kate Rattner, Mystery Shop Scheduler

kateschedules@gmail.com



Sign up for my database for several shop opportunities!
[docs.google.com]
Krattner, for whom do you schedule?

(And I'm that shopper who wants every scheduler to remember that I did that location no one else could do....I might have to reschedule, but I don't cancel unless absolutely unavoidable.)

smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2019 03:16PM by ceasesmith.
I schedule for IPSOS and Confero through Summit and for Coyle. I also scheduled for Mercantile for several years.

Thank you!

Kate Rattner, Mystery Shop Scheduler

kateschedules@gmail.com



Sign up for my database for several shop opportunities!
[docs.google.com]
Ah....you don't do any scheduling in my part of the country, then. I love, love, LOVE the schedulers at IPSOS! What a great bunch!
I do parts of NY, NJ and MA, and all of DE, ND, SD and most of MT for the shipping client.

Thank you!

Kate Rattner, Mystery Shop Scheduler

kateschedules@gmail.com



Sign up for my database for several shop opportunities!
[docs.google.com]
I do shop SD. But I've never found any of your shops in the western part of the state, where I shop.

sad smiley
@panama18 wrote:

If I were a scheduler, then In the absence of a good reason not to, I think I would just assign the shop to the first one to apply. Wham, done, on to the next one. Most would work out fine, and the ones that didn't would henceforth fall into the "good reason not to" category.

What actual schedulers actually do, I haven't yet figured out.

That's not a bad way to get everything assigned quickly (although, EVERYTHING never gets assigned quickly), but you'd be surprised how quickly you have 10 applications for one shop. We almost never know who applied first, because we can't just refresh the application screen all day. There's emails to answer, difficult locations to call shoppers to try to fill, and many of us are working on several accounts at once, sometimes for more than one company.

You need to make sure the shop is completed, and correctly. The first time helps. So we have to be selective.

**Edited to say... It may seem easy, but I work more than 40 hours per week, at least 6 days per week (often 7). Just last night, I got a text at 2:30am. That shop was assigned at 2:32am. It's not as easy as just picking the first one.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/22/2019 05:18AM by KSSPete.
@KSSPete wrote:

@panama18 wrote:

If I were a scheduler, then In the absence of a good reason not to, I think I would just assign the shop to the first one to apply. Wham, done, on to the next one. Most would work out fine, and the ones that didn't would henceforth fall into the "good reason not to" category.

What actual schedulers actually do, I haven't yet figured out.

That's not a bad way to get everything assigned quickly (although, EVERYTHING never gets assigned quickly), but you'd be surprised how quickly you have 10 applications for one shop. We almost never know who applied first, because we can't just refresh the application screen all day. There's emails to answer, difficult locations to call shoppers to try to fill, and many of us are working on several accounts at once, sometimes for more than one company.

Adding to that; It's about more than just getting shops assigned quickly. Schedulers and MSCs have relationships with shoppers that need to be maintained, and a responsibility to the MSCs to put in a large number of quality shoppers within the stated rotation, parsed out over the month. If a shopper relies on a particular MSC to provide them assignment each month and gets no shops because they didn't log in within 24 hours of assignments being posted, that shopper will eventually lose interest in working with a particular scheduler or company. And if all shops are scheduled the first week of the month, the editors will be overwhelmed for one week and then not work the rest of the month.

When I was scheduling, I found it best to put shops out there...wait a few days for the applications to come in, and then assign to the known shoppers equally, filing in the remaining spots with some new shoppers. That keeps the load on editorial even, and also keeps the scheduler/shopper relationship good.

Some shoppers would log in immediately after assignments were posted and apply for 100% of the shops with their shopping radius. While it may seem convenient to assign all of those 100 shops to 1 shopper, that would probably be disastrous.
I had a very sour experience with two schedulers at summit in the last 48 hours. I am good shopper and will go to the hard to place shops. I would not walk across the street for these two clowns.
Well there is definitely one MSC (has not been mentioned on the thread) out there who does not follow the above suggestions. When I once asked the scheduler why they don't ever give me anything (I was on a streak of 51 applied for with this MSC not being accepted), the scheduler flat out told me they give them all to one shopper in my area every period. Basic little $7 shop I can do without, but still.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/22/2019 08:49PM by KA047.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

Some shoppers would log in immediately after assignments were posted and apply for 100% of the shops with their shopping radius. While it may seem convenient to assign all of those 100 shops to 1 shopper, that would probably be disastrous.

Why? That's usually how I work. I get all of a particular shop in an area (and if possible 2 or 3 types of shops) and fill in from there. That's the only way to make this profitable.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@bgriffin wrote:

@SteveSoCal wrote:

Some shoppers would log in immediately after assignments were posted and apply for 100% of the shops with their shopping radius. While it may seem convenient to assign all of those 100 shops to 1 shopper, that would probably be disastrous.

Why? That's usually how I work. I get all of a particular shop in an area (and if possible 2 or 3 types of shops) and fill in from there. That's the only way to make this profitable.

Well..it depends on the type of shop. As you know, I was scheduling hotels and restaurants. 100 of those in a month is not feasible.....
Some clients also do not allow more than one, two, or three shops by the same shopper per month. Almost every one I schedule for has rules on the amount allowed by one shopper.
100 Hotels or restaurants would be difficult, 100 gas station audits piece of cake. I used to do just under 400 a quarter, and only technically had 10 weeks to do them although I did so much work for that company they trusted me if I ran a bit late on some.

I guess it's client dependent. I know in the video world most schedulers prefer to assign one person all of the shops in an area. I'm on a 6 day route right now, I have 20ish shops in 1 state for 1 client, 10 shops for another in 1 city along with 4 shops for yet another in the same city. All of those schedulers would have balked if I had only wanted half of their shops. In fact 1 had a college apartment shop that I REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLY didn't want to do that she kind of twisted my arm to take.

The above mentioned gas audits I used to do had a requirement from the company that 50% of their shops went to dedicated shoppers.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@KSSPete wrote:

@panama18 wrote:

If I were a scheduler, then In the absence of a good reason not to, I think I would just assign the shop to the first one to apply. Wham, done, on to the next one. Most would work out fine, and the ones that didn't would henceforth fall into the "good reason not to" category.

What actual schedulers actually do, I haven't yet figured out.

That's not a bad way to get everything assigned quickly (although, EVERYTHING never gets assigned quickly), but you'd be surprised how quickly you have 10 applications for one shop. We almost never know who applied first, because we can't just refresh the application screen all day. There's emails to answer, difficult locations to call shoppers to try to fill, and many of us are working on several accounts at once, sometimes for more than one company.

You need to make sure the shop is completed, and correctly. The first time helps. So we have to be selective.

**Edited to say... It may seem easy, but I work more than 40 hours per week, at least 6 days per week (often 7). Just last night, I got a text at 2:30am. That shop was assigned at 2:32am. It's not as easy as just picking the first one.

OMG 2:30 AM????? Just why... It obviously was a hard to fill location.
Consider turning the ringer off when you should be sleeping.

Remembering why I quit scheduling. Sheesh.
I have a really good contract with CI. It's worth a few hundred a round. Problem is that when other good jobs pop up I'm not given them. I believe in my heart it's because they have to give other shoppers a chance since I already have a good contract that is regularly offered to me every couple of months. I am given first pick of those assignments before other shoppers I believe because I have a relationship with the locations (doctor's office), I think it's so that the locations don't become skeptical because every time it's someone new coming in. I think this helps them to feel comfortable when I come in to invade the patient rooms and change the brochures, they feel more comfortable with the same person coming every couple of months. I really can't get mad about being passed over for those other jobs because I think I have the highest paid job, and if they gave me everything the other shoppers would probably quit, or at least stop looking for jobs on the job board.
I like that job because one week every couple of months I can make decent money (some times the same amount of money) without having to do any routes. All of the assignments are in town or a suburb of my town.
@F and L TeleComm: About the patient brochures: those jobs pay well, are hard on my back, and can stand alone or form the basis of a decent shop day. Once, I had to wait so long for a room that I wanted double the agreed payment. But overall, the locations are completed quickly enough to suit me. They are near other shopped and merched places. It's a win!

.. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception. - Oliver Wendell Holmes


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2019 11:35PM by Shop-et-al.
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