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What ones have you seen that are "only a checklist"?

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 just did what I think is the only true checklist only hotel shop that exists.
I’d rather have done a full narrative.

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Coyle has a checklist hotel, but I heard they were pretty intensive, and lots and lots of pics. Is that what you did, Hoju?
Yup. Not worth it.

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@bingozone wrote:

are there any in virginia beach?

Probably. Go look.

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Tons and tons !

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.
@Niner wrote:

How much work are the Coyle hotel shops?

It depends - but I would say a good rule of thumb is however long it takes to write a dinner report (a regular one, not one of the "easy" or no narrative ones) - multiple that by 8. So it takes me, on average, 75 minutes on average to write a dinner report, then it takes me 600 minutes (10 hours) to write a typical 2-night hotel stay with F&B, typical interactions, and spa, as well as organize, upload, and label all of the pictures. This doesn't include the time actually doing the interactions - many of which are ones that you wouldn't normally be doing in the course of staying in a hotel, and some of which can take some serious time.

The no-narrative "checklist" ones I can do in about 6-7 hours total. The first one each year takes me longer, but I get much faster as I get this years "system" down.
I'm going to add, and I am probably in the minority on this opinion, that the experience benefit to work load with Coyle is still in line with other hotel shop companies, but depending on what you are looking for in the shop. Every hotel shop has to offer something - a place to stay when otherwise you would need to pay, loyalty points/perks (either for the hotel stay or airline points - because the company is paying travel, or both), a luxury or high value experiential stay, or money in the form of a fee.

Coyle's strength is a luxury or high value experiential stay for your time and effort. You may (depending on the property) also benefit from the hotel points, but my opinion is that there are other companies (Merc for sure) that give you more of this for WAY less work.

If you are looking for luxury or high value experiential - then Coyle is your jam. If you are looking for a place to stay where otherwise you would need to pay, I am going to assume that you probably need to do something in that area, which makes Coyle probably not a good fit - as you aren't going to have any time to do whatever, and you are going to have to pay out of pocket for another night hotel to get done what you wanted to do in the area in the first place. And if you are looking for wages/fee per hour - Coyle shops are definitely not where you want to go. There are many other hotel companies that pay 5X what Coyle does for similar or less amount of work.
@Niner wrote:

How much work are the Coyle hotel shops?

Again, that all depends. Didn't you complete a dining assignment for them recently? If so, then as Mickey B. stated above, typically 8 times the work of a dining assignment. For me, it would be 10x. Just think of it as at least 3 dining assignments, and then NUMEROUS additional narratives.

Yes, I have time to enjoy the property and its amenities, HOWEVER depending on the property, the length of stay and the client you can be working all day satisfying the survey requirements.

For instance (these all require a narrative):

Arrival - Security
Arrival - Valet
Arrival - Front Desk
Arrival - Bell
Arrival - Room Acclimation
Arrival - Room Inspection - Housekeeping and Engineering (capture approximately 10 images, more if you're in a suite, even more if you find defects)

Data Speed Test

Engineering Request
Housekeeping Request

Public Areas Inspection

F & B - Reservation
F & B - Bar
F & B - Host
F & B - Food
F & B - Dining Room

Turndown - Tests, Capturing Images - Before and After

PBX Wake Up Call Request

AND THIS IS JUST FOR THE DAY OF ARRIVAL

PBX Wake Up Call Receipt

Room Service - Call
Room Service - Receipt
Room Service - Capture Images (covers on, covers off)
Room Service - Tray Removal

Stayover Service (if multiple days booked) - Tests, Capturing Images - Before and After

Activity 1 - write about it

F & B Breakfast - Reservation
F & B Breakfast - Host
F & B Breakfast - Food
F & B Breakfast - Dining Room

Spa - Reservation
Spa - Arrival
Spa - Housekeeping/Engineering
Spa - Treatment(s)
Spa - Retail Purchase
Spa - Departure

F & B Lunch- Reservation
F & B Lunch - Host
F & B Lunch- Food
F & B Lunch - Dining Room

Interactions - Concierge/Bell/Front Desk (yes, all of them)

Public Areas Inspection

Pool - Housekeeping
Pool - Engineering
Pool - Interaction
Pool - Possible additional F & B

Bell - Departure

Front Desk Departure

Valet Departure

And that's it for a typical one-night stay for a resort/property that has numerous amenities that the client would like tested. There are additional things that you may be testing, such as transportation to (and from) the property, a guided tour, golf, etc.

More nights? Add F & B for dinner and another possible bar/lounge, turn down service and a PBX wake up call request and do it all again, without the Spa and Pool tests.

So, as you can see, you will be busy. Sometimes it seems like my guest and I are eating all day long. I write up an itinerary prior to departure for my assignments with multiple nights because there are so many outlets/services that need to be tested.

I would not count on very much free time on your first hotel assignment. That being said, most of the tests are quite enjoyable - What's that? You would like me to enjoy a drink and a meal at a beautiful dining outlet and keep the check to under $300.00? I can do that!

I find that I must work/write throughout my stay and still work hours and hours when I return, and put in quite a bit of time writing and planning before arrival. Now, throw traveling back home, from your international or domestic destination and you can see why it's necessary, at least for me, to write and work throughout my stay. That's me. I can not afford to have an assignment rejected, especially when room rates are typically over $500.00/night, typically much more - one stay for two nights came to a five figure folio. YMMV.

Hope this helps give you an idea of the scope of work required when completing assignments for Coyle. It's definitely not 8-hour days. It's 18+-hour days, devoted to diligently working to put out an objective, well-written, well-thought out and well-supported evaluation, with multiple narratives, accompanying images and supporting documentation that provides value and insight to the client(s), and then being available the next few days to answer/clarify any follow up questions the client and/or support team may have.

Here are two threads that you might find useful besides the thread that SteveSoCal started for Coyle:

[www.mysteryshopforum.com]
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

**Edited to replace a period with a question mark.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2018 03:47AM by Professional Guest.
Here are actual links, as my previous post seems not to provide the hyperlinks:

www.mysteryshopforum.com/read/6/447295/447633#msg-447633
www.mysteryshopforum.com/read/2/436485/442492
I just spent the past five hours trying to write a "correct" Coyle report. That must be true insanity for the hotel reports, based on what you wrote, professional guest and Mickey B. Thank you so much for taking the time to post your responses!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/2018 05:25AM by Niner.
@Niner wrote:

I just spent the past five hours trying to write a "correct" Coyle report. That must be true insanity for the hotel reports, based on what you wrote, professional guest and Mickey B. Thank you so much for taking the time to post your responses!

Take heart, Niner.

One of the first hotel multi-night surveys I completed for Coyle, had numerous points that needed clarification. I probably spent about ten hours writing additional narrative(s) for points the editor wished to clarify, or points that I missed entirely. That was many years ago. They have been professional and courteous, not to mention patient, as I learned to write in their style, and have offered numerous experiences that are bucket list-worthy.

My advice to you, and all who wish to successfully complete a hotel survey, is to start with a one night assignment. The multi-night assignments can be quite challenging and can cause an abnormal amount of anxiety over whether your report will be accepted and your $XXXX.XX folio will be reversed.


***Edited to throw in a few more commas.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/2018 06:55AM by Professional Guest.
I’d be curious to know, and @SteveSoCal may be able to respond with some insight, roughly what percentage of new-hotel-shopper reports Coyle rejects? I know they’re very good about working with new people and the work they produce but there’s got to a a threshold they have where they say “yeah, this is so bad we can’t even finesse it into a usable report.”

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
That is exactly how I would describe their checklist shop.
@Professional Guest wrote:

The multi-night assignments can be quite challenging and can cause an abnormal amount of anxiety over whether your report will be accepted and your $XXXX.XX folio will be reversed.
Has anyone worked for BBS (Better Business Solutions) doing the 2 night Timeshare that is done as a hotel, no selling of the Timeshare....there is much to do, but they pay for all meals on site or off.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

Has anyone worked for BBS (Better Business Solutions) doing the 2 night Timeshare that is done as a hotel, no selling of the Timeshare....there is much to do, but they pay for all meals on site or off.

I’ve done them. While it wasn’t at a five or even four star property, I was pleasantly surprised. That being said, not all of the properties seemed as desirable OR upgraded.

They do NOT pay for all meals. What they do is provide you with a budget, I think it was $100.00,for groceries that you should use to prepare a meal in the unit. You will then write about your experience making that meal. Depending on how frugal you are, you could feed yourself (and your guest) for the entire stay.
Can you tell us what other companies besides Coyle offers hotel/motel assignments? I have worked with Coyle in the past and I agree that the report write up is extensive and the financial return is not worth the time involved.
Professional Guest.....yes, that is the one, however mine is on the water and looked like a nice place, outside of Santa Barbara (which is a special city to me), They give you an allowance, you only cook one meal......I'm sure the 125.00 will take care of my meals....looking forward. Thx for responding.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

Professional Guest.....yes, that is the one, however mine is on the water and looked like a nice place, outside of Santa Barbara (which is a special city to me), They give you an allowance, you only cook one meal......I'm sure the 125.00 will take care of my meals....looking forward. Thx for responding.

I've done them as well and agree - with PG that they are not nice/upgraded properties at all - but mine were in Hawaii and Whistler, both expensive places to stay on my own - so worth it to me in the end. And the food allowance really makes a huge difference since it is for self-catering so you can make it go a long way. I would classify this particular report as worth it for the stay itself, if you need to be in the area anyway and would otherwise be paying for a hotel and/or if you need a vacation for cheap (this is one that I would do while on vacation to be honest). While the facility/hotel itself is not particularly nice - the locations are really great. In terms of amount of work - significantly less than Coyle or TrueGuest, more than Merc, about the same as Buckalew.
Thx Mickey...I will spend time in Santa Barbara on the way home, under 2 hrs. from my home.....it got a 4.3 rating, I'm sure I'll finish report there.....good getaway for me (hiding out) LOL

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
@Hoju wrote:

I’d be curious to know roughly what percentage of new-hotel-shopper reports Coyle rejects?

I can only speak to the time when I was the one who had to make that call, and it was definitely under 1%...probably 3 times in my tenure there. In each case, it was not possible under any circumstance to submit the report, and the evaluator had specifically done something against the rules and/or common sense to create that situation. Some I recall were having a large number of family members staying in the room (to the point where the hotel manager actually asked them to leave the hotel), another tried to blackmail the hotel manager in exchange for a positive report, and one who called the hotel in advance of the stay to announce that they would be the shopper.

Now...for each of those I can name 10-20 instances where a new evaluator got in over their head and I spent a full day on the phone and email, working with them to create a submittable report.

In reality, I doubt the MSC would go through those steps to save a shop in today's market, but poor writing ability is generally not going to get a shop rejected. Not following rules can, however. I think it's within most everyone's power to learn the rules of the assignment and follow them. Sometimes extenuating circumstances arise, and I know Coyle has been very good about making allowances for that with me, so I assume it's the same with others. If you utilize common sense and do professional work, it's likely that you will have your reports accepted.

That said, I have had a hotel report rejected by another MSC for simply not getting the name of 1 staff member. I don't know of any instance where Coyle has rejected a hotel shop for a staff member name not being collected....
Hey, Steve, since you’re up early on the west coast, what’s the turn around time for hotel reports for Coyle? Good morning!

I’m not talking about the brand audits, but the average report; from the time it is due, to the submittal to the client? Average. I understand it may be different for different clients. I’ve had some reports sit for over a week without being contacted. A few months ago I was contacted a week after submitting the survey with only a few questions, two, I think. Thinking the editor was so rushed they quickly gave my survey the go-ahead, instead of asking more in-depth, detail-oriented questions. Thought to myself, “Hmmmm, I must be getting better at this.”

Can you please provide insight into the editing and turn around process?

Also, how do the clients receive the surveys? Do they simply log on/in to the site, after receiving an email notification?

As always, many thanks in advance.
For most clients, the MSC tries to get them the report within a week...and yes, they get an email notification and their login takes them to the client side of shops, which shows results in a number of different ways.
I imagine there's a tolerance for error built in to most reports, particularly the really long and intricate ones.

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