By Amber Simmons, Customer Impact Scheduler

As a scheduler, I receive emails and calls from shoppers asking to complete a shop that they completed a month or two prior. Although I LOVE for shoppers to let me know their availability (please keep doing this!), oftentimes, I’m unable to accommodate their requests. Why? In case you’ve never heard of it, “rotation” keeps schedulers from assigning a shopper the same shop on back to back months. Rotation is essentially described as a period of time between when a shopper completes a shop and is allowed to complete it again. Here are some of the main reasons why shopper rotation is necessary and important:

You will be easily identified: If a shopper is allowed to complete the same shop over and over again, at one location, more than likely, the restaurant/retail store will automatically identify them the next time they arrive. The shop will then be compromised. Restaurants/retail stores with high employee turn-over rates have shorter rotations. This is because their employees are constantly changing, and therefore, they wouldn’t know which mystery shopper previously visited. Fine-dining and sales associate shops have a higher shopper rotation. The turnover there isn’t as great, and the interaction that you have with the employees lasts for a much longer amount of time. You therefore have to leave a few months, even up to a year, before  you can send that same shopper back.

CI - Clocks

So that multiple shoppers have a chance: A variety of shoppers can have the chance to complete shops if a rotation is used. If all of a mystery shopping company’s shops were accessible to everyone at all times, there would be a smaller amount of shoppers completing a greater amount of shops. Having a shopper rotation, then, allows for shoppers who may have not completed a shop at a certain location yet to have the opportunity to do so. This rings especially true for our much sought-after fine dining shops! Yum!

So that the client gets a variety of writers/shoppers: If one person completed all the mystery shops at one location, all of the reports would be exactly the same. And if, for whatever reason, that shopper happened to include bias or didn’t report everything exactly as it happened, the client would always be receiving altered information. When you give the client multiple reports from a variety of shoppers, this means that the client will receive different perspectives and be able to more accurately assess his business.

So, next time you ask your scheduler if you can complete a shop and we are unable to allow it – just remember, rotation matters!


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