Relationships...Building and Maintaining Them

Posted by Tara MeShale on Sunday, April 26, 2015 Under: Work from Home

I have been a registered mystery shopper since 2009. I attempted my first shop in 2011, but failed miserably because I got nervous and forgot some of the instructions for the shop. I successfully completed my first shop in November 2011 when I was trying to find a new job and wanted to see how much money I could really bring in with mystery shopping. I wasn't sure how much money I could possibly make, so I set a goal for myself of $50. Imagine my excitement when about a month after I completed my first shop I received a notification email from PayPal saying that I had received a payment. Fast forward to today and, boy, have I learned so much about mystery shopping, working from home and just business in general. The thing I want to focus on today is building relationships and establishing a good reputation.  

At this very moment I have two shop reports that are past due, a shop that needs to be canceled and one that needs to be rescheduled. Now, while I did have a legitimate reason for needing to cancel at least one of them, the others I have a myriad of excuses for why I have not yet completed them. Not prioritizing is one of them. Priorities, however, is a topic worthy of an entire series of posts on its own.  

Currently, I am registered with eighty-seven companies and for me to diversify my mystery shopping portfolio a bit more I could stand to register with a hundred more. However, out of the eighty-seven I have registered, I can name at least three of them that I either was or still am in poor standing with. Each company has a rating system of some sort that they use to determine which shoppers are more reliable and helpful than others. So, imagine my ratings with the companies I had assigned shops with, but did not successfully complete. When you rating is only based on one shop and that shop was one you didn't complete or had a lot of trouble, then it stays with you forever and you may never get another shop. Fortunately, I have been able to repair my relationships with some of the companies with which I had rough starts. Unfortunately, one of my biggest regrets of my mystery shopping career has been burning a bridge with one company in particular. It was an awesome company to work with. They paid me on time every month. Their shops were usually very easy and paid well. They had one shop in particular that I loved doing and it was on the first occasion of my completing this shop that I realized what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. That shop told me what type of life I wanted to enjoy and how I could go about it, especially being single with no kids. Well, now I have a kid, but I'm still single and on nights when I can get my mom to look after the baby I can enjoy that life again for a few hours. What caused the severance of my relationship with that particular mystery shopping company? Allowing other things to get in the way of my commitments. I went from completing several shops per month with them to flaking on several in a row. The ones I did not flake on were turned in late. Life started happening. I got involved with someone who I liked a great deal, but who flaked on me when a pregnancy test came back positive. I let my personal life interfere with my work, which, in turn, interfered with my personal life. Bills weren't being paid and utilities were being shut off and ultimately, we faced eviction. That is another story, which you can read about here 

There are several points to my story: 

  • Prioritze - decide what is important and make sure it is at the top of your to-do list 

  • Keep your commitments - In my case, I have been able to salvage some of the relationships I almost ruined and redeem myself, but with that one particular company I will always regret the way I allowed my relationship and ICA (Independent Contractor Agreement) to end. This company had actually given me a second chance, yet I ruined it again. Most mystery shopping companies are good to work with, if you communicate your troubles with them. Let them know that you are having personal conflicts (not necessarily in detail) and that you may not be able to keep your commitments. Doing this will allow the company to save time and money by giving them a chance to reschedule the assignments to another shopper who can complete it and it also saves your reputation. 

  • Communicate - As I stated in my last bullet point as a part of keeping your commitments, communicate with the people you do business with. While it is true that I work for myself, I would have no work if I established myself as someone difficult to work with. If I consistently received bad ratings for turning in late reports and not communicating. Incidentally, all of these points are also critical in maintaining good personal relationships, as well as professional relationships. 


The overall moral to today's story: Keep business as business. If your personal life begins to have a negative impact on your business life, then it is better to bow out gracefully for a while and return when you are in a better place mentally instead of taking on more than you can handle and suffering the consequences when you do not or cannot deliver.  

To read more of my personal story of how I pressed through my negative situation to turn it into a positive one visit my blog Wake Up Look Up. 

In : Work from Home 

Tags: "mystery shopping"  "work from home" 
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About Me

LeTara Moore Since 2005 I have made thousands of dollars online. I've tried almost everything from paid surveys, paid to click, freelance writing, mystery shopping, merchandising and more. I am always looking for new ways to make money. Now I'm a mother and I have even more reason to go further in my online adventures. The focus of this site is not only to show some of the easier ways to make a little extra cash, but also to journal some of the ups and downs of side-hustling and attempting to work for myself. Most of what I post probably won't make you rich, but it will be something to help ease some of the financial strain and won't take too much time. I love to read and write and I also run a blog that showcases my creative writing. I really enjoy learning and I find the best way for me to learn is to share what I've gained with others. DISCLAIMER: Many of the links I post are affiliate links, meaning I may receive financial compensation as a result of click-thrus and signups. However, I only post links to websites and programs I trust and I provide honest feedback. I only post my honest experiences with any site I promote.

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