Writing your mystery shopping reports is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of your job as a mystery shopper. You may have the keenest and most unbiased eye when you are on-site, but if you don’t have the ability to translate your observations into a well-written report, your skills are going to waste. There are a few things you can do to improve your report-writing skills.
Only The Facts! You not only want to stick to the facts, but also and most importantly provide only the facts about the questions that are asked. If you had a horrible time on an assignment, or even a great time, don’t come right out and say, “That store associate is the worst associate ever!” Instead, you need to TELL the provider through answering the questions that are asked how the events unfolded. Use the questions on the report to provide specific details of the events as they occurred. The provider will be able to tell by the events that unfolded (i.e. – the facts), that you had a horrible time or a great time.
Keep in mind that you likely will not have the opportunity to tell your entire story in one section. You will have to break down your store visit into small sections based on the questions asked. Many reports are broken down into a description of the store itself, the events surrounding your entrance into the store and the greeting you received, the service you received before you checked out, and your service while checking out. Bear in mind that while you may have had a truly horrible time checking out, the rest of your store visit may not have been too bad. By remaining unbiased and unemotional while writing your report and providing only factual statements, you will help the provider and store management determine the exact areas they need to improve their service.
Know Before You Go. Many mystery shoppers have probably at some point in their mystery shopping careers had that point where you are flying through answering the questions on a report only to reach a brick wall. You get to what appears to be a ridiculously absurd question, and the first thought that pops into your head is, “Now how on earth was I supposed to know to look for that?” The answer of course is to read through the questionnaire before you go. It is always better to know before you set foot in the store what specific items you need to be paying attention to. This way you will have concrete, factual, and accurate responses to each question that is asked.
English 101. Grammar and spelling may not be your strong suit. However, these skills are incredibly important in a job as a mystery shopper. The only way you are conveying your experience at the assignment location is through your written word. So your writing needs to be error-free, as well as easily understood. It is best to keep your sentences relatively short, as thoughts are more easily conveyed in short sentences. Read your answers out loud before you click the “Submit” button to ensure what you have written is clear and concise.
If you need to, write your answers in a Word document so you can run the spell check and grammar check features. Then you can simply cut and paste your answers into the online report form when you are ready to submit your report.
Following these basic tips will help to keep your reports error-free and ensure they are accepted the first time around by your provider.