If you are like most mystery shoppers, your favorite part of the job is heading out of the house and working on site visits. At the site visit, you can shop at your leisure while also fulfilling secret objectives outlined in the assignment requirements. While the site visits can be fun and even exciting at times, many mystery shoppers dread the final stage of their assignment. Writing reports may be an enjoyable activity for some, but others find it boring and even difficult to do. The fact is that whether you love writing reports or your hate it, there are some reporting errors that are commonly made but that are big “no-no’s”.
Offering Your Opinions
It may seem ironic to some mystery shoppers that you are supposed to provide details about your observations without offering your personal opinions on various matters. Mystery shopping reports are, after all, supposed to help retailers, restaurants and other vendors improve the consumer experience, so it makes sense that your opinion would count for something. In reality, however, most sections of most reports simply want you to provide an unbiased accounting of the facts. Consider this as a reporting of what you see, saw and heard, but don’t go beyond this and offer your opinion unless it is specifically asked for.
Fudging the Time
Almost every mystery shopping report you work on will ask you about timing. Most want to at least know when you entered and left the location, but some want more detailed information such as how long you stood in line, how long you waited in the waiting room and other details. This information may seem pointless and even cumbersome to you, but it is being asked about for a reason. One reason is to validate your report. For example, if you state that Bob helped you out at 3:10pm but Bob went home at 2:30pm, your entire report for that day may be null and void. Timing is also vital with regards to customer service. Stores, restaurants and others want to know how long customers are waiting for service.
The Wrong Names
Just as it can be difficult to remember details like time, it can also be difficult to remember people’s names. However, these details are vitally important. Many mystery shopping reports are used for employee training purposes. Store management will not be able to use your report in a positive way if they don’t have an accurate name of any employee to go by.
You may be aware that one or several of these common errors are issues that plague you. Take time to analyze your specific problem, and brainstorm resolutions. For example, finding a secretive way to take a note about a person’s name or the time when you entered the store may help you to remember those small details that you have trouble with. These common errors can all cause your report to be returned to you for corrections, and in some cases, they can result in your report being nullified. Take time to address these issues with your reports today.