Easy Ways to Improve Your Report Writing Skills

Whether you’re looking for an easy way to improve your mystery shopper rating with your providers or simply want to avoid the headache of a series of back and forth questions and answers with your provider after you submit your report, you likely want to take some time to improve your report writing skills.

What Does That Say? There’s no doubt that spell check can catch a lot of typos. Some providers have a spell check feature on their report submittal pages. For other providers, you will need to type your answers into a word processing doc (such as MS Word), and then paste it back into the provider’s submittal page after you’ve run spell check.

Yet spell check doesn’t catch all typos. Even if you are a master speller, when you are flying through the report entering your information, there is a very real possibility that you can miss a letter here or there. Take for instance the sentence, “As I was hopping around the store, I noticed rash lying all over the floor.” These are all words that spell check would not pick up on because they are all spelled correctly. Yet obviously what was meant was “As I was shopping around the store, I noticed trash lying all over the floor.” These small typos can happen with a sticky key on the keyboard or a mis-hit by fingers flying over the keyboard. Spend a few extra minutes before you hit the “Submit” button on your report to read over your work and make sure it makes sense.

Answer The Question, Nothing Else. The retailer is asking for a mystery shopper to visit their site to check for certain things. These may be customer service, sales technique of the staff, quality of food or merchandise, and others. The questions in the report have been specifically designed to cover the areas the retailer is most concerned about. Be sure that you answer the questions specifically asked, and with as much detail as you can on that specific topic. Avoid providing information on items that were not asked for, as it opens up a greater possibility for confusion and questions by the provider.

Typically at the end of the report, there is a section where you can rate your overall experience and provide details on anything else that was not specifically asked for in the report that you feel are important. This is essentially your “free” section to really go into detail on why your experience was theĀ  best, worst, and so forth.

There’s No Me in ‘Mystery Shopping’. Mystery shopping by its very definition is an unbiased reporting of factual events and observations. The report is the only way to convey your observations to the provider and retailer. When answering the questions, keep your personal feelings and impressions aside. Rather than saying, “The bathroom was filthy,” you need to actually explain what you saw. “There were paper towels scattered on the sink and toilet paper in various locations on the floor. Three of the four toilets had dirty bowls and seats.” The second sentence provides factual observations of your visit, and clearly convey your overall impression of a dirty bathroom rather than simply stating an opinion that the bathroom was dirty. To take the “me” of your report, you need to write out step by step the events and observations.

With these simple changes to your report-writing, you will be able to create the clear, concise, and factual reports that your providers are looking for!