Reports are a critical portion of every mystery shopping assignment. You can have a picture-perfect site visit, where all aspects of the visit are taken care of without a hitch. But if you sit down in front of your computer to complete your report and hit a brick wall, all of your efforts on the site visit can go straight down the drain. Here are some fast and easy tips for writing perfect mystery shopping reports without hassle and headache.
Stick to the Facts. Many mystery shoppers try to provide too much information when answering report questions. And in all of the extra detail that you are trying to force down on paper, you can get bogged down by information that is simply not needed or even wanted by your provider. Mystery shopping providers truly do want concise, fact-based answers to the questions asked. They do not want to spend a lengthy period of time trying to sort through the extra details of your report to get down to the nitty gritty. Instead, they want an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand report that answers just the questions asked. When you add in extra details that are not important to the overall assignment or when you add in your opinions when they are not asked for, you are not helping the provider or yourself. You can save everyone involved some time by sticking to the facts and answering only the questions that were specifically asked.
Know What To Look For. If you’ve done hundreds of assignments, you may think you know what questions will generally be on the report. And with this comfort level, you may have had times when you haven’t fully read through a report before the site visit. While you may be able to get by doing this sometimes, there are always a few reports that ask atypical questions, such as what the two neighboring stores are next door to the store you visited. This question and numerous others can really throw you for a loop if you aren’t prepared to answer them. You can save yourself a trip into that proverbial brick wall by simply making it a regular habit to read through the report before your site visit so you know what to look for during your site visit.
Practice Writing. For some people, writing comes easily and the sentences simply flow from their fingertips straight into the computer. For others, writing a coherent sentence without grammar or spelling errors is like pulling teeth. If writing is difficult for you, one of the best things you can do to become a better mystery shopper is to practice writing. There will likely never be a time when mystery shopping and report writing do not go hand-in-hand, so taking the time to improve your writing skills will only help you to become a better mystery shopper. To be a better writer, simply sit down at the computer, open up a blank document page on your computer, and start writing about whatever comes to mind. Focus on writing one paragraph about any aspect of the day, and try to convey that aspect of your day in a manner that you would use if you were telling someone the same thing verbally. Practice writing out all of the important details in the order they happened, and focus on writing sentences that are free of grammar and spelling errors. After you practice doing this same task every day for several weeks, you will find that writing about specific events (such as your site visits) comes much easier for you.
Writing reports can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be! Use these tips to improve your report writing skills and write fast and easy reports.