How To Get Your Mystery Shopping Report Approved The First Time (And Get Paid Faster!)

Each day that you are caught in a vicious Q&A session with your scheduler about your report is another day you aren’t getting paid for your time and efforts on a mystery shopping assignment. For mystery shoppers who want to get paid faster (and who doesn’t?), the trick lies in getting your report accurate and complete on the first go-round. Here are some tips to follow to ensure your report is in tip-top shape:

Stick To The Question. Many times, a mystery shopper will start out answering the question and then will get side-tracked with some other relatively minor or seemingly unrelated fact or opinion. A report that is riddled with wandering answers is almost sure to get red-flagged. As you are answering the questions, go back and review the question several times to ensure you are answering the specific question answered and you are not providing unrelated information. Then before you submit your report, read through it again with a fresh eye and ask yourself, “Does this answer the question that was asked?” If not, revise your answer before you submit the report.

Too Much Of A Good Thing. While it is absolutely necessary to answer the question that is asked, there is something to be said for providing too much information. There is a fine line between answering the question thoroughly and going overboard. As you type your answers, think about what information is relevant to the question that is asked. When too much information is provided, it is often easy to get lost in the details and lose the main point. Your overall goal should be to keep your writing tight and to the point while still being thorough. This may be a tough skill to master, but with a little practice it will soon come as second nature to  you.

Here’s What I Think. The truth of mystery shopping is that you are essentially being hired as an unbiased shopper, and you are asked in most of the questions to state facts. Describing the appearance of the bathrooms, relaying the sales tactics the salesperson used, and stating how long you were in line before you were helped are all factual questions that need factual answers. You can certainly say that the salesperson was on the phone when you entered the store, but unless you know for certain that the salesperson was on a personal call, it is best not to speculate. Your salesperson may have a friendly relationship with a store manager who was calling in to check on things, or may have been answering a call from an employee calling in sick. It’s best to stick to the facts rather than state an opinion on these factual-based questions.

There is, however, usually a section on the reports that ask for your overall opinion. Feel free to write your overall opinion of your site visit in this section.

If you take the time to proofread your report before you submit your report to ensure you stick to the facts and answer the questions asked, you will take a big step towards ensuring  your report is accepted the first time and towards getting your paycheck a little faster!