There are many things that draw people to mystery shopping. A flexible work schedule, being an independent contractor without a “boss”, and the ability to work from home are just a few of the many benefits of mystery shopping. While these factors may be at the top of mystery shoppers’ list of “pros” for the job, writing reports is often found at the top of the “cons” list.
Many mystery shoppers don’t realize before they get into the job that mystery shopping involves a great deal of writing. There are a few mystery shoppers who enjoy writing and breeze right through the reports, but many mystery shoppers struggle with this aspect of the job. After all, like most things, writing isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make writing reports an easier task.
Stick To The Point. When you see a long list of questions to answer on a report, the first thing you may do is panic and stress out. Simply take a deep breath and read through the questions slowly. Think about what exactly the question is asking, and then think about what the correct answer is. When you take the time to formulate your response is, you will be able to better write your response down than if you simply “wing it” and write off the cuff. Further, when you write off the cuff, you are more likely to get sidetracked and go off on a tangent that is unrelated to the original question.
Once you have a response formulated in your head, write your response down. Be sure you stick to the point without getting overly detailed. A little detail is a good thing. Too much detail can bog you down, waste your precious time, and distract your reader. After your write your response, read through the question again and make sure that your response answered the question as it was asked.
Read Out Loud. Sometimes, what looks good on paper does not sound good when you read it out loud. Chances are, your reader won’t be reading your responses out loud, either. However, when you read your responses out loud, you will better be able to catch mistakes like missing words, using the wrong tense, and punctuation errors than if you read your responses in your head. Also, when you read your responses out loud, you can hear the flow of your words more easily. When reading your responses out loud, if you find that you are pausing to try to figure out what you meant when you wrote the sentence, chances are your reader will find that passage awkward, too. Take a moment to re-write any awkward parts of your text so they are easier to read and understand.
Practice Makes Perfect. All of this may sound like a lot of work for what usually is not a lot of money. And you are right. If you are one of the many people who do not write well without a lot of effort, writing your reports as a mystery shopper can take up more time than may be justified by the pay. However, if you stick to it and keep practicing these steps, after a short time, you will find that your writing skills improve. Eventually, what takes a lot of effort right now will take much less effort in the future.
With these steps, soon enough, you will be turning out well-written report after report with ease and speed!