Avoid Getting Your Mystery Shopper Report Rejected
Once you’ve signed up to become a mystery shopper, the real experience begins. Picking your shop contracts and completing them are the easy, fun part of being a mystery shopper. The hard part is writing your mystery shopper report.
There are several key points to remember when putting together your mystery shopper report to ensure it doesn’t end up being rejected.
Mystery Shopper Reports 101:
- Report Questions: Make sure you look over a blank report to see what kind of questions you will have to answer after you’ve completed your mystery shop. You won’t know what critical pieces of information you need to look for during the shop if you don’t know what is expected of you in the report.
- Notes: You can’t be expected to remember everything so make sure you take a note pad on the shop with you. Don’t blow your cover by taking your note pad into the shop with you, but make sure as soon as you finish the shop and get back in your car that you are ready to write! Write down all the things you think you might forget… and all the things you think you won’t forget. Be detailed and be specific! It’s amazing how many little things you can forget within 30 minutes of leaving the shop.
- Details: You may not think it matters what the person you shopped was wearing but it might be. You might think it’s trivial that she walked in front of you instead of beside you, but it may be important to the management. Each company that shops their employees is different, so what they are specifically looking for in the mystery shopper report could vary widely. Make sure you pay attention to details.
- Specific Remarks: When you are writing your mystery shopper report it is best to be specific with what you write. If the report is broken down into different areas, your comments in each area should be relevant that topic. For instance, you would not talk about how you were greeted when the section is related to how the employee tried to close the sale with you. Write down as many specifics as you can recall. Specifics are critical to writing a clear and accurate story of the shop; generic information is less helpful to the company (and less useful in re-training the employee you shopped).
- Tell a Story: As a mystery shopper, you are the company’s eyes and ears… the story teller. If you pay attention to details and specifics, the story should come easy. Make sure you are painting a picture that is easy to understand and follow. Think back to those English classes where you learned how to write a story, especially if your mystery shopper report asks you for an overall summary of the experience – you want to tell the story from start to finish.
- Over Share: When in doubt, leave no stone unturned. No detail not mentioned. It’s much better to give too much information than to not give enough. Too much information does not typically lead to questions from the mystery shopping company. Too little information, however, leaves too much to question and could possibly cause you to have your mystery shopper report rejected.
At the end of the day, writing a mystery shopper report is not rocket science and is actually pretty simple if you follow the above rules of thumb. Don’t be intimidated by having to write a report. The mystery shopping company is there to help you every step of the way. Once you get a few shops under your belt, the rest will be a walk in the park.