3 Ways NOT to Describe Someone

Angela Megasko of www.marketviewpoint.com discusses improper ways to describe an employee in your mystery shopping reporting.One of the most challenging things on most mystery shopping reports is getting the name of the employee who served or waited on you.

After all, how can a manager recognize and reward employees who earn a good secret shopping score if they don’t know who served you?

Sometimes, however, it is nearly impossible to see a name tag, or you may not have a direct interaction with an employee to be able to ask their name, so you need to describe the individual.

Below are a few simple rules to follow when describing someone:

  1. In our multi-cultural society, we cannot always assume we know the ethnicity of the individual with whom we are speaking or interacting, so we ask that you not try to guess.
  2. It is also impolite to use words such as large, fat, thin, short, etc. Don’t write a description in a report that you would not say to someone’s face. (I know, some of you will tell me you are an honest person and would say these things, but it’s still not polite!)
  3. Description fields on mystery shopping reports are not the place to voice your opinion on the individual’s choice of clothing, piercings or cologne. If you are asked your opinion in another section, then you can express it there. If you were very offended by someone’s appearance, send a separate email to your scheduler. They will handle it “off the report” with the client.

When describing employees description such as gender, height, hair color, eye color (if you get that close), what they are wearing and any distinctive features – such as glasses, piercings or jewelry – will likely be enough to help our clients identify the employee you were served by.

When incorrect or impolite descriptions are used, it creates a different tone to your observations. It may cause those who are reading your report to think you were biased one way or another based on the appearance of the person, not on the service.

Keep it simple and report on what you know for sure.

Have a question on how to describe someone? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.


About Market Viewpoint

Market Viewpoint offers comprehensive mystery shopping services, complete customer service audits, employee and customer surveys, customer focused marketing strategies, and customer service training to help you improve your customer service and outshine your competition.
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2 Responses to 3 Ways NOT to Describe Someone

  1. David Mayo says:

    I have a problem at soft serve dessert shops. Usually there is only one or two servers both female. The name tag is usually missing or the letters are too small to read. The name of the server should be on the receipt but usually the register receipt does not show it.

    I am am retired. The guidelines ask for a name of the server. When was the last time you ever had the burning desire to know the name of the server who sold you an ice cream cone? I believe I did years ago when I was the same age as the server.

    Now at my age I am looking at her chest area trying to read the small print. Then I ask for her name. The looks you get from the server are. “This guy must be a creep or a pedophile, or for those in the know, “He must be the mystery shopper!” no one else asks for my name.

    I wonder if any other mature men have the same experience.

    • David – We understand your concern. Perhaps you can ask if their name is Jennifer and say they remind you of a friend of your daughter or granddaughter? Anyone else have suggestions?

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