Use Your Noggin to Remember the Details

Angela Megasko of Market discusses the many things shoppers have to remember when mystery shopping.“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche’s quote may make you chuckle, and if true, it’s good for such things as re-enjoying a movie, a song, or even meeting an interesting individual, like in the movie “50 First Dates.” But a bad memory in mystery shopping leads to nothing more than frustration.

More than loving to shop or understanding what good customer service means, mystery shoppers need to be observers. In a typical report you are asked to observe or listen for at least 10-20 different types of information. Depending on the locale and the client, such as a hotel or restaurant shop, you may be asked to remember close to 100 things. 

Ideas and philosophies about boosting your memory abound online, some of which can be very helpful. But there are some practical things you can do to help you remember the details of your mystery shop so as to be able to write great reports when you return to your computer.

  1. Read your form. Read every question you will have to answer. Read it more than once.
  2. Read your instructions, thoroughly. Whether blatantly stated or implied, by reading through the instructions you will understand the purpose of your shop. Your brain will process the information and your recollection of what information is necessary to obtain will be strengthened.
  3. Create associations in your mind with the primary areas of the form. If you are doing a retail shop, create an association for each area you are to observe. For example:
    1. Entrance: Cleanliness, sign on door, and welcome by greeter.
    2. Salesperson: Name, handshake, presentation of product.
    3. Cashier: Wait time, name, departing greeting.
  4. With this checklist in mind, return to your car and write or recite in an audio recording all the details you remember. The time you went in, the time you left, the descriptions of the staff, the number of people in line, etc.

Taxing your brain to empty it of the smallest details immediately after the shop will provide space later when you are writing your report for your brain to recall some of the other things that happened as you write your report.

For more tips on remembering, check out Angela’s book, Ultimate Mystery Shopping: Transforming Your Hobby into a Profitable Home-Based Business.


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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3 Responses to Use Your Noggin to Remember the Details

  1. Pingback: It Pays to Read the Fine Print | Market Viewpoint

  2. Pingback: Springing to Your Senses in Mystery Shopping | Market Viewpoint

  3. Dave Mayo says:

    You may have spring where you are, We had a couple of days where the weather gave us late March, April and even May days, but quickly gave us winter again.

    I turn my recorder that picks up sound very well, in the car. No need for a stop watch or writing notes at the location. When I get home I listen to the tape and get the exact second an event occurred and exactly what was said.

    I can look at my watch and write my “notes” directly on the the home far from the location I have shopped.

    While it is illegal (in some states) to record without permission of the voices involved, It is ONLY illegal if you Publish it without the permission of the people involved. You can not use the tape to prove a client or manager or employee is lying through their teeth to save their skin.

    The clients request. on some shops, that the EXACT WORDS be memorized and reported. and the timing be reported to the EXACT second. If they are reviewing video tape they may be my perfect memory.

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