3 Tips to Kick Writers’ Block & Create Great Mystery Shopping Comments

Angela Megasko discusses how mystery shoppers can overcome writers' block when commenting on mystery shopping reports.We are always getting feedback from shoppers about the need to write 4 to 5 sentences in the comment boxes on a report form.

Negative feedback, that is!

Unfortunately, we need to ask for this because of the people who write, “She was nice,” and believe we can accept that as a completed report.

We don’t actually count all of the sentences, but when our editors read your comments, they want to be able to visualize the demeanor and actions of the person with whom you interacted, as well as hear the words that person said to you.

If you can accomplish this in three sentences, we will accept it!

It’s not the quantity of the words, but the quality of the description that we are looking for.

Keep this list handy for when you have “writers’ block” and can’t think of how to say something differently.

  1. Have you used the person’s name in the sentence? For our client, this will immediately bring to mind the actual person instead of having to go back to see who, in fact, was shopped. (We know all companies do not operate this way and some would rather have you write “the consultant.” In that case, follow the guidelines for that company.)
  2. Have you commented on all of the key questions that were asked in the section preceding your comments? While we do not want you to re-write the questions that were asked, you can weave together a sentence or two to recreate how you were greeted. “As I entered the store, Sally stood up, extended her hand and welcomed me with a warm smile. She then asked me to have a seat and inquired if I would like water or coffee.” This sentence likely repeats the “yes” answers you checked, but it presents it to the reader so they can visualize what transpired.
  3. Have you used descriptive words? Using adjectives to describe the furniture, the condition of the merchandise and how you were treated provides your reader with the ability to “see” what you saw and better understand why you rated something the way you did. For instance, “Sally’s desk was a mess” promotes the reader to ask, why?
    “Sally’s desk was covered in papers. Printed emails, a brochure from the bank, and an application were in the middle of her desk. A half-empty coffee mug and napkin were stashed in the corner. Her desk was definitely not clean and organized.”

Reviewing your commentary for spelling, grammar and complete re-telling of your experience will eliminate the need for reviewer’s and editors to come back and ask more questions. Creating a visual experience for the reader will provide you with the opportunity to receive a five-star rating on all of your reports!

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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