Taking the Emotion out of Your Report

objective shopper, objective writer, secret shopping, mystery shopperThe purpose of mystery shopping for most clients is to have that “fly on the wall” view of what is happening in their establishment.

Obviously, management can’t be everywhere at all times. If they’ve contracted for mystery shopping, they want to see how their facility looks, how their people respond, and what is going on through the eyes of the shopper. What they do not want, in most cases, is a mystery shopper’s opinion of how things should be running.

  • Remain as objective as possible when reporting on a shop. Take the role of a news reporter – just the facts!
  • Your observations of what was clean or dirty, good service or bad service are important. Your opinion of them is not needed, unless asked for.
  • Keep your reporting as unemotional as possible. If you were upset by a situation, there are words that can be used that convey that without being insulting or abusive.
  • If you are asked your “overall opinion or feeling” use a positive tone, even when you were disappointed with a situation.

The role of a mystery shopper is NOT to point fingers and “catch someone”. It is to report objectively and honestly on what was observed at that moment in time.

Did you conduct a particular shop where it was hard to remain objective? Tell us (no store names, please) about it so we can all learn! Leave your comment below.


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 Taking the Emotion out of Your Report

  1. Becca Lee says:

    I did a convenience store shop a few weeks ago in a very upscale neighborhood and the clerk totally ignored me even as I stood at the register. She had on no uniform and no name tag. She finally moved my way and rang me up. Not one word was spoken except my total. As soon as she gave me my change she moved back down the counter to whatever she was doing there still with no words!
    I was so shocked and irritated that I walked out without my receipt (which I needed for the shop)
    I had to go back in & ask for it. The clerk told me she could not give me one because she had rung another purchase after mine. I told her I was here on business so she gave me a handwritten receipt, still with attitude. My MSC almost did not accept my shop but they ended up taking it!

    • Becca – thanks for sharing your story. We certainly understand how irritated and annoyed this situation could make you (or anyone else for that matter!) What we would suggest in situations such as this is that you write up your report with the objective comments and facts, if that is all that is asked for in the report, and then email your contact at the MSC with your additional comments. At Market Viewpoint, if we feel the shopper’s subjective comments are of value to the client, (and we would have in this case) we pass them along in a separate email. Then the client can determine what to do with the information – and no one feels like they are being ‘publically’ attacked.

      • Rich F says:

        I agree. Sometimes, the email with my submissions are longer than the reports!

        I did an integrity shop this week. Not only did a server go behind the bar and make her own drinks, but she WAY overpoured. The shop report didn’t ask for any of that, so I wrote a narrative and included it in the email with a note to the editor. I left it to her to decide what to do with it.

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