Writing Mystery Shopping Reports for Grandma!

Written by: Written by Diane M. Sweeney – Staff Writer at Market Viewpoint, LLC

Last month, we had such a great response – and sharing of great mystery shopping tips – to the post about ways to improve your writing of a mystery shopping report – that had nothing to do with actual writing.

If you missed it, you can find it here.

But then there is the act of writing your mystery shopping report – pushing keys on a keyboard and getting them to work together to form words which are a true reflection of your customer experience and observations you made during your secret shop.

Sometimes, as our reviewers read through reports, they can actually see, smell, and feel what the mystery shopper experienced in a restaurant, grocery store or during a new home tour.

The comment areas are rich in description, with use of colorful adjectives and specific details about a staff member’s appearance or the meal that they were served.

(Secret: Sometimes, we can’t wait to get to the restaurant to check out what a shopper ordered! Really! Someone described crab dip once that had us salivating and we made a reservation on the spot for the following weekend!)

Useless Reports

And then there are others where, if the reviewer or editor did not know the client they were editing the report for, they never could have guessed what type of business was visited.

Answers such has – “She was great”, “The landscaping was nice”, or “They wished me a good day” (without further commentary) could be dropped into any report for any client on any day.

Reports with standard lines and little description do not communicate to the mystery shopping company’s client what the shopper actually experienced during their visit or the specifics about what they observed.

Basically – they are useless reports.

You don’t want your hard work to be thought of as useless, do you?

Writing to Make Your Grandma Proud

When you agree to conduct a mystery shop – you are agreeing to go into a business and act as the eyes and ears of the organization. To bring back and write up reports full of explanation, detail and observation. And sometimes your reaction to a situation.

The simplest way to do this is to write as thought you are talking to your grandma and telling her about your experience in this store, restaurant or place of business. Few of us would just tell grandma, or anyone, “it was good”. You would describe what was good, how it looked, what it tasted like and how it made you feel.

Do the same when writing your mystery shopping reports. “Talk” to our client. Write it all out. Need help in being creative? Try prompts like these to strengthen your writing skills.

Then go back and check for proper sentence structure, grammar and punctuation. Tools such as Grammarly (even the free version!) make cleaning up your comment boxes a breeze. You don’t need to be an English wiz – just a smart reporter who uses the tools available to write USEFUL reports. (Grandma would like that too!)

Do you use any special prompts or tools to help you when you write your reports? Let’s talk about them over on our Facebook page!

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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.
This entry was posted in Mystery Shopping, Writing Tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Writing Mystery Shopping Reports for Grandma!

  1. Atara Weinstein says:

    I would prefer to be able to describe my experience as clearly as possible. But many times the report form limits the number of characters allowed for a specific answer. Even adjusting for American vs. British spelling, I too-often find myself paring down the answer so it will fit into the space. The price for that is usually a less-than-stellar description of my experience.

    • Atara, Mystery shopping companies have to limit the number of characters allowed so as not to have people go on too long. While we need a re-telling of your observations, with a lot of detail, the comment boxes are typically focused on the questions above, which should be what the shopper writes about in that box. This way, the report will read logically. However, if you find that there is more to say, always feel free to email the account manager with the extra information. If they deem it important to this particular shop or the business in general, they will either be able to include it in the report or share it with the client in some other way. Thanks for your input.

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