Word Lists for Mystery Shop Reports

I get a lot of requests for lists of words secret shoppers can use in their reports. The requests usually go something like this:

It is hard to make my reports unique. There are only so many ways I know to say what happened during a mystery shop. Do you have a list of words I can use to make my reports more interesting?

There is a very simple way to make your reports interesting and unique and it doesn’t involve using a list of adjectives.

Every mystery shopper has fallen into the trap of saying things such as:

  • Anne made me feel welcome.
  • Jeff was polite and helpful.
  • The hostess was warm and friendly.
  • Our server was knowledgeable.

The folks looking for lists of words are looking for other ways to say these things. “What can I say instead of ‘polite and helpful’? ‘Courteous and accommodating’?”

Instead of pulling out the thesaurus, make your reports unique by describing exactly what the employee said and did. I recently got a comment from an editor that while reading my report, she felt as if she was there with me. That is one of the nicest compliments a mystery shopper can get!

Here are some examples of what you might say in reports:

As I approached the counter, Maria smiled and said, “Welcome to Burgertown! May I take your order?”

I asked Melody if the Caesar Salad came with anchovies. She said I could get a Caesar Salad with or without anchovies.

Gary asked if I was ready to check out and walked me to the cash register.

Donna saw that I had three items in my hands. She picked up a basket and offered it to me saying, “Let me help you with those.”

John asked if I would like to purchase an extended warranty and told me the price would be $49 for one year.

The details will make your report shine. Quote exactly what the employee said, if you can. Describe something the employee did that made you feel valued as a customer, rather than simply saying that the employee made you feel valued.

On a food delivery shop, the delivery person heard me call my dog by name. When she left she thanked me by name and said goodbye to my dog, using the dog’s name. I didn’t have to say anything about her being “nice” or “friendly” or some other vague term. Just telling what she did got the point across.

When you objectively tell the story of what happened during your mystery shopper visit you have no need for a list of words—you will naturally describe exactly what happened.


  1. Mike says

    Your manual was what I needed before I did my first shop. It gave me a ‘heads up’ of what it would be like or what I may expect. It also gave hints about how to try and make the reports something rather than boring.
    I will report back after my first shop on just close to reality it was.

  2. Ariel says

    Your manual here is nothing less than amazing. All of the information on this website is extremely helpful. Especially since I am new.

    thanks again!

  3. Jan Iversen says

    Your Mystery Shopping Manual. One of the most Informational books about Mystery Shopping anyone could ever read. Mystery Shopping has always been a passion and what I have always talked about getting into, but never knew exactly how to get going. Your manual has everything I could ask for, and will help me achieve my business dream. I have done mystery shopping years ago when working for an apartment complex and fell in love with it. I am so excited to finally have the information to get started on my own.
    Awesome Manual……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *