Before you click, “Submit,” make sure your mystery shop report is the best it can be. Use this checklist to avoid some common mistakes.
Is the date, time and location information correct? Did you visit the right location, on the right day and during the allowable hours? Verify that you went on the right date and entered it correctly in your report. Are the date and time on the receipt correct? If not, mention it in your report.
Did you answer all questions and provide all required comments and narratives? Although most systems will not allow you to submit a report with unanswered questions, the system can not always tell, for example, whether you have provided a comment for each “no” answer.
Did you answer “N/A” appropriately? Use N/A when the question truly does not apply, such as questions about the drive through when the location does not have a drive through. Do not use N/A because you forgot to check something.
Are your comments relevant? Are they consistent with your yes and no answers? Do your comments expand on the yes and no answers and provide additional information? That means your comments should not simply restate the question. Instead of, “Sally greeted me within 30 seconds,” say “Sally greeted me 17 seconds after I entered.”
Are comments and narratives written with proper spelling, grammar and punctuation? Use spell check, but also proofread carefully. The spell checker will not know you meant “from” when you entered “form.”
Are timings correct and consistent? Are they properly expressed? Sometimes the mystery shopping company expects minutes only, and sometimes they want timings to the second. Some questions ask for time of day and others ask for elapsed time. Is the question, “At what time did you order your appetizer? At what time did you receive it?” That is different from, “How long after you ordered was your appetizer served?” The first questions are asking for time of day (e.g., 5:42 PM) the last is asking for elapsed time (e.g., 6 minutes 12 seconds(.
Have you complied with all guidelines and client requirements?
After you finish your report, do not forget to submit any required documentation, such as a receipt or business card. Prepare an invoice, if required. Then, file all of your shop documentation in case there are any questions.
Taking just a few extra minutes to make your reports the best they can be will make you the shopper who gets more and better assignments.
Want to learn more about writing great mystery shop reports?
Suzan Marshall says
I would like to ask a question; you mentioned what annoys the mystery shopping companies. I understand sometimes shoppers may make mistakes. But how about the mystery shopping companies that make mistake. I came a cross one and had to go to a shop cause they didn’t give the the correct Company name so I did not dare do the job and then be told the company didn’t have the name correct. This job was supposed to be done on Saturday I tried to contact the person I was to contact and didn’t get an answer till Monday and got bunch of emails telling me my work was late. When they confirmed that the name was different they didn’t even try to compansite the time I put in or give any bonus for redoing their job a second time. What do you do in these cases. In this time where the gas prices are high and the pay is so low, I don’t know how they are keeping their shoppers happy. We have to keep them happy but how about us?
Cathy Stucker says
Suzan, mystery shopping companies DO have to keep their shoppers happy. If a company does not treat me well, I do not work for them again. There are lots of great companies out there who do respect their shoppers, and are more than fair.
Remember that as a shopper, you decide which shops you want to do and which companies are worth dealing with. If they are more trouble than they are worth, dump ’em and don’t look back. When that company finds themselves without quality shoppers, they will either change their ways or they will be gone.