Most mystery shopping companies use a rating system to grade reports from secret shoppers, often a scale of 1 to 10. These ratings are used to identify the shoppers who produce the best work, and a low rating may keep you from getting the mystery shopper jobs you want.For example, some assignments may only be available to shoppers with an average rating of 8 or better, or shoppers with high ratings may be able to self-assign certain shops, without having to wait for a scheduler to award the shop to them.
Here is an explanation of how these ratings are typically determined, and how you can keep your ratings high.
Each company uses it own method, however, there are many similarities. If a company is using a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest, a 10 usually means that the report was exactly right. The report was complete, it was submitted on time, the editor did not have to follow up with the shopper because of questions or issues with the report, and there were no grammatical errors that required the editor to revise the report. In short, a “perfect” report.
Some companies may be a little flexible on this, and give a 10 to a report that had a spelling error or some other minor issue. However, in general, a 10 is a report where the editor does nothing but review it and verify that it is correct and complete.
Editors may deduct one or more points for each problem with the report. Although the editor may have some discretion in scoring, companies have policies about setting ratings. They want ratings to be consistent, no matter which editor reviews the reports. In reality, some editors (just like that tough teacher you had in 5th grade!) are tougher than others when it comes to rating reports. However, the difference should not be significant–maybe a point or two.
Points may be deducted for:
- Submitting a late report
- Not including all required comments
- Spelling, grammar or punctuation errors
- Failing to submit required documentation, such as a receipt
- Inconsistent answers, unclear comments, or anything that requires the editor contact the shopper for clarification
- Ratings may also be reduced for failing to follow the shop guidelines. Of course, failing to follow the guidelines may cause the client to reject your report. Not only will you receive a low rating, when a client rejects your report you will not be paid for the shop and you may not be eligible to complete future shops for that client.
You can earn high report ratings by:
- Carefully reading and following all shop guidelines.
- Completing your report as soon as possible after the shop visit.
- Explaining anything in the report that the editor might possibly question.
- Providing good details in your report.
- Re-reading your report to make sure all answers and comments are consistent, and all comments clearly describe what occurred.
- Proofreading to catch any grammatical errors.
- Reviewing the report to be certain all required documentation has been submitted.
Do your best work and you will receive the shop ratings (and the great assignments) you deserve.