Although you eagle-eyed mystery shoppers caught the spelling error in the title of this article, are you as good at finding typos in the applications and reports you submit to mystery shopping companies? Spelling is important, and submitting error-filled applications and reports will hurt your chances of becoming a successful professional shopper.
One way to catch errors is with spell check. Many mystery shopping companies have spell checkers on their web sites. They may automatically check everything you write, or require that you click a button to spell check everything on the page.
Running an automated spell check is always a good idea to catch errors. However, there are errors that it will not catch. For example, spell check does not know if you meant “there” or “their,” “from” or “form.” or “to” or “too.” Each of these words is spelled correctly, although it may not be the word you intended. For example, “There from was hard too read,” contains three spelling errors, but spell check would not identify any of them. Proofread carefully to catch them. There is no substitute for the human eye—connected to the human brain.
Not sure which word is correct? Keep reference materials, such as dictionaries and grammar guides nearby so you can quickly look it up.
Although spelling is especially important in applications and reports, check every communication you send to mystery shopping companies, even emails. Although email is a less formal method of communication, you want to impress the companies with your professionalism.
Yes, we have all seen scheduler emails and even guidelines and report forms containing spelling errors. How can they expect us to always be error-free, when they are not? Easy. They are our clients. As mystery shoppers, we work for the mystery shopping companies, they do not work for us.
Although the occasional spelling error will not get you deactivated by mystery shopping companies, it can affect your report scores and the number and types of assignments you receive. If you feel strongly enough about the errors made by mystery shopping companies, you are free not to work for any that make spelling errors. That is up to you. As an independent contractor, you choose the companies with which you will work.