Writing reports is one of the most important tasks in mystery shopping, and as a shopper, you must be able to do it well. A comprehensive, professional, and error-free report is what most companies expect from a secret shopper, so it is important to learn the techniques that are key to providing that. Keep in mind that when you provide an excellent report, not only are you giving them what they expect, but you are also raising your status as a mystery shopper, and that can lead to good recommendations for future assignments.
Here are some tips on how to write exceptional reports:
- Practice makes perfect. Start practicing your writing skills regularly and find ways to enhance them. Remember, it is not just about the details, but also the presentation of the report. Sometimes, how you say something can be just as important as what you’re saying. Research the rules for proper sentence structure and grammar. As you practice writing, also try to widen your vocabulary by searching for synonyms and antonyms of common words.
- Have a reliable spell checker and grammar correction tool installed on your computer. No matter how skilled you are when it comes to writing and spelling, there may be instances when an error is overlooked, and these serve as great backups to be sure everything is correct before you submit your report.
- Be more objective. Although your observations are hugely significant in your report, your opinions are not. So, as much as possible, avoid using I THINK or I BELIEVE. Companies that hire mystery shoppers actually know what they need to do when certain situations arise. It’s just a matter of knowing what the situations are. In order for them to know what to do, they must understand the customer’s perspective on what is happening in their establishment, and that’s why they hire you.
- Triple check your report. Though double checking your work is always imperative, checking it an extra time beyond that will give you more confidence in your work. After double checking your work, spend a few minutes or hours away from it and relax. Then, go back to it and check again. You may be surprised by the errors you can still find when you take a look at it with fresh eyes.
- Be more specific. Avoid using general adjectives and failing to elaborate on them. Also avoid absolutes like “never” and “always”. Your client wants more specific details about why something is good or bad.
- Stick to the facts. Give your client only what is needed and specified in the instructions. Bear in mind that when you are in an establishment, you may find a number of concerns, but if you include them all, it can bog down your report. Only discuss what is needed – nothing more and nothing less.