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Mystery Shopping is an easy and interesting way to earn extra money, or to try new products and services while you are out and about. The most important part of a Mystery Shop (after conducting the task) is the report you submit. While we have a lot of tips on our FAQ page, this guide will help you write the best possible report to ensure you are giving great feedback, and to minimise the question you may receive from the Quality Assurance team – allowing you to get out and do more Mystery Shops!
After a Mystery Shopper performs their assigned task, they are provided a set of questions about that experience. These questions form a report that the Mystery Shopping agency will review for quality control, and then share directly with the client to provide feedback. The information in the Mystery Shopper Report is then used by companies to provide specific feedback about the experience to the staff involved, and to summarise common trends across a number of experiences; which in turn helps companies to improve training for staff, understand which elements of the journey might not be working as expected, or monitor quality and compliance with regulations – and much more! Because of these many uses, it is important that a Mystery Shopper is honest and truthful in their representation of the experience, while also being fair to the person or team that is being assessed.
A good report is clear and honest about the experience it represents. We look for consistency in response – so you aren’t saying something was good in one spot but poor in another – and also for clarity, so that the team receiving the feedback can understand and take action to improve the experiences they provide moving forward.
Remember that there is a person at the end of the report, so ensure your feedback is constructive and professional.
Just like when you are conducting your task, the most important thing when writing a report is to stick to the requirements. Tell us about the task we asked you to execute and how the experience took place. Reserve any personal opinion in favour of objective comments on what happened. The more objective you are, the better it is for our team to then assess against the client’s metrics. Remember that you might not know what a company is expecting of their staff based on their training, so you won’t necessarily know if what they’ve done is right or wrong. We think this is a good thing, because it allows you to present the experience you had to us objectively for assessment.
A good report will also avoid any personal comments about individuals you interacted with. We might ask you for a description of them, where you should stay away from descriptors which might be offensive – like someone’s weight or gender. Instead opt for objective and professional descriptors like height, glasses/no glasses, or hair colour/style. And get a name if possible (discreetly of course!).
When you are out conducting a Mystery Shop, you are the eyes and ears for the company hiring us. So, it is important you give a lot of detail to paint the picture of what your experience was like! Avoid ambiguous descriptions like “it was nice” and instead opt for describing what about it made you feel that way, or even better, what specific actions or behaviours the employee took that made you feel this way. Did they make eye contact? Did they smile while they were talking to you? Show interest by asking genuine questions? All of these are great ways to help the employee understand what specifically made it a positive interaction – or what they can specifically do to improve next time.
The same goes for describing what went wrong. If something in the visit doesn’t go to plan, or you aren’t able to complete an element due to circumstances beyond your control, the more information you provide us in the report about what did happen the better. Sometimes this feedback can be invaluable to a company, because if you’re having that experience, their real customers likely are, too!
Finally, be sure that any photographs, audio recordings, or video recordings you upload are of good quality. Check all photos and listen to/watch all recordings in full before you submit to ensure that they are complete and don’t include anything they shouldn’t, including any of your personal information
Think of your Mystery Shopping report as a report card of sorts. If you received feedback on your work, you would expect to see full and complete sentences, and appropriate grammar and punctuation. We’re not looking for War and Peace but do ask you to take the time to clearly articulate your thoughts. Again, remember that someone is going to receive this information to take action on improving how they do their job – so the clearer you are, the better we’re serving them to help them improve.
It maybe goes without saying, but it is important that you include the names of products or services discussed, and the staff you interact with – and that they’re accurate. Include any specifics of products or brand information the employees you interact with provide – often this is an important part of their training.
It is also important that you don’t mix up visits. If you’re conducting multiple visits in the same day, make notes for yourself in between to help avoid mixing them up. Or if you can, fill in the report using our mobile app before you head on to your next task, to help ensure the information and experience are fresh in your memory.
It is always recommended to read over all of your responses before you hit submit. We all make mistakes from time to time – and taking the extra moment to make sure you have entered everything as intended to provide great feedback to the employee can help ensure that your task is reviewed and approved quickly. Ensure accuracy in what you are describing to avoid having your task returned to you or worse, declined. We want all of your visits to be a success, so taking the time to ensure your responses, open ended text boxes, and attachments are correct helps us validate quickly and get you paid for your work.
If something happens that you do make a mistake, not to worry. That’s why we ask you to be available for the 5 days following your task submission. If we have any questions, you’ll receive an email from us asking for clarification or for additional info. We encourage you to respond to these promptly so that we can finalise the report and get feedback out to the client, while we process your payment.
We hope this has helped you with ideas to write even better Mystery Shopping Reports. While they can seem quite simple, following the steps above will help you ensure success, and give you more time to be out conducting visits! And remember that if you get stuck, our helpful shopper support team are available to answer your questions.
Register to become a Mystery Shopper with Ipsos today!