By Amanda Morrissey, Customer Impact Editing Manager

We’ve all heard the saying, “Less is more.” But is that really true when it comes to a mystery shopping evaluation? Most of our clients have come to expect a good bit of detail from our shoppers, but they also appreciate when that detail is provided in a simple, concise manner. We often ask shoppers to be more concise with their narratives, but it may not always be clear how to do that. Here are some tips!

  1. Try to avoid too much description of what you and your companion do and say. Remember that the evaluation is mostly about the employees of the establishment, and not about you. Rather than saying, “As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed it was clean and well maintained,” simply say, “The parking lot was clean and well maintained.” They also do not need to know all of your responses to all of the employees’ questions. As an example: Johnny asked how we were doing. We told him we were fine and enjoying our day out. That second sentence is not really needed.
  1. Paraphrase, rather than directly quoting what was said. Usually, paraphrasing will make the point of the conversation clearly. If something unusual or inappropriate is said, a direct quote is good, but in other instances, it is not really necessary.
  1. Try to combine multiple shorter sentences into one single sentence. As an example, do not use something like this: The restroom was clean. It was stocked with supplies. It smelled fresh. You can combine that into one statement: The restroom was clean, stocked, and smelled fresh. 
  2. Avoid repetition of similar statements/phrases multiple times in the narratives. When talking about the service, it is not necessary to always say that something was delivered “to the table,” or removed “from the table.” Instead of, “The entrees were promptly delivered to the table,” you can simply write, “The entrees were promptly delivered.” It should be clear they came to the table. Similarly, avoid writing something like this: The menus were clean. The silverware was clean. The glasses were spotless and clean. Instead, that can be a single sentence: The menus, silverware, and glasses were clean. Instead of something like this: Paige answered the phone on the second ring. She answered with the proper greeting. She gave her name. You can use something like this: Paige answered the phone on the second ring, with the proper greeting, and gave her name.

These are just a few of the ways you can keep your comments more simple and concise in your surveys. Our clients appreciate surveys with great details that get right to the point. What other tips and tricks to you use to ensure that you are keeping your comments short and simple? Please share with us!