If you have been a mystery shopper for very long, you are aware that the art of objective reporting is extremely important in this business.  Clients appreciate information that is not only clearly and concisely written, but also paints an unbiased picture of what occurred during the visit.  Sometimes, when a visit is either particularly poor or particularly outstanding, this can be a very difficult challenge.  If you are having trouble writing objectively, look at your comments and ask yourself some questions. 

  1. Am I giving them facts, or feelings? –  When it comes to customer service,

    feelings can sometimes be important, but the facts are what tell the client exactly what happened.  Rather than writing a comment like, “Chad did not seem to want to be there,” tell them exactly what Chad did that made you feel that way.  “Chad did not make eye contact and slouched against the counter while assisting me.  He was looking past me and never smiled.”  This gives them something concrete to work with when they address the report with their employee.  Rather than just saying, “Chad was absolutely amazing,” be specific as to what made him amazing: “Chad checked on us promptly throughout our meal and often anticipated our needs before we could communicate them.  He always smiled and had a friendly comment for us, and he used our names when addressing us.”

  2. Am I telling them exactly what the problem was, or telling them what to do about it? – Remember that as a shopper, your job is to tell the client exactly what was wrong, not draw conclusions for them or tell them how to run their establishment.  “The restroom was filthy and needed to be cleaned immediately,” does not really give the client a clear picture of the problem.  More helpful would be something like, “The restroom floor had dirt and stains on it, and there was trash in every stall.  The sinks were stained and filled with wet paper towels.”  Again, this tells them exactly what needs to be addressed.
  3. If I were the manager, how would I feel when reading this? – Our clients appreciate all of the feedback we give them, even the negatives, but we do not want to beat them up.  Every establishment has a rough day now and then, and it is important that we keep that in mind.  Think how you would feel if you read, “This was a terrible restaurant, and I would never return and will tell everyone to stay far away from it.”  While that may very well be how you feel, it is better again to give specifics: “The food took over 30 minutes to arrive, and the server never checked on us.  There was trash on the floors in the dining room and restrooms, and the food was overcooked and served cold.  We would not return.”  They know exactly what problems you experienced and have a detailed, specific explanation as to why your experience was poor.  

If you try to keep these tips in mind when writing your narratives, you can be more certain that you are providing the objective account of your visit that the client expects.    For more information on Mystery Shopping, contact us here http://www.customerimpactinfo.com/contact_us.

By Amanda Morrissey (editing manager Customer Impact)

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