Mystery Shopping: Objective Versus Subjective

Mystery Shoppers.

Narratives form the most ‘boring’ part of the evaluation forms. Many shoppers avoid signing up for shops that require lengthy narratives. Everybody wants quick and easy forms. As mystery shoppers, we all drop dead when at the end of the day we have to complete the reports and want to get it into the system and finished for the day.

However, what needs to be understood, is the importance of the narratives and the insight they can offer by putting in all the interaction details and other details that are required. There should be no bias in the narrative, only the interaction or observations.

Report writing is an important aspect of a successful mystery shop. The report must contain all the necessary uploads and details of your observations and interactions. Spelling and grammar is so important and shoppers are encouraged to use the spellcheck provided at the bottom of the form. Long sentences, too flowery, or too harsh or any kind of offensive words need to be avoided. The use of online dictionaries and thesaurus is encouraged, it is so easy to use something like Grammarly to help you make sure spelling is spot on when you send your report.

Mystery Shoppers must write objectively without being judgmental, unless your personal opinion is particularly asked. Every score, other than 5 or 10 or excellent needs to be validated by supporting comments that includes reasons for the scores. There may be times when the given options may not answer to the exact comment you want to make, in which case you need to choose the nearest and always give way to a little benefit of doubt.

According to Cathy Stucker, best known as ‘The idea Lady’, in one of her exchanges with Andri, Publisher of Scambusters, ‘mystery shoppers must not give their opinions, they must only report exactly what happened the site’. Cathy Stucker is a Mystery Shopper and the author of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual and is endorsed by MSPA, the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association, you can also check out The Book about Mystery Shopping by Veronica Boxberg Karlsson.

It’s the details that the shopper provides that gives a good insight to deciphering the next action, towards delivering exceptional customer service. Being conscious of customer service and reporting with a little responsibility goes a long way to help local businesses to thrive and deliver even better services.

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