Oftentimes, people forget that paperwork comes with being a mystery shopper. In fact, for secret shopper companies and the businesses that hire them, this is the most important element. Paperwork allows shopper companies to evaluate all aspects of service, from the moment you walk through the door to when you check out at the register. That way, places of business can improve their overall customer experience.

As a secret shopper, after you complete your work, report writing is your final task. However, you may be surprised on how the lengths of secret shopping reports can vary. Some are short, and some can be extensive. Companies don’t expect all their shoppers to have professional experience writing, but they do have report-writing standards. When it comes to secret shopping, practicing clear and concise writing skills will benefit everyone involved. In addition, the more you establish yourself as a serious secret shopper, the more responsibilities you can be given. Here are some ways to write a thorough and clear report:

Details, details, details

When you’re a mystery shopper, part of your job is to be extremely aware of your surroundings. When perusing a store, having a keen eye for detail is essential. Then, you have to record those details in your report. Try to be as specific as possible, including the names of employees and their physical descriptions. Remember to set the scene and be clear. If you are shopping at a grocery store and notice uncleanliness, be sure to note exactly where and what the mess was. Or if the waitress at your restaurant doesn’t provide you with timely service, try to be explicit as possible. However, be careful not to add unnecessary details into your writing. Instead, give comments that add useful information or explain yes or no answers. Here are some examples of comments that are not helpful and some that are:

Unhelpful comments:

  • I walked into the store and started shopping.
  • I browsed the dairy aisle.
  • I asked an employee a question.

Helpful comments:

  • An employee answered my question with kindness and helpfulness.
  • There was a mess that needed to be cleaned up in aisle seven.
  • I would recommend this grocery store to others.

Practice good writing techniques

Although it can be difficult to provide your company with writing that has absolutely no grammatical errors, it’s important that your report is clear. If you’re writing on a computer, spell check should be able to catch most of your mistakes. However, if you’re doing your writing free hand, remember to proof read thoroughly before you send it to your mystery shopping company.

Write in sequential order

The best tip for a concise report is to write in order of when things happened. This is the best way for a business to evaluate its customer service at all angles. Start when you walk through the door and end with checking out at the register, paying your bill, etc. Combining details with sequential order will give the most accurate report of your overall experience.