Many mystery shoppers may not know that their reports go through editors before being sent out to the clients. Editors act as quality control when it comes to reports. They serve a much bigger purpose than simply identifying grammatical errors and completing spelling checks. Mystery shoppers will find greater success in this industry if they treat their editors well.
Followed guidelines explicitly
First of all, mystery shopping editors make sure the shopper followed all requests and assignment stipulations correctly. As Mystery Shopper's Manual pointed out, businesses are often specific about when a shop is performed. Certain hours of the day or days of the week dramatically change the results of a shop. Editors check to make sure these timing guidelines were followed.
They also ensure any piece of documentation required by the company is present. If receipts are necessary for reimbursement or photos need to be taken, those items should come attached with the report. Incomplete reports are a hassle for editors. They have to not only get in touch with their shoppers, they must delay sending the report to their clients.
Written well and professionally
Mystery Shopper Magazine gave the following advice to all mystery shoppers: Write in complete sentences. With fragmented thoughts or explanations, a report does very little good for a company looking to evaluate employees or increase profits. One or two word answers to questions listed for the assessment are unacceptable. Editors are also checking to make sure the information provided by the shopper is consistent. If anything sounds like it may be unclear to a third-party reader, try rewriting it for clarity.
Double check that all language you're using is objective. Mystery shoppers do not offer their opinions on shops, rather they focus on factual reporting about their experience at a particular business. Be professional in your tone and be sure to check your own work for grammar, punctuation and spelling errors.
Why is this important?
If editors do not find the report is up to their standards or if it does not fully represent the wishes of the client, the report could get thrown out or rejected. Mystery Shopping Companies do not want to send an incomplete report from one of their shoppers to a client; this reflects poorly on their business. If your report gets thrown out due to lack of attention to detail or poor writing, chances are the MSC will not be eager to work with you again.
Editors often have to reach out to mystery shoppers for clarification on certain aspects of their reports. When this happens, it's imperative that you return their call as soon as possible. Otherwise, the client will be waiting longer than necessary and it's likely your payment could be delayed as well. Demonstrate reliability by responding quickly with the right information.
Pointers for completing great reports
Be sure to take your time during a shop to produce the best report possible. This doesn't mean moving at a very slow pace, it simply means avoiding rushing through your process. Take detailed notes during the job and start writing the report when the experience is fresh in your mind. This increases accuracy and also makes you a more reliable, responsive shopper. You can never double check guidelines too often before heading out for a gig. If there is anything you do not understand, check with your editor or scheduler before attempting the shop. This makes it less likely you'll get a call from your editor asking why you didn't complete a task as it was outlined for you.
Treating editors well can improve your reputation as a shopper and increase the money you make because of it.