Memory tips to improve mystery shopping reports

Mystery shoppers have the responsibility to recall specific details during their workdays.

Mystery shoppers have the responsibility to recall specific details during their workdays. Clients need to know, and often request, information as specific as how long it took an employee to greet the shopper and what phrase was used in the greeting. The trick is remembering these details. Often, there will be no opportunity to take notes in real time. This means a strong, reliable memory is necessary. If you don't think you've got an innate ability to recall details, have no fear. It's a learnable skill that all mystery shoppers can master.

Get organized
The Mayo Clinic stated that clutter and lack of routine can lead to forgetfulness. Writing tasks down in a planner and sorting all papers at the end of each day serves as a way to keep your life organized. It also is a great review tactic. The simple process of filing pay? stubs, logging notes and penciling in future shops reinforces information already stored in your brain.

Sleep well
Giving your brain and body a good rest each night helps consolidate memories, making them easier to call back later on. A tired brain may find it more difficult to remember the previous day's activities and details. Mercola also noted that Harvard researchers found a direct correlation between sleep and a subjects' ability to make connections between unrelated topics. Essentially, creative ways of looking at everyday scenarios increase with more rest.

Eat healthy
Foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats boost brain function. Rather than eating fast food on the go, it's recommended to pack a lunch rich in vegetables, nuts and lean protein. 

Continue learning
Your brain needs different forms of stimulation to remain sharp over time. Reading up on new subjects, doing brainteasers or spending time on an unfamiliar craft project can all increase your brain's capacity for information storage and recollection.

Use mnemonic devices
Mystery Shopper's Manual recommended using mnemonic devices to remember details from a shop. Sounds and word associations can help you recall significant moments from a shop later on. For example, create a rhythm or melody for the greeting you're given by a restaurant server. Thinking this tune over and over will help you recall it immediately later that night as you sit down to write a report. In addition, applying an acronym to a specific recurrence during your shopping career will make report writing simpler.

Visualize the experience
It can also be helpful to visualize certain aspects of a shop. Take a mental photograph of stocked shelves in a retailer or a bank teller's nametag. Focus on it and repeat that image back to yourself several times throughout the shop. Putting images to words helps imprint them into memory more significantly. 

Avoid multi-tasking
In general, and specifically during a mystery shopping assignment, don't try to complete more than one thing at a time. While it may seem that multi-tasking is a great way to get more done in less time, it actually decreases your ability to focus on the work at hand and get things done. Instead of attempting two things at once, it's faster to simply give all your energy and attention to one and then turn to the other. In terms of secret shopping, this means focusing on the current shop and not thinking about any subsequent or previous assignments for the day. 

These tools should all be employed when performing shops. It will improve your ability to be present and aware as you work, in addition to helping you provide more detailed information for clients as you write your post-shop reports.