Scoring: How to Get High Marks on a Mystery Shopper Report
Remember how frustrating it was in grade school to get a grade of A- or B- instead of just an A or a B on a book report with no explanation from your teacher? Many of us wondered how we could improve if we didn’t know what was wrong. Mystery shopper report scores are more straightforward, although the standards may vary slightly from editor to editor. And they are more than just numbers; they can affect how many mystery shops you are assigned and, in the long run, whether you’ll be kept on the shopper roster.
Of course, if you’re a mystery shopper who never gets a score lower than 10, you have nothing to worry about. Although very few reports require no changes, if your answers match your comments and report instructions such as, “Please explain all No answers,” are followed, and your grammar and spelling are mostly correct, a score of 10 is most common.
Here’s a list of the most common reasons for points being deducted from your score, all of which are easily correctable:
Not following instructions.
If the directions state: “Please comment on your overall impressions of the bar area’s cleanliness,” then that’s what our clients are interested in knowing. Your remarks can be positive, negative, or a combination thereof, but avoid including any comments about the restroom, parking lot, how many people were at the bar, the weather, how friendly the bartender was, etc.
This one is important. Our clients rely on receiving crisp and legible reports, so we go above and beyond to ensure quality with grammar. If an editor has to correct more than 2 or 3 grammatical errors, you might lose a point or two.
Here’s a good tip: To avoid mistakes in grammar, copy and paste your narratives into Microsoft Word and run a grammar check. It only takes a minute or two and even tells you how to correct all your errors. If you don’t have MS Word, there’s plenty of free grammar checking sites online. One we love to use is Grammarly. It’s a free automated proofreader and can save you lots of time.
Prior to submission, remember to use the MS Word spell checker or a Grammarly. It takes minimal time and correct spellings are suggested. It’s generally a bad idea to rely on autocorrect on any of your electronics; they can accidentally fill your report with words and sentences that are way out of context.
Keep in mind that you’re writing a report, not a novel, or a letter to your uncle. While it’s nice that the sun was shining as you pulled up to the valet service, that’s not information that our clients are interested in – unless the report asks questions about the weather. The same applies to comments about décor, restrooms, landscaping, etc.. For the sake of simplicity, we ask that you keep them out of reports if there are no questions on those topics.
Read our blog post on Mystery Shopping Report Details to learn more.
Sometimes it is helpful to read report instructions a couple of times before you start writing, and use the tools at your disposal, you’ll soon be racking up perfect scores that make your mystery shopper profile shine. And if an editor isn’t clear in their coaching comments, ask for clarification; they’re more than willing to help.
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