The Risk in using 'Check Box/limited commentary' style Mystery Shopping Reports

Staff morale can be hugely impacted from ‘Check Box/limited commentary’ style Mystery Shopping reports. When a team member receives a poor score for any checkpoint outcome on the report, the first thing they want to know is what happened, only to find out there is no detailed commentary to support the score they’ve been given.

Team members need to know the report was completed by a professional and not just anyone making judgement calls.

Team members need explanations in the form of detailed commentary to understand what triggered a particular score in the context of the whole interaction with the mystery shopper; team members need to see the detail to have confidence and belief in the report. In short, team members only take ownership of the scores given when the interaction between themselves and the mystery shopper is documented in detail.

The reason you want a Mystery Shopping program in place is to ensure your teams are on their toes and making the most out of every customer or guest interaction opportunity. It defeats the purpose if the team feel let down and lacking confidence in the measurement process. Lack of detail detailed commentary giving context to poor scoring leads to feelings of victimisation, as in all likelihood management may well be exerting undue pressure on the very people who care most about the business.

The reason ‘Check Box/limited comment’ style Mystery Shopping reports are popular amongst most Mystery Shopping providers, is simply because they are easier and more cost effective for them to produce. They can pay the shopper less because its ‘easy’ to do, however in reality you, the client, run the real risk of being served up inaccurate Mystery Shopping reports that are short on detail and a hard sell to your team.

Shoppers paid a low fee to complete ‘Check Box/ limited comment’ style reports still have to make the time available to visit the location, pay the petrol or public transport costs to get there only to receive a payment that hardly covers their expenses. Does anyone truly believe that those shoppers are motivated to produce accurate accounts of their experience? unlikely at best (On average other Mystery Shopper service providers pay shoppers 20% of their fee to clients) On average we pay shoppers 50% of our fee to clients whilst keeping the same final cost to client the same if not lower than the majority of our competitors.

What sets us aside from the majority of other providers is the level of detail we put into the visit commentary for each report. Typically, our visit commentaries are 500+ words per section detailing every facet of the interaction between the shopper or guest and the team members during the visit. The enhanced feedback resulting from these detailed commentaries, along with a customised set of checkpoint outcomes from which the visit is scored, makes our Mystery Shopping reports unique in the market for their superior and meaningful feedback.