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Copyright 2006 National Association of Mystery Shoppers

Chino Hills, CA

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Tip on Writing Comments

Download the Shoppers_Precision_Model.xls

Download the Shoppers_Precision_Model.pdf


Shopping Tips on Comments:

1. Always follow the (Who, What, When, Where and How) when writing sentences.

2. Write sentences in the past tense, such as  -  was, did

3. Follow the proper punctuations’ and make sure you spell check you work before you submit it.   If you are filling out a web based form, an interactive spell checker such as www.spellcatcher.com is a great tool, it also has a shorthand glossary to expand your own abbreviations into commonly used sentences. Or use your word processor then copy your corrected text to the web form.

4. Use free writing resources such as http://www.Dictionary.com  or Merriam-Webster and consult the Thesaurus to prevent overusing the same words.  If you really get stuck contact the Tidewater Community College’s free Grammar Hotline for help.

5. Give explicit details—use the precision model to get a better idea on how to make better comments

6. Write sentences in the order that things happen. Tell a story in an organized manner.

7. Leave out your opinions (unless wanted), instead just state facts.

8. If you are asked for a narrative, you should give a step by step walk through of your visit. Give details from the time you arrive to the time you left. Make sure your story is absolutely accurate.

9. Provide only facts and not opinion.  Instead of saying,  “I was very disappointed that there was only one cashier working during my visit”, say instead, “There were eight customers in line and one cashier station open. It took 18 minutes to reach the cashier”.

10. Hint: Always look for things that employees are doing right. Employees and their employers enjoy reading  they did well. Negative comments are often times necessary, but they should be handled professionally and with compassion.  I once commented on an employee’s “unenthusiastic mopie attitude”  to later learn that the business was short handed, the employee was on the downside of a double shift and that her father had passed away earlier that day. She was doing everything she could just to keep it together. So, provide facts and don’t get too animated with negative comments.

Incorrect Example 1:  Poor writing skills.

larry is friendly and checked id he always asks me if I want other stuff.


Correct Example 1:

Larry was very friendly, enthusiastic and offered a nice greeting.   He did an excellent job checking my ID for the beer purchase and did a good job suggesting nuts, potato chips and lottery tickets. He quickly processed my payment and offered a sincere thank you with an invitation to return. 


Incorrect Example 2: Poor writing skills

i entered the restaurant and saw Kathy talking to someone else. She said hello and took me to a seat        then gave me a menu  after  I placed my order I went to the restroom. I thought someone should have cleaned it better and the carpet needed a cleaning. Good service.

Correct Example 2:

Upon entry, at (7:42:40 PM) I notice that Kathy (the manager) was coaching another employee, but quickly noticed me (0:00:04)  and offered a pleasant and cheerful greeting. She asked if I wanted a table or booth, then escorted me to a nice table. She did an excellent job matching my pace to the table and was interactive along the way. She waited until I sat down to present the menu, then said with a smile and cheerful voice, “Your server will be right with you, enjoy your meal.”


Larry greeted me in 0:00:27 with a warm welcome and did an excellent job suggesting an appetizer and the daily special. He was very helpful and knowledgeable about menu items, did an excellent job describing several of the items I inquired about, and did an excellent job asking for various order options available with the entrée. 


The women’s restroom had an unpleasant odor and there were eight used paper towel scattered on the floor. The inside of the door had heavy graffiti; the sink had two cigarette butts in the basin, and the toilet was unflushed. The lock, on one of the stalls, was broken and the trash can was full and overflowing.


Larry returned to the table at 7:46:15 PM with the appetizer and a pitcher of tea. He refilled my half full glass and told me to enjoy the appetizer and said that the entrée would be out in about 5 minutes. 


While I was eating the appetizer, I noticed that the condiment caddy was missing sugar, but had plenty of “Sweet N Low”.  There was a large two foot round greasy stain in the carpet, next to my table.  The atmosphere was nice, the temperature was comfortable, the music pleasant and at the appropriate volume level.  And on and on……




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Good writing skill are proper punctuation are critical for getting the best, most fun and highest paying shopping engagements.



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Special thanks to these members for their contribution to this page.

Lisa Night Shop Schedulers www.mystery-shop.net  - Gold 7/2006

Tony Versellie - Gold 8/2007

Albert Fisher - Silver 5/2007