Sample Narrative

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You need to write a fresh narrative for every shop. Even if you do the same shop for the 500th time, you need to find a new way to describe the visit. Each visit has some aspect that is not the same as every visit before it.

If the same exact sentences or photo's are used from one report to another, the MSC software will detect this. I would not be surprised of some people are deactivated for memorizing and writing the same narrative, even if they didn't cut and paste it.

I go out of my way to write the same thing slightly different each time I report it. You may find that some MSC's will give you an example report if they are very concerned about the formatting for a particular shop.
I always do present new pics and narrative's I just meant something like. I arrived at ( address ) at ( time ) on (day ). etc...not the actual details of a shop.
I have three samples that I have saved for those MSCs that require a sample. One if of a fine dining experience, one is a retail experience, and one is of a negative experience. All three are complete works of fiction, but they do show the MSC your writing ability, which is what they are after.

.
Have PV-500 & willing to travel.
"Answers are easy. It's asking the right questions which is hard." (The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil, 1977)

"Somedays you're the pigeon, somedays you're the statue.” J. Andrew Taylor

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Galileo Galilei
mnevins Wrote:
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> Does anyone have any sample Narratives they could
> share with me for different types of shops?


And why exactly do you need said narratives?
I am guessing that mnevins is asking because s/he is new and would like to see an example. Mnevins, if you would like, please PM me and we can discuss this further.

(heart)

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
stilllearning Wrote:
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> I am guessing that mnevins is asking because s/he
> is new and would like to see an example. Mnevins,
> if you would like, please PM me and we can discuss
> this further.
>
> (heart)


stilllearning, I really appreciate how you always assume the best in people. It's something I don't always do well and can always use a good example to follow.

That said, while most folks (myself included) on this forum are happy to help where we can, this request seems a little funny to me. I read it as being closer to a request to "copy someone's homework".

My apologies if that's not the case. If mnevins is just looking for some feedback on how to write a good narrative, I would suggest that they post their sample narrative here or PM folks their own work and we can provide recommendations on how to improve. As indicated by mnevins 2nd post in this thread, they "always do present new pics and narrative's" (sic). This suggests to me that they have done several/many shops and should have some sample narratives to request our feedback on.

And mnevins, though I admit to being initially skeptical, I am willing to admit I was wrong and would be happy to help evaluate your narratives and offer feedback if you wish to post here or send via PM.
Wow. I can't believe this reply . I have be doing shops for the past couple months I have not done many. I just wanted to get some advice. I by no way meant to "copy someones homework". I'm not sure why you are being so harsh. I apologize if I came across that I wanted to use someone else work as my own but I can assure you that is not the case at all. I didn't even want a word for word narrative. What I meant , and I guess I said it wrong, was is there a sample "form" maybe. Such as I posted with the I arrived at ... and time.....on ..... weekday. I still don't quite understand how you could assume all these things about me since I just posted a simple question. I by no means meant to offend anyone nor am I trying to use someone else's work. I hope you have a better day.
Saacman, I truly understand your skepticism, however as I've unfortunately found in the past and , in this particular case, after PMing with mnevins and questioning her at length, (sorry mnevins!) her motives are pure. Your suspicions are unfounded and a BIG, HUGE, HUMONGOUS-I-Am-a-Schmuck apology is in order. smiling smiley

(heart)

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
Thanks for clarifying that you are not looking to copy someone's work, and I apologize for assuming such.

Even with your follow-up, I am still unsure what exactly you are looking for. Perhaps something as simple as googling "mystery shopping sample report" will work for you. Here's one of the first links that pops up under that search:

[www.mlm-leads-that-seek-you.com]

If that's not what you're looking for, we'll need you to be a little more specific about what you need. And again, I'm happy to help evaluate one of your narratives if you're unsure if what you're doing is right.
stilllearning Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Your suspicions
> are unfounded and a BIG, HUGE,
> HUMONGOUS-I-Am-a-Schmuck apology is in order. smiling smiley
>
> (heart)


Well I did apologize, but I won't go quite so far as calling myself a schmuck. I'd say I was pretty fair in offering equal amounts skepticism and offer to provide help. But after the work you did in organizing the MSC update, you earned the liberty to call me a schmuck behind my back all you want! Just watch out, I'm much bigger in person than behind a keyboard. winking smiley
Haha! So how about if you do the gentlemanly thing and just send her an apologetic PM, since your comments kinda crushed her.

(heart)

PS
You contributed to the update of the MSC list and I thank you and I am enjoying my new "liberties". smiling smiley

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
Given all the times we're asked for unscrupulous things on this forum [violating ICAs, etc.] I think the skepticism was somewhat justified. The original post wasn't totally clear in why the sample was wanted. Having said that, my samples generally include an arrival time, comments on the target's appearance, comments about the food or product [depending on the type of shop]. I generally write about 450-500 words in 2-3 paragraphs.

.
Have PV-500 & willing to travel.
"Answers are easy. It's asking the right questions which is hard." (The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil, 1977)

"Somedays you're the pigeon, somedays you're the statue.” J. Andrew Taylor

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Galileo Galilei
I'm clear that mnevins is a new member and, based on her previous newbie question, I would guess that she didn't realize that she needed to be "totally clear" on her motives. I can only tell you she has been totally forthcoming in answering my questions and is simply a new shopper seeking help. Hopefully, we have not scared her away, which I fear may be the case.

(heart)

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/2014 10:42PM by stilllearning.
There is no one-size-fits-all narrative. Some MSCs provide samples of what they're looking for in narratives. Some MSCs have a character count requirement which must be met. Others may require a specific number of sentences. All of these make it easier to know what the MSC wants. Then there are the MSCs who do not provide a sample, or any real direction. Those are the tough ones. For those, I just write what, in my opinion, is important. I use the Yes, Nos, N/As in the report to tell the story, particularly commenting on the negatives.

That approach has worked pretty well for me. If the MSC wants more, or less, I expect they'll let me know.
The biggest variable with companies is their expectations for narratives. My favorites are the ones that will provide a sample. Since many don't I found it be hit and miss early on. It never hurts to ask even if the company doesn't automatically provide one with the guidelines. Once you have a sample or three you will probably find them all a bit different anyway, but it will still give you a solid base for other companies. After that don't let it bother you if the editor comes back with a gripe or two.

In general I've also found most like it simple. Shorter sentences with flowery language kept to a minimum. A video shopper friend was working on some of the same shops as me last summer. My narratives were basically spitting back the questions on the report while hers were written in story form. I tried my method for two shops and hers for the third. We both got the same scores on all the reports. Go figure.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I understand because I always wish the companies would provide samples. The best one I learned on here was, "She smiled warmly and said..." I realized that just saying "smiled" doesn't convey what really happened. Was it forced, genuine, warm, reluctant, enthusiastic, etc.?
I don't keep sample narratives but can tell you that if you are doing work for Intellishop your grade will be higher if you write in short simple sentences, start a new paragraph for each section or idea evaluated. And leave a full blank line between paragraphs.

For About Face, they prefer exact quotes when able.
It is innocent but I also think us sending "sample narratives" would not be helpful. Narratives for which company? For what type of shop?? It's best to ask for the sample from the MSC.
There was no uproar. Saacman not only apologized in advance if his interpretation of the request was wrong, he apologized a second time and offered his assistance.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I have shopped for many MSC. I answer every question in my narrative, I try to make it short and accurate. I keep a list of words to use so that they are not boring.
Examples;
arrived-observed-noticed-responded-stated-retrieved-replied-explained-mentioned-listened- commented-initiated-assured-relevant-applicable-tidy-clean-well kept-no debris-organized-orderly-engaged-focused-subdued- and more.........
I always have a tab open for the Thesaurus.com website when I'm writing, but I like your idea to have a short list of words.
shopper8 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have shopped for many MSC. I answer every
> question in my narrative, I try to make it short
> and accurate. I keep a list of words to use so
> that they are not boring.
> Examples;
> arrived-observed-noticed-responded-stated-retrieve
> d-replied-explained-mentioned-listened-
> commented-initiated-assured-relevant-applicable-ti
> dy-clean-well kept-no
> debris-organized-orderly-engaged-focused-subdued-
> and more.........

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
The desired narratives vary so much from one contract to another. Some want you to completely regurgitate everything you already discussed in a yes/no section, play by play with as much detail as possible, and some want it short and sweet. One MSP recently docked me for noting that a cashier's badge did not match the name on the receipt. In my mind that is a potential asset management issue, and to the MSP's editor it meant two points for having to delete a sentence. On another report, I had a five-sentence minimum to describe each course of a meal. It can be challenging to write five sentences about a bowl of soup, but you will get the hang of it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2014 03:33AM by heartlandcanuck.
I would suggest taking only one shop when you start with a new company. That way, you can find out if you and they are on the same page as far as narratives. Also, since there are different requirements from one company to the next, when you find a new company, use the search function here for information. Make sure you use "all dates." If you can't find any information about the narrative requirements for that specific company, post a query.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2014 08:00PM by Stepanuk.
I think I understand what OP is saying.... I have one that I use with new MSCs that ask for it when I sign up.

Anyway for a general narrative, always include the 5's (Who, what, where, when and how).. as you do this more, you will find it becomes much easier. And yes, every MSC wants something different but as long as you read what they request, answer the questions as they are posed and with detail, you will have no problems. smiling smiley

Silver Certified ~ Shopping all of Toronto and beyond
The people here can be idiots...... I learned that early on. Some of us know there is enough money for everyone! Here is my sample narrative. Some company's provide sample narratives. If you need anything else to give you a start let me know.



I called the restaurant to clarify where they were located and hours of operation. Tiffany answered the phone before on the second ring. She provided me with the name and the location of the restaurant in her greeting. I asked about the hours, and she answered my questions friendly and professionally. She said that they were open until 11:00 that night. She asked could she set up reservations.
Taylor opened the door for us as we approached. We were greeted as we walked into the restaurant and approached the hostess desk, by Gary. He asked how many were in our party. I said there were two. He showed us to our table and pulled out the chairs for us to be seated. Gary placed the menus down in front of us before we sat down. He poured water in our glass and said that our server would be with us shortly.
Synthia arrived and greeted us. She mentioned a few featured items. She suggested a couple of starters and then asked if we needed a couple minutes to look over the menu. When we said yes, she asked if we would like order our drinks. Synthia made a few suggestions from the list of wines. We then placed our drink orders. She reassured the time we would be back with our drinks.
Synthia brought our drinks shortly after and then asked if she could start us out with an appetizer. She described the Seafood Gumbo and the Grilled Filet of Salmon Florentine. We placed the order for order placed our order, and Synthia repeated our order before leaving and assured us of the time our appetizer would be out.
Synthia delivered our appetizers in a timely manner. She also refilled our water and engaged in conversation. She asked if we needed anything else and left the table. She checked on us to make sure the appetizer meet our expectations and assured us of the time our entrée would be out.
Synthia delivered our entrées were as we were finishing the appetizer. They were correct, and she quickly checked back to make sure we had everything we needed. After that, she did stopped to check on us, and made sure our beverages and water was full.
Synthia brought a display of assortment of desserts. She asked if we were interested in dessert. She described each one and suggested her favorite. We ordered dessert and Synthia asked if we would like coffee with our dessert
Synthia quickly brought the coffee and dessert, with two spoons. She also presented the check at that time. She told us to take our time and that he would get it when we were ready. After Synthia picked up our payment, she promptly processed it. She brought the receipts and thanked us for visiting. Synthia was polite and professionally.
We saw the manager walk through the restaurant consistently during our meal. He briefly stopped by our table and asked how we were. The manager then continued on to other tables in our area. He seemed professional, but not very personable.
The Spinach and Crab Dip was delivered in a baked bread bowl. It was hot, as expected. The dip was creamy and cheesy, and it included large, tasty pieces of crab.
The Grilled Salmon was slightly crisp on the outside and silky inside. It was delicious. A delicious sauce was placed around the edge of the plate and when mixed with the vegetables and the fish, made for an excellent dish.


April Dawson
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