Invision Consulting delivers shopping reports based on the facts
14 April 2015

Just the Facts Man!

Like Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet, Invision asks its shoppers for a similar scope of information: Just the facts!  Our shoppers are trained to provide a fact-based, first-person account of their guest experience, and our editors are always mindful of the strong connotations carried by certain words and phrases. As necessary, our editing team weeds out colloquial phrases like “we waited forever” or “service was perfect,” and instead asks our shoppers to use precise and descriptive vocabulary to effectively convey what occurred during their guest experience. Though some aspects of the report are subjective—for example, the Food and Drink evaluations—we expect and reinforce bias-free reporting.

For example, service is described dispassionately: “We waited for seven minutes to order after closing our menus and putting them down on the table.”  Or: “Our Server, John, was very attentive and engaging, making enticing suggestions about the menu, and checking back within three minutes of each course being served.” Whether service was poor, excellent, or mediocre, it must be clear as to why the shopper reached a particular conclusion. Both the quantitative scores that the shopper awards and the supporting descriptive narratives need to be consistent on every point.  When shoppers are writing their reports, they are mindful of what follow-up questions might be prompted by certain narratives, and they back them up with facts.

In other words, it’s not enough to write, “The Bartender was not attentive.” The facts that support such a statement and the associated score must back up the conclusion. Shoppers appreciate that management want to know why the Server was or was not attentive so they can take appropriate action.  For that reason, our shopping reports describe the facts that led to the shoppers’ conclusion.  “Our Bartender did not make eye contact or otherwise acknowledge us. He greeted us five minutes after we arrived, and there were no other guests present during this time.”

So like Sgt. Joe Friday, we want to be fair and unbiased in our reporting, and that starts with “Just the facts man, just the facts!