As a bank manager, you’re already well aware that the number of customers physically stepping foot into your bank is dwindling. With the advent of online banking, more bank patrons are turning to their computers, and even their smartphones, for their banking needs.
However, there are certain necessities — like opening an account or applying for a loan — where a face-to-face interaction at a bank cannot be avoided. Physically going to the bank might be seen as somewhat of an inconvenience, so great customer experience is that much more important.
In this rare opportunity, the bank representative must be more effective, more analytical, and more persistent. In fact, many financial institutions are using mystery shopping companies to assess how their customer service reps are handling these interactions.
Financial institutions started hiring mystery shoppers — individuals paid by a company to walk in the shoes of your customers, then report on their experience. At the beginning, the main focus of these shops was bare-bones customer experience — greeting the customer or the cleanliness of the space, for example.
While these fundamentals are still relevant, banks have started to go beyond the basics in regards to their market research. In doing so, bank managers are finding a key takeaway — they can’t assume that an employee trained once will immediately do what he or she has learned. Many managers have been launching new offers without following up to see if the employees truly understand the selling approach.
Here are some of the benefits of mystery shopping your staff:
- Determine how employees are ascertaining customer needs and banking service preferences.
- Address gaps in training.
- Check to see if reps are “asking for the sale.” (The mystery shop can point out poor follow-through, and managers can step in to remedy that issue.)
- Reveal whether or not front-line employees are complying with new banking terms, like the 2010 debt overdraft opt-in decision, and explaining that to customers.
At the end of the day – all banks provide, in general, the same general services – checking, savings, loan, etc. What keeps customers loyal to a specific bank is the way they feel they are treated. By using mystery shop findings to fine tune the performance of your team, staff members can give your patrons the best possible customer experience.