With the changing trends and the emerging needs of improved customer experience, it has become crucial for the brands to lay an increased focus on designing better strategies. This can be done by closely monitoring the customer behavior on every step taken and then, strategizing the ways to improve the same. Several methodologies can be implemented to study and analyze your customers’ experience with your brand and your employees’ productivity such as speech analytics, surveys, and loyalty programs. However, implementing a mystery shopping program can take you a step forward by helping you identify even the minutest details of the customer experience, for instance, if your services could evoke any emotions, the type of immediate responses received, and others.
Mystery shopping, also known as a secret shopper or mystery consumer is an advanced practice used by companies to evaluate the quality of customer service delivered by their employees while staying adhered to the set regulations. Typically outsourced to a market research company, this practice is at times conducted internally by the company. Some of the common markets using this program are food, retail, automotive, and BFSI.
Mystery Shopping for BFSI
A mystery shopping program aims to help a company serve its customers better. Designed with precision to match the exact needs of the company, the program enables detailed evaluation of the staff’s performance; identify the behaviors that impact their overall performance and various others. While the program is already a massive success in the market, it is attaining a lot of demand and requests from the BFSI or banking sector.
Customers have always judged the financial institutions for the type of services offered by them, the level of authenticity maintained, the security measures taken to protect their customers’ data, to name a few. With an informed customer base and increased risk of data theft and breach, it has become crucial for these institutions to stay updated and identify any threat in the financial sector.
Even while these institutions have already adopted several advanced methodologies and technologies to identify their customers’ pain-points, implementing a mystery shopping program is the one that can help them gain real insights.
Challenges Identified Using Mystery Shopping
The financial sector is an ever-evolving, customer-centric domain wherein the institutions need to focus on staying competitive and deliver the best customer services. With an array of choices available to the customers, it is utterly crucial for these institutions to embark on their digital transformational journey and stay ahead of their competitors.
It is also important to remember that the transformation need not be limited to implementing advanced technologies in their operations but also in changing the way customers perceive a brand.
To enable this, the institutions must increase their focus on keeping a close tab on their customers’ concerns, their expectations and finding the best ways to address them. While tools like speech analytics can serve this purpose, implementing a mystery shopping program can be a better idea to gain deeper insights.
Mentioned below is a list of common concerns stated by the customers of any financial institution and can be identified using mystery shopping for BFSI:
1. Data Security
A mystery shopping program can be used to identify the extent to which a customer feels safe about sharing his/her personal information. The level of trust and faith exhibited by the customers can then be used to deploy such strategies that can keep their data safe. Doing so would make their customers feel privileged that, in turn, may help to improve their brand loyalty and satisfaction with the services.
2. Hidden Fees
Many times, customers are either overcharged or charged for the services for which they had never opted. Being a significant setback for the customers, such situations increase the risk of losing them for the lifetime. To overcome such hurdles, the banks must carefully listen to their customers’ pain points, analyze their problems, and share the most suitable solution. Running a mystery shopping for BFSI can make it easier to identify such troubles and the number of customers affected by them.
3. Customer Service
Being a customer-centric division, it is essential for the financial institutions to match the exceptional quality level in all their services. The mystery shopping surveys can help identify whether a customer’s inquiry about a product or details about a particular loan are being answered meticulously; if a customer’s call is being put on hold several times; and similar others. It is essential to keep a tab on such issues as customer service is one of the most important pillars of success for a banking organization.
4. Bounced Checks
Mismanagement of the customers’ bank accounts causes a heavy loss to the customers in the form of bounced checks and overhead fees. So this has become one of their major areas of concern. To enable a smooth flow of the operations and evade such losses, customers are advised to maintain a proper record of the bank receipts, the deposits made, and other important facts to remember. Improving the process at the bank’s end is also essential to culminate the risk of any such future glitches.
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5. Mortgage Issues
Poorly handled mortgage query is one of the biggest reasons for growing customer discontent with various financial institutions. The reasons for this are poorly trained staff, lack of proper knowledge, ineffective tools, to name a few. Utilizing advanced programs such as mystery shopping can make it easier to identify such issues and allow you to plan a suitable plan of action.
6. Branch Experience
Customer experience varies across branches. However, it is essential for the brand to make sure that each of its customers is offered an immaculate experience at every office. Analyzing the customer experience provided at its different branches using mystery shopping, the brands have started to bring in the required changes.
From redefining the entire structure and layout of their subsidiaries, the banks are now more focused on satisfying the exact needs and interests of their customers. They have also started giving away some gifts and services so that it may help in improving the overall branch experience for the customers.
7. Lack of Appreciation
Appreciating your customers does not imply offering exclusive privileges. It is simply about making your customers feel special and valued. At times, there can be situations when a customer faces some trouble with the bank’s services but is not blaming the latter for the same. In such and similar other cases, it is crucial for the banks to spare some time and invest in expressing gratitude.
Mystery Shopping & Customer Satisfaction
The financial institutions must understand that their customers expect a high level of authenticity, trust, and reliability. They assume that the level of service offered by these institutions at one level improves at the next. And this cannot be done without gaining an in-depth understanding of the customers’ pain points and troubles.
Amidst the number of options available to know your customers’ concerns, mystery shopping offers an entirely different experience. It not only brings the performance flaws into focus but also helps understand the need for valuing your customers and improving your services. Therefore, it is better to be clear about your end goals and invest all your energies into attaining the highest level of customer satisfaction.