Banking - Generate an excellent customer experience with CRM and mystery shopping projects

PROJECTS AND REFERENCES IN THE BANKING SECTOR

For more than 20 years, concertare has been advising banks on the topics of customer acquisition, customer retention, customer satisfaction, consulting quality, sales orientation, and adherence to standards and compliance guidelines. Our clients include branch banks, direct banks, investment banks, banking associations and bank branches, financial consultancies, and financial service providers. In several hundred projects, we have carried out a wide range of different tasks and measured and developed the performance of many thousands of consultants and employees in customer contact.

PROJECT GOALS AND SERVICES FOR BANKS

  • Increasing customer satisfaction through better quality of advice in bank-customer contact, higher service orientation, and customer-centricity programs
  • Review and further development of contact quality at all customer interfaces and touchpoints along the customer journey in retail customer service and corporate customer service
  • Test consultations in the areas of retail, private customers, investment advice, building society savings, borrowing and investment advice
  • Conducting audits and test consultations to verify compliance with internal company standards, particularly in the areas of consulting, sales, marketing, service, and compliance
  • Conducting audits and test consultations to verify compliance with legislative standards, in particular the maintenance of consulting protocols in investment consulting or the consulting obligations in lending, e.g., in real estate loans
  • Increasing the contract signing rate through targeted development of customer advisory staff in terms of their advisory and sales skills
  • Identifying training needs for customer advisors
  • Monitoring the success of training through training success control programs
  • Observation of the competition and generation of benchmark data, including all relevant institutions in investment consulting
  • Studies on special topics such as bank mortality, online banking, and video consulting
  • International projects with the aim of establishing globally comparable standards

Clients (Extract)

INSTRUMENTS FOR IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP IN BANKS

As part of our mystery research and survey projects in the banking sector and the financial services industry, a variety of survey instruments were used to collect a wide range of data on quality in customer contact.

The most important methods used are:

  • Surveys using mystery research methods (mystery shopping, test consulting, silent monitoring, quality analysis of recorded conversations).
  • Customer surveys, employee surveys, partner surveys, e.g., of sales and retail partners
  • Process analyses, for example, of the processing of potential customer inquiries and leads, the follow-up of consulting contacts, compliance with legal requirements, or internal bank standards.

MYSTERY RESEARCH / MYSTERY SHOPPING FOR BANKS

In the area of banking tests / mystery shopping, all customer contact channels are measured and developed, in particular through test consultations, test calls, test emails, observations, and audits.

A special feature of these mystery research procedures is that these instruments are often used not only for measurement, but also for individual and continuous employee development of the customer advisors. They enable individual bank advisors to reflect on their advisory behavior from the customer's perspective and thus continuously improve their service orientation and advisory quality. Our test customers (mystery shoppers), who are specially trained for the banking sector and the specific financial products, evaluate all elements relevant to the quality of customer contact on the basis of a questionnaire previously agreed with you as the customer, and can thus provide objective feedback on the conversational situation experienced.

Especially in the financial sector and the banking business, mystery shopping can be used to test criteria that are beyond the scope of a pure customer survey. This concerns, for example, all internal standards, which are not at all well-known to normal bank customers. Trained mystery shoppers are taught these internal standards, and the mystery shoppers are given thorough training to enable them to assess whether these standards have been met. This also makes it possible to check statutory advisory requirements, such as the provision of an advisory protocol in investment advice.

Another important test aspect is the recording of a holistic customer experience for all sub-aspects of the customer journey. This can include, for example, the initiation phase, in which test calls (mystery calls) or test e-mails (mystery mails) are used to measure and develop topics such as an initial inquiry for loans or real estate financing, a request for information, or an appointment. The next step is a visit to the bank branch. Here, aspects of the bank branch (ease of finding, parking situation, presentation of financial products, cleanliness and order, etc., the bank branch as a world of experience) and employee-related aspects (greeting, needs analysis, quality of advice, behavior, etc.) are checked. The so-called follow-up can also be checked: the testers wait to see whether the customer advisor actively and promptly follows up on the advisory contact made or the financing discussion held.

CUSTOMER SURVEYS AND EMPLOYEE SURVEYS AT BANKS

In addition to mystery research procedures such as test consultations, concertare has been conducting surveys of all kinds for clients in the banking sector for many years. As one of the classic instruments of market research, we primarily implement customer surveys. The most frequently used type is the customer satisfaction survey among bank customers. In many cases, however, an expectations survey is also carried out.

Customer surveys: can be periodic or related to a transaction. In periodic surveys, a representative sample is usually surveyed once a year on various topics. The survey design is usually very comprehensive and places greater time demands on the customer.

Transactional surveys: relate to a transaction and are conducted very close to the time of the transaction. They are usually very short and can be answered by the customer in a few seconds. Due to the continuous and timely execution, control data with a very high quality is obtained over time.

Employee surveys: are a proven instrument for determining the satisfaction and potential of bank employees. We usually combine this first step with advice based on the analysis on how the bank can develop its employees in a targeted manner and thus ensure higher advisory quality, service orientation and ultimately high customer satisfaction.

IMPROVED QUALITY OF ADVICE LEADS TO GREATER CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

The objective of the projects in the implementation of mystery shopping in the banking sector can be very different. Basically, the following orientations can be distinguished, which can be served either individually or in combination:

Projects for the development of employees: With regard to better customer orientation, more quality in advisory contact, increase in customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, new customer acquisition, and customer recovery, as well as the follow-up rate. Such projects are usually initiated by the sales department.

Projects to develop training needs or measure training success: The aim of these projects is to review and adapt training concepts, training content, and coaching measures. Clients of such projects in the area of training are usually the Training or Personnel Development / Human Resources department.

Projects to determine lost sales and lost contracts: Here, we test the extent to which customer advisors exploit the potential for cross-selling and upselling by, for example, also offering a private customer account to an existing business customer or also addressing topics such as retirement provision in the young target group when opening a checking account.

Process tests: Here, existing or newly introduced processes are tested for their efficiency, security, and customer perception.

Usability tests: Here, web-based applications and the homepage are checked for user-friendliness, customer perception and process optimization.

Special projects: For example, to check the extent to which compliance requirements are implemented in the execution of defined business processes.

BENCHMARK STUDIES FOR BANKS

Benchmark studies are an effective means of comparing the company with its competitors at various levels. This can cover various areas, such as needs analysis and the conduct of discussions, the approach to certain topics (online banking, retirement planning advice, etc.), the argumentation regarding financing models, and the like. Such surveys usually involve a large number of tests and are correspondingly expensive.

Since 2005, concertare has regularly conducted corresponding benchmark tests on all relevant banks in the German market, in which the performance of market participants is measured in a comparable manner. This data is available to all banks, allowing them to compare themselves with any other market participants.

FURTHER INFORMATION FOR BANKS

Current studies, trends, and practical examples on the topics of mystery shopping, test consulting, and customer relationship management in the banking sector and the financial services industry can also be found in our Infocenter as well as on the concertare blog.

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