Four Common Mistakes Found During Mystery Shops

Sean Galli
Four Common Mistakes Found During Mystery Shops

Maybe you think your consumer experience is fine. Or maybe you know something is wrong in a general sense but don’t know the specifics. Whichever it is, conducting mystery shops reveals hidden mistakes impacting your brand’s reputation.

But what are the most common mistakes? And how does your credit union or community bank fix them? Let’s find out.

#1: Unsecured Consumer Information

Unfortunately, this happens frequently during branch visits. The mystery shopper walks into a branch and notices a sign-in book or similar item full of consumer information. There’s no security. A criminal could easily look at the personal information and take what they needed.

Solution: Always secure member or customer information. Don’t open yourself up to liability from a breach, especially when it’s so easily preventable. Post an attendant by the sign-in book, or switch to a digital check-in system that automatically protects entered information.

#2: Waiting Times Without Contact

How would you feel if you waited around a branch without anyone checking on you? Probably how mystery shoppers feel all the time. The shopper sometimes waits for extended periods and no one even says hello. In several instances, he leaves without anyone acknowledging he entered.

Solution: You can’t always reduce wait times, but you can increase employee contact with consumers. Acknowledge people as they enter and tell them how long they will wait. Find a way to do occasional check-ins to keep consumers happy (and in the branch).

#3: Confusing Membership Requirements

This one is specific to credit unions. The mystery shopper tells a member service representative that he’s interested in becoming a member. One branch gives him a laundry list of requirements too intimidating to tackle. Another branch across town is ready to sign him up then and there. It’s a major consistency issue, and a potential member visiting the first branch might decide it’s too much work.

Solution: Create consistent scripts and expectations for membership requirements. Make sure every branch conveys the requirements in a clear manner. And don’t overwhelm consumers! If becoming a member is too much work, no one will do it.

#4: Not Solving Consumers’ Problems

Mystery shoppers purposely drop hints like, “My car just broke down.” These hints connect to your product offerings and create openings for frontline staff to cross-sell. But employees don’t always pick up on these hints. That means shoppers (and real people) leave branches without knowing you have ways to help them.

Solution: Train your staff to be alert, and train them that “selling” isn’t a nasty practice. Like any other tool, it’s all about intent. If you have products with competitive rates, you should use those to help people.

These problems silently tarnish your brand’s reputation, stealing members or customers from you. Book your own mystery shops today to uncover and address these quiet killers.

Sean Galli
Marketing Coordinator