Bank Mystery Shopping

Kinēsis employs a purchase intent based approach to bank mystery shop program design. This approach helps our clients identify and reinforce sales and service behaviors which drive purchase intent and loyalty. This approach helps clients focus training, coaching, incentives, and other motivational tools directly on the elements of the customer experience that will produce the largest return on investment.

Identifying which sales and service behaviors drive purchase intent.


Bank Channel Experience Shopping

Kinēsis’ bank mystery shopping programs are employed by banks to fulfill a variety of research purposes. Some of these research purposes include:


In Branch Bank Mystery Shops The branch continues to be the cornerstone of establishing the customer relationship. In-branch bank mystery shopping evaluates and motivates sales and service behaviors of platform and teller staff.


Contact Center Bank Mystery Shops Contact center bank mystery shopping provides banks a unique opportunity for bank customer experience managers to evaluate the customer experience using predetermined scenarios.


Competitor Bank Mystery Shops Shopping competitors allows our clients to benchmark their sales and service behaviors relative to their competitors.


Internal Service Mystery Shops Shops Internal shops evaluate service provided to internal customers to identify and overcome “bottlenecks” in internal service delivery which may hinder the ability to provide optimal customer service.


Life Cycle Mystery Shops LifeCycle bank mystery shops are designed to evaluate the customer experience across a variety of delivery channels, with a spectrum of bank transactions, over an extended period of time.


Bank Web Site Mystery Shops Web mystery shopping allows managers of web channels to test ease of use, navigation and the overall customer experience of the website.


Mobile Bank Mystery Shops Increasingly, customer relationships with their bank are being deepened through mobile channels. Bank mystery shopping allows managers of mobile channels to test ease of use, navigation and the overall mobile experience.




Other Bank Mystery Shopping Programs


Bank Investment Sales Practices (IDIP) Mystery Shops Kinēsis’ investment sales mystery shopping program provides clients with detailed information about the investment sales practices, specifically with respect to disclosure and suitability.


Bank Fair Lending Mystery Shops Kinēsis helps financial institutions self test to evaluate fair-lending compliance through the use of mystery shoppers or post-transaction surveys to test for disparate treatment, overt discrimination and other prohibited lending activities.


Bank Truth in Savings Mystery Shops Our truth in savings mystery shop program is designed to evaluate the presence, timing and accuracy of annual percentage yield (APY) quotes.


Bank Truth in Lending Mystery Shops Kinēsis’ truth in lending mystery shop program evaluates the presence, timing and accuracy of oral and written annual percentage rate (APR) quotes.



You can expect what you inspect.

Measurement and motivation are the business case for bank mystery shopping. Fifty years ago W. Edwards Deming coined the phrase “you can expect what you inspect” to describe his management philosophy. This is the benefit of mystery shopping. Not only is it a measurement tool to determine if employees are exhibiting the proper behaviors, it is a motivational tool to ensure required behaviors are present.

While many research tools are designed to determine how customers feel about the bank, mystery shopping focuses on the behavioral side of the bank-customer interface, to determine if customer-facing employees are exhibiting sales and service behaviors required by management. In short, mystery shopping inspects what you expect.

Actions speak louder than words.

The average bank spends millions of dollars annually on external messaging. However, ultimately the brand is not defined by external messaging, but by employees. Employees animate the brand. Their sales and service behaviors determine how customers actually perceive the brand, and it is imperative that their behaviors be aligned with the brand promise. Perception is reality. When a customer experiences a disconnect between employees’ behaviors and external messaging, they experience brand ambiguity. This brand ambiguity undermines the millions of dollars invested in external messaging. Mystery shopping aligns sales and service behaviors to the brand.

Channels to Shop

Budgetary resources are limited. And, like all investments in the customer experience, mystery shopping must compete for these resources. In terms of prioritizing which types of mystery shopping to conduct, we believe sales channels offer the highest potential for return on investment. Therefore, managers should prioritize sales shops first followed by transactional scenarios.

Increasingly, banks are shifting to universal associates – turning tellers into sellers. This transformation into a universal associate model creates a necessity to monitor and motivate higher level sales skills. After sales behaviors have been prioritized, transactional scenarios can be added to the program.

For more information about a process to align behaviors to the brand, click below:

5 Steps to Make Frontline Employees Authentic Representatives of the Brand

Design Considerations

It is a best practice in mystery shopping to focus the program on observing empirical behaviors through the use of objective questions.

Kinēsis has a highly consultative process to design a mystery shop program. This process helps clients define their brand promise and determine which sales and service behaviors they expect from their employees. Once this list of expected behaviors is defined, the next step in the process is to write a question for each behavior and map it to the questionnaire.

In addition to these closed-ended empirical questions, open-ended questions are used to add additional context. These open-ended questions typically take one of two forms: narratives of the experience or asking the shoppers what they liked about the experience and what they disliked. These qualitative questions put the empirical observations described above in context. Many of Kinēsis’ clients consider them the heart of the shop.

In addition to empirical closed-ended questions and qualitative open-ended questions, an additional question type plays a valuable role in bank mystery shop design. Rating scales are designed to capture subjective impressions of strategically selected dimensions of the customer experience. These rating scales give managers important context from which to interpret the customer experience. One of the key points of context is to evaluate the efficacy of specific behaviors in terms of driving the overall customer experience objectives. For example, if one of the objectives of the customer experience is to increase purchase intent, asking a scaled question designed to capture purchase intent provides a contextual basis from which to determine the relative strength of correlation of each behavior measured to purchase intent. This analysis identifies which sales and service behaviors have the highest potential for return on investment in terms of driving purchase intent.

Aligning the Mystery Shop to Customer Expectations

Given mystery shop programs measure and compare employee sales and service behaviors to the bank’s service standards, it is a best practice to build into the research a feedback loop which incorporates customers’ impressions of the experience, collected in a survey of customers, into the mystery shopping program. This allows for a continuous calibration of expected employee behaviors to customer expectations. This feedback loop will ensure that the expected employee behaviors are continuously aligned with customer expectations.

For more information about best practices to avoid common mystery shopping pitfalls, click below:

When Mystery Shopping Goes Bad

When Mystery Shopping Goes Bad: Best Practices to Avoid Common Pitfalls from Kinesis CEM, LLC



“Kinēsis delivers a refreshingly simple and user-friendly web publishing system, backed by a professional and responsive team. The feedback serves as a great training tool and the information has had a great impact on our overall customer service achievements.”

- Kim Piotrowski, Columbia Bank