Credit Union Mystery Shopping

Employee behaviors directly impact member impressions and influence their behavior in either profitable or unprofitable ways. Mystery shopping is an excellent tool to align sales and service behaviors to both management and member expectations. It is an excellent tool to not only monitor and observe sales and service behaviors, but also serves as a strong motivational tool to identify and motivate the sales and service behaviors which drive purchase intent and loyalty.

Kinēsis’ approach to credit union mystery shopping focuses on the behavioral side of the equation, answering the question: are our employees exhibiting appropriate sales and service behaviors?

Identifying which sales and service behaviors drive purchase intent.


Channel Experience Shopping

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


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


Contact Center Mystery Shops Contact center credit union mystery shopping provides credit unions a unique opportunity for credit union member experience managers to evaluate the member 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 member service.


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




Other Credit Union


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.



Uou can expect what you inspect.

This management philosophy is as true today as it was 50 years ago when W. Edwards Deming used it. The business case for credit union mystery shopping is two-fold: measurement and motivation. If conducted properly, credit union mystery shopping not only is a member experience measurement tool, but it is an excellent motivational tool to motivate appropriate sales and service behaviors across all credit union delivery channels.

Unlike member feedback tools designed to inform managers about how members feel about the credit union, mystery shopping focuses on the behavioral side of the equation, answering the question: are our employees exhibiting appropriate sales and service behaviors?

Actions speak louder than words.

Regardless of how much you spend on external messaging, it is your employees who animate your brand, and it is imperative that their sales and service behaviors be aligned with the brand promise. When a member perceives a disconnect between an employee representing the brand and external messaging, they almost certainly will experience brand ambiguity, undermining investments in external messaging. Mystery shopping is an excellent tool to align sales and service behaviors to the brand.

Credit Union Channels to Shop

Mystery shopping, like all member experience investments, competes for budgetary resources. We believe sales channels and sales behaviors offer the most ROI relative to other types of shopping. In terms of prioritizing mystery shopping resources, shops of sales channels and sale behaviors should be the first priority followed by more transactional shops. With the increasing use of universal associates and transforming tellers into sellers, it is incumbent on managers to measure and motivate these higher level sales skills, in both branches and contact centers. After sales behaviors have been prioritized, if resources remain for mystery shopping, transaction scenarios should be included in 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

Credit Union Mystery Shop Design Considerations

The best practice for mystery shop design is to focus on empirically measureable behaviors using objective questions. We’ve found the best methodology for determining which questions to ask is to start with your brand promise, and determine which sales and service behaviors animate the brand. From this list of expected behaviors, the next step is to map each behavior to a specific question. Avoid compound questions which ask about two different behaviors, unless you expect both behaviors to be present at the same time, and you are not worried about distinguishing if one is present without the other.

Open-ended questions, either in narrative form or qualitatively asking what shoppers liked or disliked about the experience, add valuable context for understanding the member experience. Many of our credit union and bank clients consider these qualitative observations the heart of the shop.

While the core of the credit unions mystery shop is objective measurements of specific behaviors, there is a place for subjective impressions, such as rating scales used to collect shopper evaluations of various dimensions of the member experience, as well as the overall experience itself. These subjective ratings provide context for interpreting the member experience, and specifically the efficacy of the objective behaviors measured. For example, purchase intent ratings calculate a correlation between the objective behaviors measured and purchase intent, identifying which behaviors may be more important in terms of driving purchase intent, and which investments in training, incentives and rewards have the most potential for ROI.

Alignment to Member Expectations

With the understanding that mystery shopping measures employee behaviors against credit union service standards, it is a best practice to produce a feedback loop between member experience survey programs and mystery shopping with the objective of continuous calibration and alignment of service standards with member expectations. This feedback loop between member surveys and mystery shopping will ensure the behaviors measured are aligned with member expectations.

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

When Mystery Shopping Goes Bad



Managing the member experience requires alignment. Alignment of:

Credit union message with member expectations

Member expectations with credit union standards

Credit union standards with training content

Training content with frontline execution

Frontline execution with rewards and incentives