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 employee behaviors which foster member loyalty and purchase intent.

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

Credit unions use Kinēsis’ mystery shopping programs for a variety of purposes, including:


In Branch Mystery Shops The branch is still a central sales channel. New member relationships are often established at the branch. Kinēsis’ approach to credit union mystery shopping is specifically designed to identify, measure and motivate specific sales behaviors which will motivate new members to join the credit union.


Contact Center Mystery Shops Our clients’ member experience managers use contact center mystery shopping to present agents with specific scenarios to test how the agent responds.


Competitor Bank Mystery Shops Understanding your performance is important, however, mystery shopping competitors is an excellent tool from which to compare your performance to competitors, as well as identify additional service strategies which will drive member purchase intent and loyalty.


Internal Service Mystery Shops Shops Internal mystery shops give managers a unique opportunity to measure the internal service between departments.


Life Cycle Mystery Shops Member relationships are not individual transactions, but collections of experiences built up over the tenure of the relationship. LifeCycle mystery shops evaluate the member experience across a spectrum of member interactions with the institution across an extended time period.




Other Credit Union


Mystery Shopping Programs


Bank Investment Sales Practices (IDIP) Mystery Shops In the sale of non-deposit investment products, it is incumbent on deposit taking institutions to minimize any confusion between non-deposit investment products and deposit products with disclosure and signage requirements.


Bank Fair Lending Mystery Shops Kinēsis tests for disparate treatment based on prohibited basis through the use of matched-pair mystery shoppers, where minority and non-minority shoppers present the lender with identical scenarios to test for differences in treatment between minorities and non-minorities.


Bank Truth in Savings Mystery Shops These mystery shops are designed to test the presence, accuracy and timing of annual percentage yield quotes.


Bank Truth in Lending Mystery Shops Truth in lending (TIL) mystery shops evaluate the presence, timing and accuracy of APR quotes.



Uou can expect what you inspect.

W. Edwards Deming coined this statement over 50 years ago, and it remains true today. Credit union mystery shopping has a two-fold business case of both measurement and motivation. Not only does it measure employee behaviors, but perhaps more importantly it motivated desired behaviors. Simply put, if employees know specific behaviors will be tested for, the frequency of these desired behaviors will increase.

Some research tools, such as member surveys or focus groups, are designed to inform management about how the members feel about the credit union. Mystery shopping, on the other hand, focuses on the other side of the member credit union interface – the employees. It informs managers if employees are exhibiting the expected sales and service behaviors.

Actions speak louder than words.

Employees animate and define your brand. Brand image Is not about external messaging. It does not matter how much is spent on external messaging – in the end it is the employees who animate the brand. When a member experiences incongruence between employees’ behaviors and external messaging, they experience what is called brand ambiguity. This brand ambiguity completely undermines these investments in external messaging. Actions speak louder than words – mystery shopping makes sure your employees’ actions are consistent with the external messaging.

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

Best in class mystery shopping programs are designed to focus on behaviors – empirical, objective behaviors. The best way to design a mystery shop questionnaire is to start by considering your overall member experience objectives. Ask yourself: what is your brand promise? Determine what specific sales and service behaviors should animate this brand promise. Now constructing a questionnaire is fairly easy, simply write a specific question for each expected behavior. Be sure these questions are objective, observable and avoid compound questions which ask about two behaviors within the same question.

In addition to these closed-ended questions, open-ended questions (either narratives or asking what shoppers liked or disliked about the experience) are also important. Many of our clients consider these open-ended comments to be the heart of the shop.

Rating scales also have a valuable place in a mystery shop program. They provide a basis for interpreting the member experience, and most importantly, they provide a means of determining the importance of the behaviors measured in the mystery shop. As an example, Kinēsis often collects a purchase intent rating based on the shop experience. Correlating this purchase intent rating to each of the behaviors measured in the mystery shop provides a basis from which to determine the relative importance of each behavior in driving purchase intent. This is invaluable in terms of identifying the behaviors with the most potential for return on investment in terms of driving purchase intent.

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