Bank Incorporates Results Into Its Employees’ Performance Goals
Mystery shopping programs that evaluate employee performance on a regular basis may have important advantages over programs that take a more ad-hoc approach.
Regular shops keep employees on their toes. They also help managers to address customer service problems in a timely manner and gauge employees’ performance over time.
After implementing its first-ever mystery shopping program last year, Cape Savings Bank ($575 million, Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey) decided to expand its program this year in order to better utilize its results, says Jeff Ropiecki, VP of Retail Banking.
Each mystery “shop” includes 40-50 employee evaluations
The bank conducted two rounds of mystery shops last year and plans to conduct three to four this year, says Ropiecki. Each shop includes 40 to 50 evaluations of bank employees, he says.
The bank utilizes mystery shopping provider, Customer Perspectives™, to run and manage its program.
“Last year, the goal of the program was to establish a baseline,” says Ropiecki.
“We had two main goals. We wanted to identify gaps in service and identify training opportunities,” he says.
This year, the results of shops will be incorporated into employees’ performance goals, he says.
“It’s really important to tie performance measurement to shops,” says Ropiecki, who notes that he prefers to set team goals for customer service as opposed to individual goals, so that everyone works together to achieve them.
One area that the bank targeted for improvement after analyzing last year’s mystery shopping results was its employees’ ability to “close the sale,” says Ropiecki.
To address this issue, the bank took three main steps, listed below:
1) First, the bank showed its salespeople their average branch “close” ratios.
“They were amazed at how low the ratio was in relation to their expectations,” says Ropiecki, “They thought that were asking for customers’ business, but we could show, through the shoppers’ comments, that they were not.”
2) Next, the bank sent all branch salespeople through sales training that was customized to focus on the weaknesses that were identified in the shops, says Ropiecki.
This training was held within six weeks of the shops, he says.
3) Finally, the bank’s training manager made branch visits to coach the implementation of the training material with sales staff, says Ropiecki.
The bank plans to spend approximately $15,000 to $20,000 on mystery shopping this fiscal year, he says.