Recent Financial Services Authority (FSA) Mystery Shops Uncover Poor Service At Banks And Building Societies, Comments Full Circle Motivation

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Advice given by banks and building societies has been checked by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which conducted more than 200 mystery shops over a six-month period, with the result that approximately 25 per cent of the organisations surveyed gave unsuitable advice (FSA report published 13th February 2013). This means that customers are not being offered the standard of service that they require when making financial decisions, therefore the FSA’s successor, the Financial Conduct Authority, will continue to use this technique, as it has proved useful in identifying the above shortcomings.

Mystery shopping

Mystery shopping as a performance measurement technique is one that the FCA will continue to use.

Advice given by banks and building societies has been checked by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which conducted more than 200 mystery shops over a six-month period. Full Circle Motivation, Director, Victor Tardieu comments: “these results show that approximately 25 per cent of the organisations surveyed gave unsuitable advice (FSA report published 13th February 2013); meaning that customers are not being offered the standard of service that they require, when making financial decisions”. Tardieu further adds: “the industry must improve its quality standards in order to attain the twin goals of turnover and profit and Full Circle Motivation is well placed to provide the necessary tools in support".

Mystery shopping as a performance measurement technique is one that the FSA’s successor, the Financial Conduct Authority, will continue to use – and it has proved useful in identifying the above shortcomings. To address them, the financial institutions are to ensure that staff receive training and that procedures are modified. In addition to this, reviews of past business are conducted to see whether customers have been offered below-par advice in the past and rectify it.

This is a clear example of a performance management technique being used, learnt from, and followed up with positive action. Whether the business is financial services or retail, the staff must be able to deal with customers’ demands and ensure that they tailor their service accordingly.

Performance measurement is an area in which Full Circle Motivation specialises. Through feedback processes, Full Circle helps to improve service standards and pinpoint those who would benefit from training, recognition and reward.

Full Circle delivers statistics as a matter of course and also interpret these to help focus effort on revised strategies and tactics. Techniques include:

  •     Mystery shopping: by regional, demographic and psychographic segmentation
  •     Customer feedback: postal, telephone, online and face-to-face
  •     Key task assessment
  •     Sales measurement (volume or value)
  •     Distance learning

With these robust methods, ROI is guaranteed. Measurement takes into account exactly what the business needs to address in order to make sure that everything improves and customers receive the best possible service. Follow-up advice on training issues and incentives to help bosses ensure that they focus their efforts right on target is also available in this process.

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Victor Tardieu
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