Everything there is to know about mystery shopping in private banks

Hardly any business sector is as exclusive as private banking. But exclusivity alone does not win and retain customers. Like any other consumer business, it's important to create great customer experiences. But how do you assess the customer journey? Who are suitable service testers? We answer all of these questions in today's blog post.

The primary purpose of private banks is to invest and increase customers’ assets. It is therefore quite common for private banks to specify a certain minimum investment amount, for example $500,000 GBP / USD. This is understandable, because individual customer care in private banking requires more effort and higher costs compared to classic retail banks. From the perspective of mystery shopping providers, however, there are some challenges because the success of a project relies upon finding testers with demographics that match those of a private bank’s customers.  This brings us to our first question:

How are service testers for private banks selected?

Mystery shopping providers usually have their own recruiting programs to acquire service testers. Generally, the service testers for private banks are mostly between 40 and 70 years old and wealthy. They live in upscale neighborhoods and effectively have a large amount of money to invest. However, service testers do not actually invest money, as they are only involved in a pure market research project. Nevertheless, for the credibility of a tester - an important success factor in a project –real assets of a certain size are definitely an advantage. 

What do mystery shoppers ask during private bank tests?

Similar to classic mystery shopping, various sales and service scenarios can be implemented in the financial sector. At the heart of a project for private banks, however, is usually a specific case defined in advance with the bank. In the most common case, a tester meets with a Client Advisor seeking a potential investment for a certain sum that meets various criteria, such as sustainability, as well as specified returns and associated risks. The Client Advisor at the private bank is then required to develop a corresponding investment proposal. Among other things, a tester will assess how attentively the Client Advisor listens, what questions they ask to uncover customer needs, and how they respond to those needs.

What are the most important success factors of a mystery shopping project at a private bank?

For a successful project, the testers' credibility, reliability and confidentiality are essential - this is the only way to ensure that the Client Advisor does not become suspicious and that the test proceeds as if it were a typical customer interaction. This requires extensive training for the qualified testers. It is also important that the private bank sees the tester purely as a market research participant and not as a potential new customer. Success also relies on long-term planning - many of the projects last at least a year. This is the lead time needed to design the project, recruit and train appropriate testers and achieve project goals.

Why is ISC-CX the perfect partner for private banks?

Unlike other mystery shopping providers, ISC-CX has acquired many years of experience carrying out covert Client Advisor tests for private banks. Back in 2004, ISC-CX was commissioned to execute a mystery shopping project in Hong Kong for a Swiss private bank. Due to the satisfaction of the private bank, further testing projects followed at branches in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Greece, Brazil and Israel. Other well-known banks and international projects followed.

In the 17 years that ISC-CX has designed and executed mystery shopping projects for private banks, our skills and experience have grown, especially in the area of tester recruitment. The extensive training courses for the testers, which are designed by ISC-CX in collaboration with our mystery shopping clients, are central and crucial to the entire testing process. ISC-CX has been able to train over 500 active private banking testers worldwide over the past several years preparing them fully for their test missions.

We are ready to test your Client Advisors- are you too? Start your mystery shopping project today!


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