Tips for bank mystery shopping assignments

Consumers' trust in banks may have waned since the financial collapse of 2008, especially as many financial institutions began to consolidate under one large brand, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Citigroup.

Consumers' trust in banks may have waned since the financial collapse of 2008, especially as many financial institutions began to consolidate under one large brand, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Citigroup.

Accordingly, many banks have begun to adopt customer research strategies such as mystery shopping to ensure they are offering optimal customer service standards to take advantage of each lead.

Understandably, mystery shoppers may be nervous to conduct an assignment with a bank, as they are usually more personal and involved than traditional retail shopping experiences. For that reason, shoppers need to prepare, prepare and prepare some more.

"Keep your story simple. Don't make it too complicated to remember," advises Cathy Stucker for the Mystery Shopper's Manual. "You may be asked about your current bank accounts and investments, including how much money you keep in your accounts, how many checks you write, if you own your home, if you have consumer loans or credit cards, etc."

Depending on your scenario - account purpose, transaction volume, apparent wealth - you may be able to reference your own financial information accurately. If not, you need to study up on what sort of exchange or loan application you're engaging in as a mystery shopper.