Protecting Your Company

How to ensure your frontline staff comply with your policies

A bank might hire mystery shoppers for many reasons. Perhaps you want to improve the quality of service or increase sales. You may even suspect employee dishonesty and want to know how they handle business when you’re not around.

Mystery shopping can answer all these questions. However, the most crucial motivation for hiring mystery shoppers is often overlooked: protecting your company.

Customer satisfaction, sales, and trustworthy talent are undeniably paramount when doing good business. But even the friendliest, most successful and loyal sales rep could unwittingly fail to uphold corporate codes and spreading misinformation.

And this can cost your company dearly.

After the Australian banking scandals, the federal government intensified penalties for wayward institutions with ASIC updating practice codes and consequences of non-compliance.

In June 2018, the Commonwealth Bank was hit with a $700 million fine for misbehaviour, a figure that exceeded that of a similar case in the UK ($1.58 million) and (despite finding that the bank's errors were primarily mistakes and misinterpretations of the code), a US case featuring deliberate banking criminals ($694 million).

Ignorance doesn’t get Australian banks off the hook for code violations. Indeed, it’s likely any future transgressions are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And the current climate means government officials, regulators, and consumers stand ready to hold banks accountable for professional compliance.

Think your staff are delivering up-to-code service the vast majority of the time? A mystery shopping study by the Banking Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (CCMC) suggests otherwise.

Only 46% of study contacts offered compliant responses to CCMC’s mystery shoppers. And while this figure is an improvement on a 2008 CCMC study (where only 20% of the representatives provided compliant responses to questions about direct debit cancellations), compliant frontline business practices are still conducted less than half the time.

It’s more crucial than ever that banking execs understand that enforcing code compliance forms part of their duty to protect their company’s reputation. Yet, C-Suite executives can’t be on the sales floor every day, nor can they monitor every call centre query.

Mystery shopping can help. It gathers pertinent data about employee code compliance you need to safeguard your company from the dire consequences of code breach.