The look and feel of retail bank branches have improved drastically in the last few years, but has client experience evolved?

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DALBAR recently introduced its newest monitor program, BranchMonitor. This highly focused program is designed to monitor bank branches on a regular basis to assess how well banks are doing at meeting client needs and shaping the overall client experience.

On a quarterly basis, mystery shoppers visit bank branches to complete a pre-determined transaction. Bank branches in the same local area will be measured to further understand how the experiences vary for clients across the street.

By taking routine temperature checks, over time emerging gaps, trends and best practices affecting the client experience will be identified. At the same time, these routine checks will reveal the level of consistency each bank achieves in servicing clients for a specified interaction.

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Results for the inaugural report will focus on the onboarding experience of a new client opening a chequing account. Each quarterly report will focus on a specified type of transaction. Branch visits for the first report were made at BMO, CIBC, Scotiabank, RBC, and TD. Key highlights from the upcoming report include:

  • Average time to open a chequing account is 25-30 minutes
  • Credit check completed without the client’s full awareness on more than one occasion for one leading bank.
  • Tokens of appreciation for the account open included thank you letters from the branch manager, hand written letter from branch representative with gift card, offers of extension to waive fees for 6-months.

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