Citadele Bank provides top quality client service in Latvia whereas the best service provider in Lithuania is Danske Bank, reveals a study performed by Dive Group, a customer service improvement company, at the end of the last year.
Customer service improvement company Dive Group performed its annual study on the quality of services provided by the banking sector in late 2014. The study encompassed visiting branch offices of nine leading banks in the largest towns of Latvia (Rīga, Liepāja, Daugavpils, Ventspils and Valmiera). Mystery consumers visited banks in order to inquire about their deposit offers and assess the servicing they receive. They assessed employees' competence, responsiveness, level of interest, proactivity when inquiring about clients' needs as well as their kindness and willingness to smile while servicing clients.
According to Dita Grandāne, head of research at Dive Latvia, the client service quality in the Baltic states' banking sector in 2014 has improved compared to 2013.
Results show that the highest client service quality was provided in Lithuania (average result: 88% out of 100%) whereas the results for Latvia and Estonia were 82%. Lithuanian bank employees have been the best at improving their client service quality by increasing their result by 3% last year while Estonian and Latvian banks' performance improved by 1.5% and 0.3% accordingly.
Citadele Bank was the winner in Latvia (92%) outperforming the last year's winner Danske Bank which maintained its top position in Estonia and Lithuania. The runner up in Latvia was DNB (90%), maintained its position from the previous year, whereas Bigbank (86%) ranked third this year by moving up by one position.
For several years in a row, Baltic banks have been acquiring highest results in such of the study's criteria as environment at branch offices, employees' appearance and communication skills. All of the branch offices visited in Latvia were very tidy (98%) and specialists wore business attire (99%). In most of the cases (89%), mystery consumers indicated that bank employees welcomed them at the bank with a genuine smile and kindness.
The banking sector scored lowest in matters related to inquiring about clients' needs (73%) (deposit sum, period, potential risks) and financial situation (44%). The study revealed that in the banks where employees acquire information about clients' needs, thus making sure that they have been understood correctly, clients have higher faith in what the employees say. This, in turn, results in shaping a significantly more productive conversation. Dive's mystery consumer studies in other industries reveal similar trends.
Employees' professional knowledge was assessed as very good because in 92% of the cases employees were able to answer clients' questions regarding deposits. In 78% of the cases, clients received informative materials for reading after the visit to the branch office. The usefulness and clarity of these materials was assessed additionally. In most of the cases (90%) mystery consumers concluded that information materials were useful and that they contributed to understanding the banks' services better; assessors acknowledged that the use of such materials already during the visit was the ideal situation. Clear indication of interest rates, prices for banking services as well as presentation of this information in an easily perceivable way (diagrams and images) is very important for clients.
Dive Group is the first client service improvement company to specialize in applying the mystery shopping method in the Baltic states. Professionals of the client service improvement company Dive Group have been organizing the mystery consumer, client and employee satisfaction as well as other studies, consulting and raising the quality of client service across Latvia in more than 14 business sectors since 2014.