Customer Experience Comparison Across 5 Major Canadian Banks: Credit Cards

The comparison was performed in the retail branches between the hours of 12 pm and 2 pm on a weekday (See note 1 below). This was done to examine the banking experience free of additional customer volume interruption and possible teller fatigue following a long shift. The 5 major Canadian retail banks were compared: TD Canada Trust, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, CIBC and BMO. To eliminate possible differences resulting from customer service at different areas, all the branches visited were in close proximity to one another. Finally, the teller at each of the 5 banks was approached with the same request and follow-up questions: “Hi, I am interested in signing up for a credit card. Could you please tell me about your credit card offerings.”

TD Canada Trust
TD Canada trust branch had a 4-5 person line up and an about equal number of tellers serving the customers. The wait-time was about 10 minutes. When asked to outline the credit card options, the teller provided limited and somewhat disorganized information. She did, however, briefly inquire about the customer needs by asking what was the customer’s current bank, whether the customer was a frequent traveller and what would the primary use of the card be.

TD Canada Trust has discontinued the use of hard copy brochure and offered the credit card comparison only on their website. However, since the customer wanted teller’s advice and an interactive Q&A session in person, the teller printed this information from the website. Without a streamlined process this took considerable effort and time to perform. The teller had to solicit help from other associates and left the customer waiting at the desk for some time, which also held up the line. After the information was finally printed, the teller handed it to the customer but failed to comprehensively outline the most popular credit card options. Furthermore, the printed credit card table was partially cut off and in non-legible format (i.e. small font). The teller failed to narrow down the customer’s choices based on the preferences the customer has communicated. More specifically, the customer has asked teller to circle the 2-3 preferred card offerings for customer to consider at a later point. However, she was polite and apologized for the wait a number of times.

Information: 3/5
Friendliness: 4/5
Wait time: 1/5
Customer Needs: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

RBC Royal Bank
The RBC Royal Bank location had about 3 person line-up in the middle of the day and approximately 4 tellers servicing the customers. The line-up went reasonably fast. When the customer inquired about the credit card offerings, the teller asked the customer which bank she currently banked with and whether she had any other credit cards, but did not inquire about the customer’s purposed for the card. The teller then presented a brochure, but did not go into detail regarding which card better suited the customer’s needs. She did not try to cross-sell or really push any products and did not display much enthusiasm in satisfying customer’s needs.

Information: 4/5
Friendliness: 3/5
Wait time: 3/5
Customer Needs: 2/5
Overall: 3/5

There was no line-up and the teller was smiling and very friendly. She briefly asked whether the customer was a frequent flier. As in the case of RBC Royal Bank, the teller presented a brochure that she used to explain the various credit card options. The customer felt that the teller was displaying inattentiveness to customer’s needs by repeatedly mentioning the travel card, even after the customer stated that she was not a frequent traveller. However, there was no further pushing into buying the card.

Information: 4/5
Friendliness: 5/5
Wait time: 4/5
Customer Needs: 1/5
Overall: 4/5

At the entrance the customer was greeted by a welcoming personnel and offered some coffee. The location had a 3 person line-up and there were 2 representatives servicing customers. When the customer inquired about card offerings with the teller, the welcoming representative approached the customer from the back with a brochure and explained the service offerings. It was a bit confusing why she did this considering the customer was already being serviced by the teller. However, CIBC personnel was enthusiastic to address the customer’s card needs and asked questions. The teller offered to make an appointment with a financial advisor, who would assist in the card sign up process. The information given to the customer was quite thorough and the service was very friendly. The representatives did not try to cross-sell or push any products.

Information: 5/5
Friendliness: 5/5
Wait time: 4/5
Customer Needs: 3/5
Overall: 2/5

The BMO location had a 2 person line-up and2 tellers plus an information desk representative servicing the customers. As soon as the information desk representative became available she approached the customer and offered her help.Upon the request to outline BMO credit card options, the teller did not ask any questions and proceeded to provide a brochure. Like at other banks, this teller failed to circle the card choices she recommended to the customer. However, in comparison to TD Canada Trust, BMO representative was more clear in outlining those more suitable options. Again, the customer did not feel that the representative was trying to cross-sell or push the product. However, the teller did not display interest or enthusiasm in addressing customer needs.

Across all banks, none of the tellers were able to help the customer narrow down the choices. The experience left the customer confused and not wanting to get any card. Brochures were helpful in providing the information, however they were also somewhat confusing due to an overwhelming amount of information and available choices.

Information: 4/5
Friendliness: 4/5
Wait time: 3/5
Customer Needs:2/5
Overall: 3/5

Overall, a few patters and improvement opportunities emerged as a result of this experience. First, it seems that the branch retailer locations are not properly incentivized and/or interested in selling credit card products to prospective customers. To boost credit card sales, tellers could benefit from a streamlined process for assessing and segmenting customer needs. This could be achieved by utilizinga simple tool (e.g. a flow chart, decision matrix, online questionnaire) that identifies customer needs and preferences through a set of yes/no question. Once customer preferences and needs are identified, the teller would then align their recommendations with the most suitable credit card product.

Second, tellers need to be trained to be more knowledgeable and show enthusiasm by actively offering cards and working with the customer to find the best suitable option. This could include being more upfront with advice and being more familiar with the credit card brochures. Narrowing the choices down with the help from the teller would lead to higher sale penetration and better overall client experience.

While it is important to recognize that more and more customers are applying for cards online, the traditional retail channels need to ensure that they can continue servicing customers at the branches. This includes presence of knowledgeable employees and relevant information such as well-designed hardcopies of brochures.

Note 1: The output of the study is illustrative of one customer experience and may not give a true representation of the customer experience in aggregate. The study is not meant to favour one financial institution over another.

Top Business Diagrams


Below are the most popular business-related diagrams and charts as rated by our users:

5 Why Analysis 5 Why Analysis – Lean framework to get to the root cause of an issue or a defect
Swot Analysis Swot Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats business framework
Sipoc Sipoc – High level view of the process inputs and outputs
7 Wastes 7 Wastes – Lean types of waste to be eliminated
Affinity Diagram Affinity Diagram – Brainstorming technique for organization of information in logical categories
Porters Value Chain Porters Value Chain – Internal analysis by Michael Porter looking at company’s value chain
Customer Lifecycle Customer Lifecycle – Model that acknowledges the client lifecycle
BGC Matrix BGC Matrix – Business framework for analyzing company’s market position
End-to-end Process End-to-end Process – Business Process Management framework looking at processes start to finish
Five Factor Model of Personality Five Factor Model of Personality – Model that analyzes personality traits
CDStep Marketing Diagram CDStep Marketing Diagram – Marketing framework that analyzes various business environmental factors
Cost of Poor Quality COPQ Cost of Poor Quality COPQ – Lean framework that recognizes that quality comes at a cost
Gap Analysis Gap Analysis – Presentation of business performance gaps against benchmarks
Intrinsic Motivation Intrinsic Motivation – Diagram showing the difference between two types of motivations at the workplace
Kaizen Kaizen – Lean methodology for continuous improvement and waste elimination

Job Satisfaction Hierarchy

Job satisfaction can be tricky to find. Many people feel that while they are generally happy with their employment, their job is missing certain aspects that would contribute to a more rewarding work experience.

Seven steps to complete job satisfaction have been identified and arranged in a hierarchy. Starting from the most basic job satisfaction attribute, each step in this hierarchy is a higher-order feature that, once achieved, contributes to greater employment satisfaction and happiness.

1. Having a job: A lot of people draw satisfaction, a sense of pride and security from having a job in the first place. The feeling is an important contributor to overall job satisfaction.

2. Being well-paid: The importance of the monetary compensation for one’s work is two-fold. First, in a very direct practical sense it influences the kind of life-style a person can afford to have. Second, it often acts as a measure of success.

3. Having job security: This is another quite basic aspect that means LACK of constant threat of being fired. If someone is working in a role, where better candidates are always available or the person lacks skills for, they would be under constant threat of being fired. Working under such stress could seriously affect job satisfaction. Having job security would mean that the person has most of the necessary skills and attributes for the position and his or her superiors are not looking for replacement.

4. Enjoying the work/people/process: This is a transition step from basic to more higher-order attributes of job satisfaction. Once Step 1,2 and 3 have been fulfilled, the job content becomes important. What one does on the daily basis, as well as the kind people and processes one works with can greatly affect one’s job satisfaction.

5. Utilizing your potential/feeling needed/delivering value: Even higher-order job satisfaction components come from within the person. These aspects are highly subjective and stem from the interaction between the worker’s talents, life experiences and ambitions with the nature of his or her job. For instance, if a person feels that they are highly capable in a certain area, but work in another, they might feel that their abilities are being underutilized. In the same way, if the person does not feel that their work is needed or that they are delivering value, he or she will not be completely satisfied with their job.

6. Experiencing growth/self-improvement: Personal growth and self-improvement can be a nice bonus in any life experience. However, it is especially valuable in the workplace where a person typically spends a lot of time on the daily basis. If a person feels he or she is learning and improving in their field, as opposed to doing monotonous work, they will likely feel more satisfied about their job.

7. Finding ultimate meaning: This final step is probably the most difficult to achieve. The sense of ultimate meaning at work comes as a result of a match between one’s values, life experiences and goals with aspects of one’s job. This match can happen via different scenarios. For instance, a person who believes in saving the environment works for an environmental protection association and feels that his or her everyday contribution furthers the goal of the association. In another example, a heart surgeon or a fire fighter would derive meaning by saving peoples’ lives.

Whatever the scenario, finding ultimate meaning in one’s job would greatly contribute to workplace satisfaction. At the same time, it is important to recognize that other steps are also crucial and no step by itself can replace the satisfaction missing if some of the steps are unfulfilled.

Job Satisfaction Chart


What is trust?

Trust – Trust Diagram – Trusted Advisor Diagram – How to build trust with my client? How to build trust? Trust is a function of credibility, reliability and intimacy. What is trust?

To become a trusted advisor for a client involves moving through the key stages of relationship building. The first stage is a commodity stage where your advice is interchangeable with another person. Transactional stage is where the value is added to resolve a certain business problem. The partner stage is a strategic relationship. Trusted advisor stage is the stage when one is assisting with key and often intimate business challenges.

trust diagram

Accounting Ratios

Accounting Ratios – Financial Accounting Ratios – Accounting Ratio Analysis – List of Accounting Ratios including profit margin, gross margin, asset turnover ratio, current ratio, quick ratio and other key accounting ratios.

Financial accounting ratios help analyze company’s performance in any given year and through out the years. Balance sheet shows the financial position of a company at a given point in time. Income statement shows financial performance through a given time period, e.g. a year. Cashflow statement depicts the flow of cash through a given time period. Accounting ratios help connect the statements together and make sense of what is happening with the business.

accounting ratios

Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder Management – Stakeholder Management Analysis – Stakeholder Map – Stakeholder Management Framework – Identification of stakeholders and understanding their needs is key to change management, project management and day-to-day activities of the business.

The stakeholder management includes identification the stakeholders, stakeholder analysis, stakeholder engagement, stakeholder information flow, abiding by agreements, stakeholder debriefing. Stakeholder mapping is the process of mapping stakeholders in terms of their power (influence) and interest. Another related framework is The Pig a metaphor that shows that everyone sees the pig differently, the butcher, the piglet, the farmer, the environmentalist and the store owner, etc.

stakeholder management

Net Present Value – NPV

NPV – Net Present Value – How to calculate net present value (NPV)? Net present value is calculated as a sum of cash flow through project life cycle adjusted to the discount interest rate. NPV is calculated to estimate the net benefit of a project and other types of multi-year engagements. NPV Calculation Diagram – net present value calculation methodology.

NPV is a key finance tool. Usually, the initial cashflow is negative due to the investment required (e.g. purchase of new equipment). As time progresses, the company starts to generate positive cash flow. The further away is the cashflow, the more discounted it becomes (i.e. cash today is worth more than the same amount of cash in the future).

npv calculation diagram

Supply and Demand

Supply And Demand – Supply And Demand Graph – Economics Graph – Supply and demand graphs depict the equilibrium between suppliers and consumers. The graph is an intersection of two curves mapped against quantity and price. The most famous economics framework of the supply demand equilibrium.

Consumers are willing to pay a higher price for a low quantity of goods. The price declines as the quantity demanded increases. Suppliers on the other hand are willing to supply a large quantity at a high price and a low quantity at a low price.

supply and demand graph

Business Case

Business Case – Business Case Analysis – Business Case Methodology – Business cases are prepared to help a company decide whether to proceed with a given project. To start off the preparation of the business case requires understanding of the key metrics or key drivers that help company either generate or spend money. The money can be generated by increasing revenues or sales and/or decreasing costs. The key revenue driver is increased sales, for example due to an increased number of sales agents. Decreased costs may be as a result of increased capacity in the back office, because some of the processes that used to be manual are now automated. The more data used for the assumptions the better. Another way to validate assumptions is to obtain the key stakeholder opinion or buy-in.

Usually, any project also carries investment costs that are subtracted from the benefits. A good business case also has a multi-year view, e.g. creates 5 year projections. This future cashflow is discounted by the interest rates. The sum of these discounted cash flows is added to come up with a net present value – NPV for the project. Other business case metrics include the internal rate of return – IRR and average annual benefit.

business case

Business Model

Business Model – Business Model Development – Business Model Analysis – Business Model of a company involves a number of characteristics. The business model development consists of the following stages and answers the following fundamental business questions: how will I make money, how will I sell products, how will I manufacture the product or how will I deliver the service, where in the supply chain will I be, is my business disruptive to the existing players, am I creating a new way of conducting business, how do I plan to engage the market?

Answering these basic business questions will help you develop your company’s business model.

business model

Five Factor Model of Personality

Five Factor Model Of Personality – Five Factor Model – Personality Model – Different Personalities Model – The 5 factor model of personality is a business psychology framework that helps analyze a stakeholder through openness to experience, emotional stability (neuroticism), extroversion, agreeableness and dependability (contentiousness).

Each stakeholder and/or individual is scored against these 5 factors. The score is then analyzed and depending on the result, one would adjust their actions or behavior to address the personality and the needs of the stakeholder. The analysis can be also completed on one self.

five factor model of personality

Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart – Gantt Diagram – Gantt Analysis – Gantt charts (also sometimes spelled as a gant chart) is a project management method of displaying multiple project activities in a single view. This includes the duration of activities, dependencies and milestones against calendar timelines.

Gantt charts are useful project management tools because they conveniently display project tasks against one another. Below, we include a sample gantt chart.

gantt chart

Process Management

Process Management – Business Process Management – BPM – Process Management Diagram – Business Process Management model is a stream within business management that focuses on the management of company’s processes. Essentially, BPM views a business through the eyes of the process, i.e. all activities are processes in one way or another.

Process Management is about active control of the business activities and involves process mapping, KPI and metrics identification, end-to-end view and oversight. The key process management steps include process design, process implementation, process enactment and diagnosis (analysis)

process management

Team Formation

Team Formation – Group Formation – Team Formation Framework – Group Formation Diagram – Team Formation model is a business framework that identifies stages of group formation. The four stages of team formation are Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Each team goes through these stages in the life of a project. The faster the team can go through them, the more effective and efficient the team performance will be.

Forming is about socializing and questioning. Storming is group’s experience of conflict and resistance. Norming is a stage of conflict resolution. Performing stage is when the team has successfully formed and is fully delivering.

team formation

Kaizen A3 Tool

Kaizen A3 – Kaizen A3 Analysis – Kaizen One Page Problem Solving Tool – Kaizen problem solving tool – Kaizen template – Kaizen A3 Framework – Kaizen A3 is a lean six sigma problem solving tool, which allows to quickly identify the problem, analyze the issues and provide recommendations and action plan with identified owners.

This Lean Six Sigma A3 method was designed as a workshop tool, allowing a work group to stay focused on the problem. Usually, within a span of a day, often within 3 hours, a team can work through a difficult problem and come up with an actionable list of recommendations. All of this fits into 1 page, hence the name – A3.

kaizen a3

Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan – Marketing Plan Template – Marketing Plan Sample – Marketing Plan is a document outlining company’s plans and course of action regarding advertising and product promotion. The plan usually addresses each of the components of the 4Ps of marketing, specifying what the place, promotion, price for a given product will be.

Below is a sample marketing plan template that identifies different channels for a real estate company advertising including internet marketing, direct mail, open houses (i.e. physical advertising) and other channels. Marketing plans also include specifics on how each of the channels will help promote the product.

marketing plan

Four Ps

Four Ps – 4 Ps – Four Ps Analysis – Four Ps Marketing – Four Ps Framework – 4 Ps, also known as Marketing Mix, is a business methodology that summarizes four key marketing components of a product or service offering.

The four parts of the framework are product, price, place and promotion. Product refers to the features of the product service. Price is the cost to the consumer as well as time and effort. Place is the location of sale / provision of service. Promotion is how the product is advertised and delivered to the consumer.

4 Ps

End-to-End Process

End-To-End Process – End-To-End Process Analysis – End-To-End Process Framework – The end to end process refers to all activities and sub processes required to complete a certain task or a job start to finish. Usually end-to-end processes involve a number of siloed groups with the product or service being transferred from one group to another.

The reason why we want to view processes on end-to-end basis is because we need to recognize that from the point of view of the customer or the overall company, the process needs to be managed / enhanced start to finish. In the past, siloed groups only managed their part of the process, which resulted in duplication of effort, redundancies and limited strategic view. The processes need to be supported with end-to-end metrics such as the total cycle time required to complete a job.

end-to-end process

Recruitment Process

Recruitment Process – HR Recruitment – Recruitment Process Analysis – Recruitment Process Framework – A standard recruitment process within an organization allows for an effective and efficient hiring of candidates including employee onboarding. Hiring of individuals and broader talent management are key parts of company’s HR strategy.

Recruitment HR processes include position assessment, data base search, advertisement of roles, short listing, interviewing, sharing final shortlists, conducting final interviews, negotiating offers, arranging on-boarding, keeping backup candidates. The hiring processes are usually conducted by Recruitment officers, part of a Recruitment Centre of Excellence (COE).

recruitment process

7 Wastes

7 Wastes – Seven Wastes – 7 Wastes of Lean – 7 Wastes Analysis – 7 Wastes Framework – This lean six sigma methodology (also known as 8 wastes) helps identify waste and other types of issues in the workplace. The 7 wastes framework includes defects, transportation, inventory, overprocessing, movement, overproduction and waiting.

Defects are wasted products completed not right the first time around. Inventory and overproduction are excessive quantities of raw materials or finished products. Transportation and movement are unnecessary movement of things or people. Overprocessing is making the product beyond customer expectations and waiting is simply waiting for materials, preventing timely completion of products.

7 wastes