Central Bank of India has embarked on a "mystery shopping" exercise with focus on customer retention and (customer) satisfaction.

The bank's Executive Director B K Divakara told Business Line that this exercise has already been completed in 65 per cent of the branches.

Asked what "Mystery Shopping" is all about, he said "some of the bank’s appointed agents visit a branch in the guise of a customer just to assess the quality of service rendered by the people at the branch including attitude issues. In fact, we take such issues very seriously for retention can happen only if one is able to provide quality service.

"Our staff will obviously not know that their moves are being watched by these agency people. At times, the staff is even provoked to see how he/ she reacts."

"We have received the preliminary findings of this exercise. Based on feedback, we have introduced soft skills training, just to ensure that the counter staffs handle customers better.

"A two-day workshop was conducted across the country for all the clerical staff with a focus not merely on customer service, but their delight and satisfaction as well. Only then will we be able to retain customers," he said, pointing out that the 104-year old bank had lost some customers enroute and is now focussed on winning them back.