Bank Board Letter September 2015 : Page 2

“teller pods are designed in a way to offer the customer the opportunity to work side-by-side with the bank associate instead of the traditional face-to-face intereation,” says Andy Young, director of financial services at Redmond. For many years, banks have traditionally offered conve-niences including refreshments, fresh coffee and cozy fireplaces. Redmond has seen in many of its retail projects, and recom-mends to its bank clients the addition of modern “creature comforts” Ð multi-media screens, wireless Internet and kid-friendly spaces including educational interactive video gaming systems, centered around comfortable, multi-zonal seating areas with conveniently integrated outlets for portable technology. These make wait times much more enjoyable and informative for all customers. MaxiMizing Technology in The Bank Design “A major trend in bank design today is the utilization of retail concepts in the bank facility,” notes Marty Steinert, executive vice president/owner of The Redmond Co. The physical layout of the branch utilizes more open areas, which allow customers to visually access all areas of the branch to see all the prod-ucts and services offered by the bank, ultimately resulting in greater product penetration. Additionally, the interior design of the branch maximizes the bank’s sales strategies by integrating known consumer purchasing patterns and habits from retail environments into the banking facility. The bank’s marketing ef-forts are eye-catching and dynamic with the use of touch-based interactive digital video displays, tablets and education stations, including innovative interactive video gaming systems. The use of this technology promotes products and services in a fun way, and encourages clients to learn about and sign up for the bank’s added services on the spot. Traditional teller lines are used less frequently, instead re-placed with teller pods, cash bars, or in some cases, with self-service teller machines. “Teller pods are designed in a way to offer the customer the opportunity to work side-by-side with the bank associate instead of the traditional face-to-face interaction,” says Andy Young, director of financial services at Redmond. “This setup improves the opportunity for the bank staff to develop a re-lationship with the customer by breaking down the physical barriers between employee and customer.” Taking a page out of retailers’ playbooks, banks strive to maxi-mize the value of the time customers spend within the bank fa-cility. As customers come into the branch to speak with a banker face-to-face to accomplish what cannot be done online, banks look for innovative ways to improve the quality of the relation-ship between the customer and the bank employee. One way to accomplish this is to utilize teller cash dispensers or teller cash recyclers at the teller pod station. These time-saving machines automatically dispense cash and receive cash deposits, allowing the bank employee to focus on building a relationship with the customer. As an added benefit, use of TCDs or TCRs help to prevent errors and reduce teller workloads as the machine do not require balancing at the end of the day. An alternative format to handle in-person customer transac-tions is to offer interactive teller machines. Essentially a multi-function automated teller machine, the ITM may include a video teller screen and provides automated assistance to meet basic customer needs such as deposits, cash withdrawals, bill and loan payments, balance inquiries and fund transfers. By utilizing ITMs, bank staff can devote their time to assisting customers with complex requests which cannot be handled by machine or online. Another trend in banking technology is the growing use of “remote expert” systems. This technology utilizes interactive video displays using staff located at offsite “call center” locations. Customers approach a kiosk or small meeting room and are greeted by a banking expert who engages them in conversation. By using a remote expert system, banks utilize the expertise of professionals on an as-needed basis, thus significantly reduc-ing staff downtime and the total number of staff needed at the physical branch. conclusion “With the many options available in banking trends and tech-nologies today, the industry’s challenge is to determine which of those technologies will make a positive impact on both the customer experience and the bank’s return on investment,” says Steinert. “The bottom line is that the branch facility is no longer just a location to complete transactions. Today, it’s more about the experience and the ability to use the branch as a financial resource and media platform. A successful bank facility project must first begin with a thorough understanding of the bank’s business model, culture, philosophies and target customer. Once we have identified those objectives, we can translate those needs into a distinctive design that is not only aesthetically-pleasing, but offers the functionality, efficiency and unique branding that is critical to a bank’s success.” Katie Farchmin is a marketing representative at The Redmond Co., a commercial design-build firm in Waukesha, Wis. For more infor-mation, visit Next moNth: Strategic Planning for 2016 marketing Your Bank’s mobile Program

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