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  • Marie posted an update in the group Group logo of Experiential Customer Environments Experiential Customer Environments 6 years, 11 months ago

    At numerous banks in the US I have found that they seem more like un-welcoming institution. I understand and realize there is a necessity for safety and security measures; however the tall glass protecting shields that surround tellers and security guards that stand at the door are very un-inviting. Truthfully, they remind me of a movie relating to prison life. Why would banks not want customers to feel warm, invited and welcomed while still offering a safe and secure environment? Of course, not all banks are designed in this way and I have noticed I tend to veer away from the colder feeling banks, even if I have it means drive a bit further.

    • there are numerous problems with these barriers, they tend to create barriers to interaction, and in many respects create behaviour patterns in people that eould not happen if the barrier was not there. ITs similar to peoples behaviour when stuck in traffic in their cars. Even the most mild mannered can become raging bulls screaming abuse at other drivers.

      This tends to happen with these types of customer interaction behind glass or bars, both sides have a pysical barrier that protects them so they feel that they can behave however they want to the person on the opposite side.

      Co-incidentally whan we started creating open tellers particularly with joint decision making facilities, we found that because customers no longer had their backs to the entrance of the bank, they actually felt more secure than when visiting traditional closed in tellers.

      So a simple solution, that was designed to be more inviting, more friendly, cheaper because it didnt include huge amounts of expensive security glass, and gave the customer a better sense of security at the same time.

    • Ian- Very well said. I agree 100%

    • Another comment on this topic. There are many pieces of technology and processes that can be implemented that provide more safety than the big glass barriers. In reality, those barriers have only made robberies more violent. I remember hearing of a case in which the robber shot a couple of customers in the waiting area and then told the tellers that he would kill the rest if she didn’t give him the money. Anyone with half a conscience at that moment would do just as she did – give him the money.

      All of that bullet-proof glass is expensive, and it does not eliminate the possibility of robbery. In high risk locations (if not all locations) banks would be much smarter to eliminate access to cash other than through ATMs and TCDs (Teller Cash Dispensers or their sisters TCRs Teller Cash Recyclers). These machines dispense cash only when the teller determines the operation and the customer confirms with his/her PIN. In this situation a potential bank robber would only be able to access cash if he/she were a customer. Also, if none of the branch staff can access cash without a customer PIN, then the reasoning for violence is reduced dramatically.

      This solution allows for the environment to be more personal and experiential and reduces the potential for robbery dramatically. In one case in South Africa, a bank implemented a TCD solution and removed all bullet proof glass (Even with the bullet proof glass, they were being robbed twice per week). They were robbed a total of two times in the following 5 years with the TCD solution versus twice per week with bullet proof glass. Hmmmmm…

      • Besides the TCDs you spoke about, what other solutions are there for banks to prevent theft and robbery? Also, if there are options like TCDs, why haven’t they been used everywhere? I don’t see how banks can pass up these changes.

    • In my opinion, I think that there are two types of banks, those ones that Marie talked about, cold and with a taste of prison, (which are the majority) and those who want to be so modern that what they get are open spaces, impersonal, and also cold.

      Recently I’ve been in an ING office in Madrid and I found the second ones, an office more like a spaceship than a bank, in which I was totally disoriented. (In that moment I missed the figure of meeter greeter šŸ˜‰ )

      I think there should be a balance between the two sides, trying to create a friendly environment where you feel safe and the wait will be more enjoyable. This could be achieved through a deep study about the actions carried out by customers and efficient use of materials, furniture and communications, which Senteo has been implementing for a long time, and companies should take as an example.

    • I totally agree with you on the “cold” banks. To me, when I see someone standing behind bulletproof class or some sort of protective cage, it feels like I’m talking to a wall and they teller just happens to hear me. Yes they smile, they reply, they look great, but they are hiding from me like I’m a criminal. Do away with the glass and make the bank a more human structure again!

    • All it comes down to is bank safety. Yes, it isn’t the best way to talk to someone, but would you want your rates to go up because the bank is always being robbed? This sort of thing is the tradeoff for having low rates and less fees on your bank accounts. Society makes these sort of precautions a requirement, so you can’t blame banks for acting in their best interest.