Putting the Retail in Banking
There is no industry that I can think of that has been hit harder over the last few years then the banking and financial industries. I’m not going to tell you what went wrong in this article, but I want to point to the future of your local bank.
Traditionally you may have used these words to describe your bank;
If you are manager of a company where people used these words to describe you I’d be worried too. However, one thing banks have started to do is listen.
Lately, you may have noticed the increased focus on client care at your local bank; the staff knows your name, there are comfy chairs to sit in and a Wal-Mart like greeter at the front of the branch welcomes you inside. You will also notice many banks are updating their look to rid of the dark and drab vibes they seemed to have acquired over the years. You’ll also notice industry experts refer to the industry as retail banking.
All of this new focus certainly makes sense as new players such as customer friendly credit unions have arrived on the scene. You now have options for where you want to put your money. Simply just showing up doesn’t make people want to do business with you.
Of course I can’t help but point out one area seems to be missing – music. For one reason or another most banks refuse to play music in their branches or they play it at a level that makes little use of the speakers they’ve purchased. The problem with this aside from wasting their investment on a sound system is that it leaves a feeling of emptiness in the branch due to the size and quietness of most big banks.
I envision a bank where music and sound set the tone for a relaxing mortgage negotiation or business loan approval. This is a place where customers want to share their experience.