In an effort to increase this number, banks have begun to echo many of the competitive strategies of retail stores. They have shifted their focus away from the traditional scope of bank offerings –safety deposit boxes, Christmas clubs, etc. – and are now offering more retail-oriented features, products and services.
A step-up from gourmet coffee machines and free cookies, banks are starting to implement customer “greeters,” dedicated computer areas for surfing the Internet, comfortable “community spaces” for hosting informational and promotional sessions, as well as warm, inviting lounge spaces and décor. To this point, JPMorgan Chase presented some of their latest branch revisions at an inventor’s conference this past February – these revisions included open floor plans reminiscent of Apple® stores or high-end boutique hotels.
Because budgets may not allow for complete cosmetic (or constructive) overhauls, many banks are looking for cost-effective solutions that will add both warmth and a sense of cohesiveness among branches.
A large financial institution recently found an ideal solution to this problem: a complete visual communication system – including poster holders, freestanding units, countertop displays, even teller window signs – that allowed them to inexpensively tailor stock fixtures and displays for a branded, custom appearance. By using this type of “stock custom” system, they were able to avoid the high costs often associated with producing fully customized pieces and maintain consistent branding throughout their 400+ branch locations.
In addition, these display systems allow branches to actively, and easily, promote new and existing programs, promotions and services using a retail-style approach.