Your branch traffic has come to a screeching halt with the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean your initiatives need to. You know those projects you have been putting off? Like those branch transformation projects that just seemed too inconvenient before? Now is a perfect time to quickly and efficiently make the changes you’ve been thinking about, without affecting business hours, branch operations, or even your staff’s ability to assist and advise clients. In fact, almost every traditional obstacle to branch transformation has been removed, which means you can start and complete your projects at the speed of light—and with a lot less cost involved too!
A couple of quick and easy ways to take maximum advantage of these empty branches, include:
A Simple Refresh
Get rid of those dirty carpets, scratched up desks and counters, outdated light fixtures, stained lobby and meeting chairs, faded posters and germ-ridden brochures, dirty bathroom appliances, and traditional push/pull doors. They don’t belong in your branch, and even more so now that people are becoming extra aware of the cleanliness of their environment.
Now is the time to refresh, by:
- Putting in some new flooring (if you want carpet over tile, there are some really cool stain-proof options).
- Replacing your desks and chairs with Service Spots and other flex stations that are easy to clean in-between clients (this means you should avoid cloth chairs, even if they are very comfortable).
- Switching out high-touch marketing materials, like brochures, with interactive digital displays that offer clients the ability to email themselves these materials (not to mention, these screens can easily be wiped down after being interacted with).
A Technology Upgrade
Both your staff and your clients need to be able to act quickly and efficiently when they are in your branch—and currently, your legacy systems, outdated hardware, and 1990’s branch technology aren’t cutting it. This isn’t news to you, you’ve likely been feeling these pains for a while but just haven't had the time to take the necessary actions. Well, now you do.
Get the ball rolling now on projects like:
- Servicing and maintaining your current branch hardware, as well as looking into upgrades that can be made.
- Installing ITMs in your drive-thrus so that clients can interact face-to-face with bankers over a screen from the comfort of their own car.
- Increasing the self-service transaction options available to clients by replacing ATMs with more advanced self-service machines, like NEXT (which can complete 99% of the transactions a teller can).
- Integrating your cash recyclers into your teller platform and core to decrease manual errors, increase the speed of service, and allow for a more optimized branch environment.
- Transforming your staffing model with tablet-based teller platforms (like Nomadix) that enables tablet-based universal associates to advise clients in a more open environment and away from busy teller towers or confining offices. Adios queue lines that force people to stand too close to one another!
- Install digital signage in your branch to offer a more retail-friendly, engaging environment for when clients do return. And you can even use this signage to increase adoption rates of your mobile banking solutions, which clients will be wanting to get enrolled in at a speed like never before.
Future-Proof for Post-COVID Expectations
The biggest driver behind your need to change will be social distancing. People are becoming more accustomed to maintaining a 6-feet space between themselves and others, and that behavior won’t just disappear because the Coronavirus is no longer forcing a quarantine. For months, maybe even years, this behavior will continue and it is your job as a retail (and essential) establishment to make their banking environment a comfortable one. That’s why we’ve written a blog entirely focused on even more ways to build a post-COVID branch environment, which you can read by clicking here!
This is the fourth blog in an 8-part series.
- Read part 1 here: "How Financial Institutions Can Survive (& Thrive) During COVID-19"
- Read part 2 here: "When Social-Distancing Becomes Distance Banking."
- Read part 3 here: "A New Standard for Community Involvement."
- Read part 5 here: "A Quick and Easy Way Banks and Credit Unions Can Cut Costs."
- Read part 6 here: "Ideas for Communicating with Clients."
- Part 7 will be released 04/30/20!