Customers Unimpressed By Bank Branch ‘Ambiance’

Banks are not doing enough to make their branches welcoming and are failing to effectively inform their customers of products and services, according to a study by in-store media company Mood Media Corporation.

The company specialises in helping financial institutions around the world to improve their in-branch atmospheres using audio, visual and scent solutions, and is now introducing its services to banks in the UK.

The online study compiled by YouGov revealed only 9% of bank customers like the ‘ambiance’ in their branch. The most frequently cited complaint amongst adults against branches was long queues, which made up over a quarter of all complaints at 28% of all respondents’ complaints.

Less than half of all customers at 44% feel their bank effectively promotes additional services to them when they visit their branches, which means the vast majority are not getting the advice they require and, in turn, banks are missing out on the opportunity to cross-sell their products.

The effect is the majority of adults surveyed at 63% prefer to bank online than in branches, according to the online study.

Claude Nahon, President of Mood Media Europe, said: ‘Banks are losing out on a valuable opportunity by not doing more to keep their customers in branches. Face-to-face advice leads to greater customer satisfaction and the bank also profits from selling them the products that they need.

‘Key to this is helping financial institutions to throw off their tired image and stop the flow of customers away from the High Street to the internet. In fact the best solution is to communicate across the branch network and online, ensuring the messages complement one another. This is more important than ever given the current economic climate and banks’ low customer satisfaction rates. Banks used to be an integral part of the community and they can be again.’

ING Branch

Mood Media works with Dutch bank ING to promote their services in-branch, reduce perceived waiting times while queuing through in-store media and to train staff pre and post opening hours via the screen network. An initial pilot of the communications strategy promoted car insurance product on the digital screens in-store. As a result, sales of the product increased by 42% over a 15-week period. Mood Media also installed interactive touch-points in branches, to inform and educate customers in a fun and unobtrusive way.

Music can also play an important role in the retail banking industry: playing the right type of audio in branches not only relaxes customers but masks confidential conversations between customers and staff.

Lorne Abony, CEO of Mood Media Corporation, said: “The need for banks to be seen as welcoming is more important than ever. Our clients are ahead of the curve and are showing how the financial world needs to do more to reconnect with their customers.”

4 thoughts on “Customers Unimpressed By Bank Branch ‘Ambiance’

  1. You are correct about the atmosphere within banks there is too much queuing. Customers are always discovering new or more appropriate services only when problems arise. Unfortunately I do not think it’s the best way as customers may see a relation between news services with problems.
    I discovered a HSBC service, which is really well done as the home page displays a map of countries with their economic growth details.
    This is supposed to be a new service from HSBC, which put in relation companies with same interest in order to create partnerships and new investments abroad.
    Which I think is a great idea and it makes the research in foreign countries quicker and safer.
    I hope HSBC will give more information soon.


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