People Experience: The Bank

July 17, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

This week is all about people experiences and interactions with products or services. I don’t use the word “user” because its evil.

Which bank is the best? None I would say. None try to stand out. None do anything revolutionary. None try to make the experience better. I think one in New York does but I forget the name. I will give the banks some free advice and hopefully one will pick it up.

washington mutual banking

1- Have a pen at the ATM. I can’t even remember how many times I need to deposit a check and the pen isn’t there.

2- Give me small bills. I know its complicated but sometimes I don’t want $20 denominations.
3- Open on Sundays and after I get out of work. Seriously people work 9-6. Closing at 6 helps no one. Sundays most people are free but yet you make fun of us by closing your doors.
4- Free Checking is NOT great anymore. Give more!

5- Create a community. If you are focusing on business customers, provide food/drinks/location for weekly  meet up of entrepreneurs, sponsor business challenges or have monthly speakers cover topics for small businesses.

I always feel like I am missing something when businesses can really go the next level but the don’t. I think it also matters about the bank. I think smaller banks spend time to know their customers and go the next step. It is hard when your employees are salaried and have little incentive to create a better experience.

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9 responses to “People Experience: The Bank

  1. Cameron Reply

    It’s amazing how often some of the best ‘people’ experience fixes are so simple – if these decision makers would just use a little common sense sometimes the world would be a lot more usable.

  2. BankHater Reply

    Back in my college broke ass years, I wrote a check for $2.50 to buy a pack of cigarettes. Little did I know, my landlord cashed a check that I gave him 5 months prior…needless to say….the stupid bank honored his check and overdrew on my account but decided to bounce my $2.50 check to the gas station. Gas station automatically sends bounced checks to a collection agency….the result was that I had to pay a $80 fine for the freaking $2.50 check.

    I yelled at the bank saying why did they allow the landlord’s check when there was insufficient amount but decided to reject a $2.50 check. If they had bounced my landlord’s check, he would have come to me for the money……but as for the gas station, they automatically sent it to a collection agency, which i was forced to pay a fine.

    I closed my account with that bank…..they probably thought….we dont need this poor student’s account anyhow….well the moral of the story….7 years later, I have over $200K in my bank account. So fuck you little shitty bank.

  3. Brian Breslin Reply

    Banks here in Miami are now open till midnight in some cases, and 7 days a week.
    ( The pen idea is good, so would OCR built into the deposit thing, then no more envelopes would be necessary.


  4. Rick Reply

    I bank at Bank of America, but I could just as easily bank at Chase or any of the other biggies. I prefer the biggies because I want to be a customer whatever state I’m in. How hard would it be for the branch manager to have coffee and doughnuts in the conference room for business customers who were interested in meeting other business customers on a periodic basis? How about wine and cheese on a Tuesday evening once a month, a quarter, or how about just once to see if there was any interest? When I go into the local branch, I see many people that I don’t know that are obviously working people. Would they like to side my house, re-roof my house, landscape my house, mow my lawn? How am I supposed to know, stand with a picket in front of the bank? Come on Bank of America (or somebody), wake up. You do #5 right and the rest won’t matter.

  5. Nick Gavronsky Reply

    I definitely think banks should be open longer and should offer more personalized services that actually make customers feel like they are getting all the attention. For starters, they really should try and cut down on the lines and the time it takes to get to a teller. I waited in like for 15 minutes a few weeks ago at BOA just to get a money order processed.

  6. Shivani Reply

    banks suck, I agree. I think staying open late and on weekends is a good idea, I think I would actually switch to a bank that stayed open late and on weekends. (btw, Wells Fargo in San Jose is now open till 6 pm on Saturdays)

    But, as far as the other things, like pens at the ATM’s, are concerned, it’s one of those things that doesn’t really add that much value. Pens get stolen, they cost money, and I’m sure you would be a more pissed off customer if you had come to the ATM expecting a pen and not having one instead of not expecting one at all.

    I think most people forget that banks are still trying to run a business and the only way for them to make money is to either make some drastic change to the standard business model of a bank (like what southwest or jet blue did for airlines) or only provide services that they can get a return on, like lending to low risk business ventures.

    the create a community is a great idea. all the parents I know love to go to WAMU because most of the wamus have a play area for kids to keep busy.

  7. Brad Reply

    Our local credit union does a pretty fair job, but there is always room for improvement. Part of the problem with it is that it is local, but that is really my problem – I just have to plan ahead when I am out of the area.

    It strikes me odd that their staff has a lunch hour at the same time most other folks are on their lunch hour and trying to get some business done. So, instead of staffing from 11AM – 1PM, they are short-staffed and folks wind up spending half their ‘hour’ getting a check cashed (while some genius in front of the (only) line wants to either turn in 40 pounds of change, tries to balance his checkbook, or is buying 7 money orders because he won’t use paypal – or is flirting with the teller).

    How tough would it be to pull someone off the back office to keep another window (or two) open for this 2 hour busy time of the day? These people used to work as teller before they moved to the other office.

    The bank in New York area you are referring to is probably Commerce Bank (ticker: CBH).

    Later hours would be fine, if only for drive-up service. However, I would like the lobby to be open as well.