This morning during my morning outing of walking to the bank, I noticed something that I decided would be something smart to blog about and it has to do with managing your business’ reputation. Upon going into the bank, I noticed that a new construction project had just been completed. What this new finish entailed was enclosing all of the bank tellers behind plexiglass enclosures. Huh? What? The bank tellers who I hand my money to, exchange my morning pleasantries are a thing of the past? A quick exchange of a glance and retrieving my deposit from the restricted area with heads down is now the norm? The bank that I entrust with my life savings thinks it is good business, to send the message of 1) they really don’t care about what me, the customer 2) the place they choose to do business, is not safe? When I asked about the change, the teller replied (from what I could hear from behind the new imposed barrier), it is for the employees safety and all of the branches are being readied for the same thing. If the bank is such an unsafe place that the bank is going to this extent to remove contact with their customer, what are they doing to protect me the customer standing in their lobby? What are they protecting the employee from? Not to be flippant or lack empathy, but if a bank robber was to come into the bank, who and what would the plexiglass protect?
It would just seem to me, in the place we are in today, people need human contact. People need to connect. The explosion of social media is only one example of this phenomenon. With today’s economic climate, in general, what are people’s opinion of banks? Overwhelming, I will go out on a limb and say, it is not warm and fuzzy. Is whatever my bank thought they were going to achieve worth the cost of further distancing themselves from their customer?