Dollar Bills

ATLANTIC UNION BANK

Research and Analysis

How can a business continue to provide high quality in-person customer service during a pandemic?

IN BRIEF

Ask

Research methods for Atlantic Union Bank to continue servicing customers in-person during the

COVID-19 pandemic.

Problem

With all of the precautionary and safety measures that are required to be taken during the pandemic, it is difficult to provide the same high quality in-person service to bank customers.

Solution

A plan in two parts. Making changes now and allowing for in-person bank customers to receive the high quality service they're accustomed to from AUB, but also planning ahead to prepare for whatever this pandemic throws at them next.

BACKGROUND

The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses around the world to close for unknown amounts of time and change the way they function and service customers. AUB was one of many who had to make adjustments fast.

SITUATION

While many people primarily use online banking, there is still a large population that needs in-person banking for a variety of reasons, such as a lack of technology or access to internet. When the pandemic hit the U.S., AUB closed all of their branches while they placed hand sanitizers, 6 ft apart stickers and plexiglass in all of their branches. Once the precautions were in place, they were ready to reopen. 

CHALLENGE

AUB prides themselves on their high quality customer service. This can be difficult to maintain with customers when you're speaking to them through masks from 6 ft away. So how can AUB keep up the sercvice their customers expect from them?

OUR PROCESS

Qualitative Research

91 participants were screened to participate in our research. 8 diverse participants, across age groups, states, races and income levels, were then selected to take part in our virtual focus group. 

Quantitative Research

A survey was distributed in order to get a broader understanding of how the public preferred to be serviced during the pandemic. This survey covered the details of multiple different service options such as drive-thru and park & pick-up.

Secondary Research

We utilized secondary research to learn tactics that were being implemented across the banking industry, to see how AUB's competitors were fairing, and also how other industries were handling the pandemic. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic has made customers hungrier than ever for excellent customer service.

  2. More people than ever are using online banking and banking apps.

  3. People appreciate businesses that offer senior hours, even if it's not a service that they specifically need.

QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH

  1. Drive-thru services can't do it all. The majority of people would only use drive-thru banking for cash withdrawal.

  2. Health and safety is the top priority that respondents want banks to consider.

  3. Most people believe that there are actionable steps to effectively protect them from their health and safety concerns.

SECONDARY RESEARCH

  1. Drive-thru services can't do it all. The majority of people would only use drive-thru banking for cash withdrawal.

  2. Health and safety is the top priority that respondents want banks to consider.

  3. Most people believe that there are actionable steps to effectively protect them from their health and safety concerns.

RECOMMENDATIONS

PART ONE: IMMEDIATE ACTIONS

ITM Machines:

Interactive Teller Machines allow customers to speak face-to-face with a teller via video conferencing.

Informational and Instructional Videos:

Keep customers in the know by creating informational and instructional videos to be shared on the AUB website, social media, newsletters, etc.

Senior Hours:

At least once a week, offer senior hours for older customers to come into the bank comfortable.

PART TWO: FUTURE ACTIONS

PR Representative:

Provide comfort to your customers by assigning a PR representative to address concerns over social media, news, local discussion boards, etc.

Upgrade drive-thrus:

Upgrade drive-thrus to ensure that cars of all sizes can access them easily.

Branch Facelifts:

Take advantage of any time that a branch has to close down. Give spaces a makeover and turn them into "service lounges."

Counting Yens

IN SUMMARY

In-person banking will always be important to large sections of society. By using research, AUB can take appropriate actions to maneuver this pandemic and service their customers.​

MY TEAM

Isabelle Hansen, CBM

Max Lichtfuss, CBM

Olivia McGrath, CBM

Tracy Okafor, CBM

MY ROLE

Project manager

Client liaison

Quantitative research

Solution strategy

Deck design

Presentation