Free Suckers For All: 4 Ways Credit Unions Can Make Their Branches Better

How much is your time worth?

I can't speak for every member of my generation, but one thing that bonds us is that our time is precious to us. Unlike in previous years, where our choices for free time were either (a) reading or (b) going to the mall or movies, we have a wealth of options and opportunities at hand.

We'll waste time doing things we genuinely enjoy - hours on Tumblr or Facebook or organizing Fantasy Football Leagues, but we want to decide how our time is spent.

For years, going to my financial institution has been the bane of my existence. Its always at least 30 minutes out of my day because it takes forever, and as much as I wish I could do all of my banking online, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go to a branch.

How does a credit union find a way to make its branches inviting to Gen Y without completely alienating other people? Here are a few tips that I think could prove to be helpful in this pursuit.

  • Everyone should be working. There is no greater frustration in life than waiting in a line manned by one teller while multiple other employees mill around. Either move those employees out of sight and mind, or train them to work the window.
  • Have a greeter. In most instances (Wal-Mart, I'm looking at you) greeters are nothing more than an annoyance. But at a financial institution, people want to know how they can get in and get out. Greeters that direct people to the appropriate locations inside the branch get members to the right place so they don't waste time.
  • You can never have too many ATMs. The once a month I get a physical check, I have one singular purpose when I go to a branch. Deposit the check, eat a sucker and leave. Having multiple ATMs separates the people who are just depositing or withdrawing and those who need more complicated transactions. Oh, and while we're on suckers....
  • Always have candy. I cannot stress this enough. It may be juvenile, it may seem random, but a 10 cent sucker or lollipop gives your credit union a softer image. Let's face it, unless they've just won the lottery, no one likes going to the bank. Suckers make everything better.

Any tips or hints you'd like to add to the list? Let's hear em in the comment section!


Searching for the next Verity Mom

The incumbent dilemma