Surpassing Commerce Bank (NJ) almost a decade ago, Umpqua is now recognized as a leader in providing one of the best branch banking experiences in the world. Customers and employees delight in delivering a superior financially-oriented experience that is unsurpassed by most retail outlets let alone banks. In fact, bankers come from all over (we recently met one from Russia that last time we stopped into a branch) just to see the experience firsthand. We have spent countless hours in their branches observing culture, counting traffic, timing universal tellers and generally learning how Umpqua delivers a unique experience. Now granted, Umpqua has a different culture than most banks that helps in pulling this off, but having a different branch philosophy helps, including calling them "stores" (a lesson Umpqua took from Commerce Bank).
Here is our list of the top 20 things that we love and that sets the bank apart:
- Handing out chocolates with teller transactions
- Showcases a local product – foods, gadgets, clothing, etc.
- Has a 1.5 year waiting list of merchants that want to showcase local products
- Provides simple, yet abdicative video games in branches (even for those branches whose demographic skew older)
- Has a phone for customers that directly connects to CEO
- As lots of light with an open design
- Has a beverage station with various Umpqua-blended coffees, tea, soda, etc.
- Encourages employees to use social media
- Begins each day with a “motivation moment” that could include trivia, quotes, marshmallow dodge ball
- Holds regular classes for employees and community (yoga, knitting, composting, managing healthcare costs, etc.)
- Gives away potted plants with messages on them to the local community around a branch
- Tracks and displays the number of volunteer hours its employees give to the community surrounding the branch
- Has a “Recharge Bar” where customers can recharge their mobile devices
- Provides access to 3rd party applications like Bloomberg, Lexis Nexis and online magazines
- Have flexible use office space open to everyone
- Provides conference rooms open for community events during and after branch hours
- Have interactive touch screens with various financial tools (retirement planning, home mortgage calculator, etc.)
- Has their mobile application always on display with training
- Provides free bikes and dog biscuits (pets are encouraged)
- Provides e-receipts for transactions similar to an Apple store instead of paper
Submitted by Chris Nichols on June 17, 2014