DNB is one of Norway's strongest brand names. However, the competition in the banking sector is stiff, plus the banking habits of consumers are changing much faster now than was previously the case. Those who are winning the battle for customers are those who adapt to the changes the fastest.
A total of 85% of Norwegian banking customers no longer visit their bank's office, and transactions over the counter have fallen by 73%. The design of the offices and the working methodologies of the advisors were custom-tailored to a completely manual service concept. In step with the changes in the industry, DNB saw the need to change its physical presence, and make the meeting place relevant again in order for it to survive.
With this as a point of departure, DNB contacted us in 2014 to "retailize" their bank. Jointly, we then created a modernized and innovative version of the traditional bank. A concept developed in order to give a customer experience that is in line with the brand name's values and the times in which we live.
The new concept is intended to reflect brand values such as "genuine", "supportive" and "living", and give the customer an optimum experience when they visit the bank. DNB has chosen to go its own way when it comes to having a presence. When a number of the players in the sector are choosing to eliminate their physical offices, DNB is of the opinion that there is value in meeting the customers face-to-face.
The manner in which we live and communicate is constantly changing. We have a lifestyle where we are more mobile and on the go than previously. We are always connected and desire information and services to be available where we are, at all hours of the day. Digital efforts have long been given priority, however the more digital we become, the greater the need also for physical meeting places.
The strategy is based upon covering needs that arise when people exhibit a change in their behavior due to technology, as well as ensuring that one as an important participant in the society is capable of meeting this trend.
Whereas the bank was previously perceived to be a formal and authoritarian institution, it now desires to be more open and welcoming by offering a banking concept that is adapted to the times in which we live.
At the same time, we know that the customers are living hectic lives. They want returns from their time, and will discard everything that is irrelevant information – it must be fast, effective and relevant.
The new DNB has succeeded in taking the customer's experience seriously, by meeting the customers where they are, at the tight time, and offering relevant products and services.
The concept addresses three primary elements: the space, the products and the people, which create a context in the customer meeting that strengthens the total experience of the DNB brand name.
The facade has been opened up to give insight, and invite people in. The structure of the space has been opened for the customer to be able to circulate around in the shop, while the interior contributes to making the room pleasant to be in. The space and the interior go from being hard and enveloping forms, to being a soft and inviting style. From walking on wood, and sitting on wood, to experiencing wood (walls), and using wood materials as an accent to a neutral white base.
The premises are divided up into different zones in order to be able to offer optimum assistance if different customer situations. A separate shop area with a product wall provides a commercial perspective with the presentation of products, whereas the theme wall provides inspiration for current campaigns and themes.
The people: How people work together in order to ensure that the customers are looked after in the best possible manner has been crucial to getting the concept to function in practice.
DNB's reputation has never been as good as it is today. It is however difficult to isolate the effect of individual measures, but we do know that it is the effect of all the measures together that have caused the bank's reputation to soar, including the re-branding of the physical meeting places. A total of 84 % of the customers who visited one of DNB's offices during the evaluation phase awarded a dice roll of 5 or 6, and 9 of 10 had the need for which they visited the bank satisfied.
In tangible terms, it has seen that a number of the customers are being met by an advisor earlier than they had expected. The welcome zone is turning out to be a good addition to the total customer experience, where the customers feel they are waiting for a shorter time than they actually are.
The concept was tested in four pilot projects in 2014 and the pilots have received positive attention in the media, with good PR for the concept and the brand name.
The concept has now been launched in the market with a roll-out encompassing more than 50 of DNB's banking and property offices from the spring of 2015. The roll-out is planned to continue to all of DNB's branches in 2016.