Helping Improve Customer Experience at Nationwide

Nationwide Building Society has embarked on a programme that aims to reinvent the future of their customer experience. Part of this involves developing a new signage scheme that will fully support this drive, and Merson-ASG were delighted to deliver the signage package for the first two recently completed flagship stores in Stratford and Belfast. This upgrade followed five earlier pilots – TRC, Victoria, Cheapside, Threadneedle and Croft, which formed the basis for these final designs.

Whilst technology is clearly a critical part of any branch upgrade, many customers are also telling banks and building societies that there are certain occasions when only face-to-face contact will do, particularly when they are about to embark on a large purchasing decision. This is why we are still seeing greater investment into customer experiences within physical branches, alongside other major technical projects, like online and newer transaction methods.

The rise in improvements to branding and customer experience has been long recognised by Merson Group, and following the recent launch of our building environments offer, our capabilities fit perfectly with delivering complete internal and external design solutions for re-branding projects.

Today, we are taking a closer look at the Belfast branch.

Merson-ASG were briefed by designers Dalziel and Pow to deliver a new signage concept for the Belfast Nationwide Flagship store, one that would compliment the broader company strategy of improving the customer experience across the whole business. The brief for the signage package consisted of an upgrade to the external fascia and ATM signage, along with an interesting mix of internal elements, mainly consisting of different types of acrylic text, vinyl’s and picture frames.

Close collaboration with the designers was vital to create a package that would offer a unique personality and ensure Nationwide customers recognise something special about the new experience. By working closely throughout the project with Mace, the client consultant and ISG, the main contractor, the end result was put together to perfectly reflect the design brief. We look forward to further design collaborations on future sites.

The interior signage included a range of interesting methods and materials to deliver a creative visual upgrade. Large picture frames were used throughout, allowing prints to be swapped around, all adding to a more informal, relaxed look and feel, which was further promoted throughout the branch layout. Cash desks have been opened up to ensure customers feel like they are experiencing a more personalised service rather than the previous approach where conversations were held with someone behind a more closed off counter. The use of technology is encouraged, with ipad’s available for customers to use and watch demonstrations of new products and services. Large vinyl and acrylic text signage was used to showcase all of these new and improved key touch points throughout the branch.

Fascia and new ATM signage were redesigned to create a fresh, modern feel to the exterior; with LED illuminated letters highlighting a bold look for the brand name. The exterior is in keeping with the current branding, with Nationwide ensuring familiarity for current customers. The exterior signage was used as an opportunity to promote key messages that encourage customers to enter the branch and enjoy the new and improved experience.

The broad spectrum of services delivered by Merson-ASG for this project included:

• Technical design
• Sign manufacture and installation
• LED illuminated signage
• Vinyl and Acrylic text signage

As customer expectations continue to increase, banks and building societies are moving quickly to meet such demands, and for Nationwide this is an exciting step towards creating an engaging, brand leading experience.