NORTHAMPTON, Mass., Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- PeoplesBank has literally found a way for customers to get a charge out of their banking. They will need an electric vehicle, however, to take advantage of the free EV charging station at the newest office at 300 King Street in Northampton, MA [VIDEO]. Like the bank's last two new constructions, this office is also LEED® registered, meaning that it was built and operates in an environmentally friendly manner. The innovations are not all green either. Customer service was rethought and the open interior feels more like an Apple store than a traditional branch. Visitors can use technology like iPads to open an account or catch up on their work and social media through free WiFi.
"Each time we plan a new branch, we view it as an opportunity to enhance our banking model," explained Douglas A. Bowen, President and CEO of PeoplesBank. "For this office, we began to think about how we could create value. So we decided to redefine community banking – not only in this office, but throughout our organization."
The desire to reconceptualize is not new to Bowen. Under his tenure, PeoplesBank has financed more than $60 million in wind, solar and hydroelectric energy projects [TUMBLR]. The bank has also built a LEED Silver Certified office in Springfield, MA, and a LEED Gold Certified office in West Springfield, MA. Both buildings were the first of their kind in each community. PeoplesBank has an environmental committee that fosters green practices at work and at home. The committee holds events like farmers' markets, e-recycling days, and environmental fairs. The new Northampton office maximizes natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows, uses highly efficient HVAC and LED lighting systems, and minimizes water use with special plumbing fixtures and drought-resistant landscaping.
According to Sheila King-Goodwin, Senior Vice President, Retail, the bank also made a concerted effort to redesign its customer service model. "Members of our team traveled around the country and studied how other banks and hotels were improving their customer service practices," explained Goodwin. "Our staff also attended Ritz-Carlton customer service courses and examined ways to use technology to make things more convenient for our customers." The bank also created Universal Bankers, or staff who can do virtually all transactions for a customer from taking a deposit to applying for a mortgage.
Bowen noted that the innovations built into the bank's newest branch [FLICKR] are not just for that market alone. "These innovations and best practices will be implemented throughout our branch network in the near future. It is this desire for continuous improvement that makes us a leader in our market and a great place to work."
PeoplesBank is the largest community bank in Western Massachusetts and a leader in LEED® certified construction, green energy financing, charitable contributions, and employee volunteerism. PeoplesBank – a passion for what is possiblesm.
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