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The Preparedness of Retail Banking Customers

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The Preparedness of Retail Banking Customers

I. Introduction

I have been working as a bank teller since June 2010 at a retail bank in Cherry Hill, NJ. This branch is very busy as it is at a high traffic intersection, so the tellers there have many responsibilities, both inside the bank and in the drive-thru. The study performed and presented in this paper is to analyze and determine whether or not there are major differences between the customers that prefer to do their transactions through the lobby or through the drive-thru. These "differences," or more scientifically, "variables," will focus on the preparedness of the bank's customers.

II. Statement of Hypothesis

While forming my hypothesis, I originally felt that those customers in the drive-thru would be less prepared than those in the lobby. This was my first notion, but it may have been skewed due to the fact that in the drive-thru a teller deals with multiple customers at once (there are four drive-thru lanes) rather than in the lobby where it is one customer at a time. If only one out of four customers is unprepared in the drive-thru, it could mess up the flow of traffic, and therefore make more of an impression on the teller than one in four in the lobby. Therefore, after doing some exploratory research, i.e. discussing with my supervisor, and performing a trial run of the data collection process, I changed my hypothesis for the final study: banking customers in the lobby will be less prepared than those in the in the drive-thru. I did this because I realized many customers who are unprepared require some help with their banking needs and therefore come into the lobby.

III. Observation Process

To observe the preparedness of customers, I developed three main variables that could be evaluated during a single transaction: the presentation of the proper documents (V1), such as a checking deposit slip, the knowledge of one's account number (V2), and whether or not the transaction was hassle free (V3), which includes having sufficient funds when withdrawing from one's account, writing one's account number on the back of a non-TD check, presenting identification when cashing a check, etc. These variables are completely under the customer's control and therefore only relate to the preparedness of the customers. I performed a trial run on a Wednesday night where I worked one and a half hours in the lobby and two and a half hours in the drive-thru. Obviously, the data collected during this trial could not be used in the final data analysis because the data were collected at different times and for different lengths of time. The actual data used in the analysis were collected during a Sunday from eleven a.m. to four p.m., where I observed customers in the drive-thru and a coworker observed customers in the lobby.

IV. Data Collection and Results

When a customer is prepared according to all three preparedness variables, he or she would receive a Y for "yes" in all three of the columns on the spreadsheet created for this study. However, if, for example, he or she did not know his or her account number, he/she would receive an N for "no" in the "knowledge of account number" column. The only preparedness variable that would usually require more of an explanation than a yes or a no is the "hassle free" variable because this is more of a subjective and miscellaneous area, and many problems could occur over the course of a transaction that would fall into this column.



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