Commerce Bank Essay

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Executive Summary
Commerce Bank was founded in 1973 by Vernon Hill II who took his experience in operating fast-food restaurants and applied it to banking. He decided to call his branches "stores" and developed a business model focused on maximizing customer convenience and delivering consistently great customer experiences.
Commerce Bank invested heavily in store facilities and personnel to make the customer experience great and did not focus on having the best rates. To increase convenience, stores were kept open seven days a week and hours were extended in the mornings and evenings. Also, customers were able to get instant ATM cards, and funds from their deposits would be credited either the same day or the next day. For fun, the bank
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Commerce Bank has built its operation on the premise that core banking services can be enhanced by introducing the element of retail experience which they termed as “retailtainment.” Commerce Bank believed that when customers can pay $6 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks just because of the retail experience, by the same token customers of the bank should be willing to accept lower interest on the deposits if they are provided with the experience which the customer valued. Commerce Bank, through its “retailtainment” approach, emphasized a customer-centric culture. Some of the services offered for the sole purpose of customer satisfaction were (1) fast daily branch operations (2) convenient teller transactions (3) coffee and newspaper while in queue (4) elimination of fees for the ATM and check card (5) phone at the bank’s ATM machines if customers need to reach the call center (6) ‘check view’ feature on the bank’s website and (7) a penny arcade at branches.
One of the important advantages of “retailtainment” is that the customer is willing to spend more time in the banks premises and is not too much concerned about the waiting time. Commerce Bank envisaged a multitude of benefits emerging from this kind of customer experience. This meant that such experience will lead to:
a) Increased traffic.
b) Retention of the customers which gets translated into higher lifetime value
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