The branch is designed with customer experience in mind. The layout removes the physical barriers that inhibit transparency and compatibility – a direct function of design research identifying a need for clarity. The result? A fully loaded Flagship in the heart of Toronto’s financial district – making it clear that BMO customers are in control of their financial.
The design strategy had to change the way BMO’s customers think, feel, decide and behave in the 21,000 sf branch; accomplishing two major objectives. Firstly, it had to align BMO’s ‘customer first’ drive with its ‘relationship’ model, and secondly break down the physical, emotional and psychological barriers of the traditional bank branch.
Our research uncovered a customer who felt overwhelmed with the retail banking experience. On a design level, this meant removing these barriers to the desired behaviour including removal of private offices and meeting rooms (signaling the elimination of “backroom banking”), creation of free meeting areas or “hives” of banking activity and breaking up the long transactional “us vs. them” counter that defines traditional banks.