Celebrating over 30 years of banking success, Woodforest National Bank is a privately owned community bank currently servicing over 900,000 customers at more than 750 branches across the states of Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Georgia and Florida.
Woodforest takes the "SAY YES" attitude, offering its customers the unsurpassed value of convenient locations and quality customer service 7 days a week, as well as "round the clock" branch hours open 24 hours a day in select markets. Woodforest combines all of this with a full line of products and services including Woodforest Checking, Second Chance Checking, Online Banking with daily email notification, as well as commercial and personal loans, competitive CDs, loans, and money market rates, illustrating our motto of "Banking Your Way…Every Day and Night!"
Woodforest is known for their innovative banking concepts, such as its decision to open full service 24/7 bank branches to offer its customers the convenience of banking at any hour, day or night. Woodforest was also the first full-service bilingual bank in the United States, for Hispanic customers. Woodforest looked to extend their innovative, customer service focused banking concepts by deploying digital signage within a number of their 750 branch locations, all but 35 of which are located inside the world's largest retail chain, Walmart.
The addition of digital signage was intended to:
- help communicate with the bank's many customers
- help promote banking products and services
- decrease perceived wait-time
- increase customer satisfaction
The initial phase of the project would include deploying over 100 screens inside bank branch entrances and at teller stations. Subsequent phases of the digital signage network would expand to include over 600 locations, so they needed a system that was fully scalable. To meet Woodforest's goals, the digital signage needed to be easily manageable, produce visually appealing content that would engage customers while at the bank, and be fully encrypted to ensure that the bank's network would remain secure. Woodforest wanted the number of staff required to manage the system to be minimal, with control of the entire network residing at their Woodlands headquarters.
Woodforest selected Omnivex digital signage software to manage their network after going through an extensive evaluation process that spanned a full year. During this time pilot projects were undertaken at select branch locations to best compare the functionality and usability of various software platforms. Omnivex software was ultimately selected as the software of choice. "We selected Omnivex because of its ability to handle data," said Cindi Stewart, Vice President of Marketing for Woodforest National Bank. She continued, "Having the Omnivex scheduling capabilities helps Woodforest execute its digital marketing campaigns in a timely and efficient manner - all from our offices in The Woodlands, TX. We're finding that the digital signage is an excellent strategy for bolstering customer service and a true competitive advantage. Omnivex gives us a dynamic visual communication system, allowing us to reach our customers."
While branding, messaging and most of the content displayed is the same across the entire network, there is the capability of local customization for each branch. "Small details, such as the store hours, will vary between banks," said in-house graphic designer, Stacey Powitzky. "For instance, we have 5 branches that are open 24/7, so it's important that we have the option to tailor those details, as the customer doing banking at 4am will have different needs than the one in the branch at 10am," she explained. The goal for Woodforest was to maintain their brand image and convey a consistent corporate message, while still providing the local information relevant to customer's needs.
Woodforest National Bank has installed digital screens inside the majority of their 35 free-standing and 715 Walmart bank branches in the Midwest, South and East regions of the United States. The screens, which are used to advertise Woodforest products and services, are located throughout the banks, with the total number of displays varying based on the size of each branch location. Most locations have a 40" flat screen display with digital signage as well as a second screen present behind the teller line to display financial news programming, such as Bloomberg. Having the digital signage screen situated at the front of the store helps to entice passers-by and engage customers checking out. "By leaving the screen at the front of the bank on at all times we are able to advertise to current and prospective customers even when a branch is closed," explained Stewart. "It's a great way to extend the reach of our advertising."
Small 15-inch screens are stationed between the various teller lines to help reduce perceived wait-times. This also provides Woodforest with a medium to promote bank products and services to customers throughout their in-store visit. In newer branches there is even a large display at the back of the bank to further enhance the impact of the messaging in the stores.
In some cases, the digital signage network has been extended outdoors to the drive through banking area. These screens are used to display advertising content to customers in their vehicles. The total number of screens varies at each branch depending on their size and subsequent space limitations. Smaller locations may have 2 - 3 screens while larger ones can accommodate up to 7 displays. The digital signage has provided Woodforest with a way to reach their customers at all of the service touch points.
"Woodforest National Bank is changing the way banks think about how they interact with customers, and it's reaping the benefits," said Jeff Collard, President of Omnivex. "Many organizations think of digital signs as an extension of static signs, but Woodforest is tailoring its messaging to a targeted group of viewers. With Omnivex, Woodforest is capable of changing its messaging at a moment's notice to react to world news or market events. This is a seminal change in the way business is conducted."
The choice to implement digital signage throughout their many branch locations has proven to be a valuable undertaking for Woodforest National Bank. The screens provide the company with an excellent advertising tool for reaching both customers in the bank, as well as potential customers who are passing by. "Moving from stagnant to dynamic signage has given us the advantage of having movement and really catching people's attention," explained Stewart. "It has served as a great selling tool for us."
The move to digital signage has also enabled Woodforest to reduce their total paper output which not only serves an environmental purpose, but saves time and reduces costs as well. Now, content across their many store locations can be updated instantaneously, without requiring signs to be changed manually or spending time waiting for new content to be printed. "The Omnivex system is very intuitive and makes it simple for me to create and distribute new content," said Powitzky. "I can even use graphics from brochures and other marketing collateral and easily convert them for use on the screens," she concluded.
Future plans also include utilizing Omnivex Control software, which would enable Woodforest's Technology Support team to manage all of the hardware on their digital signage network from their Houston office. Woodforest would be able to turn on displays and reboot PCs, as well as power down monitors during off-business hours to extend the life of these devices. Omnivex Control software can also notify the network operator should any devices be experiencing a problem or need maintenance. This functionality ensures that the screens are always powered up when the banks are open, alleviating the need for employees at each branch to remember to turn on and off the screens or reboot PC's periodically.
Woodforest has taken on a back build approach to expanding their digital signage network. In addition to adding signage to new bank locations, they are implementing it in existing branches that are undergoing renovations. This provides a perfect opportunity to install the necessary hardware while minimizing interference to the bank's existing operations. Given how well the digital signage has been received by customers and employees at Woodforest banks across the United States, it represents an ongoing area of interest for management, offering new and exciting ways to add value for their customers.