We promise to never sell hamburgers or cheeseburgers from our South Sixth Street branch. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t thought about it!
The “thought” came to us when we were closing on the property at 2849 S. 6th St., a former Mexican restaurant. Before that, a McDonald’s sat on the property. Pat Phalen, the bank’s executive vice president, says that at the closing, he found one stipulation in the agreement: “No business on the property could sell hamburgers or cheeseburgers.”
So, of course, we “thought about it” (with a chuckle) and decided to stick with our core business of banking.
“We were interested in the location in 2002 because the way the city was growing and because of the traffic pattern,” Pat says. People who lived in Auburn and Pawnee would drive by. People who lived at the lake would also take the route down Sixth Street. All these people would all be passing here to and from work each day. The exposure was tremendous.
Once the property was picked, Phalen says he turned the project over to O’Shea Builders and other partners. Banking was his expertise. Not building.
While he left the building to the professional builders, he made sure the new bank employees could live up to his high customer service expectations. “If a customer walks in, that customer is the most important thing. Customer calls have to be answered. You own the customer experience. If there’s a problem, it’s yours to resolve. As long as we hired people who were customer centric, I knew everything else would take care of itself.”
Today’s South Sixth branch manager wasn’t with INB in 2002, yet Cayla Keyes knows the importance of customer service. “We definitely try to create relationships with our customers,” she says. While she notes INB continues to change as technology changes, customer service remains timeless.
Cayla points out Personal Banker Linda Black as the epitome of good customer service. “People just gravitate towards her.” When visiting the branch, you’ll find Linda stationed in front of the teller line, ready to lend a hand.
While Cayla leads the branch, she says INB is “an energizing place to work,” and that energy just carries over into transactions with customers. “INB encourages a good work-life balance. Leadership has a great vision for how banking should be. We simply carry out that vision.”
A vision that has nothing to do with hamburgers.