By Kathy Greer
Senior Vice President, Retail Executive Manager
You can’t see it behind our masks, but we’re smiling and thrilled to welcome you back to our branches!
When Illinois announced stay-at-home orders in mid-March to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, INB was considered an “essential” service and our operations largely remained open. But for our retail staff, that meant not seeing customers face-to-face except through glass as our lobbies were closed.
Minimizing Risk for Our Retail Staff
When the virus hit, INB implemented changes, splitting our retail staff into two groups and alternating work weeks to minimize risk. We reduced our hours to accommodate our staff changes.
Thanks to the diligence of our IT team, our branch managers were able to have access to our work system even on the weeks they were home. We also have a plan in place to limit closures when we have a positive COVID-19 case at a branch.
We anticipated that we wouldn’t see as much branch traffic since we were only servicing customers through our drive-ups. But as the weeks passed, our volume of customers did not significantly decline.
Then around mid-May, we began taking Sangamon County real estate tax payments, which caused a huge spike in drive-up traffic because INB was the only option for taxpayers to make their payments in person. The county was actually closed to walk-in traffic.
Because of this, we made the decision to return to full staff on June 1.
Connecting with Customers
Over the past few months, our staff has spent a lot of time contacting customers to not only ensure that their banking needs were taken care of, but also to check in on their well-being.
Often, our customers are so busy with work, family life and other activities, but because many were either working from home or not working, we were glad to be able to get in touch with them.
We were able to accommodate all of our customer’s banking needs through our drive-ups. We opened accounts, closed loans and assisted with anything else they needed. We made appointments for those who needed to access their safe deposit boxes.
Re-opening: Protecting Our Staff and Our Customers
During this entire period of time, INB has provided employees with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.
As we prepared to reopen our lobbies, we installed plexiglass barriers/shields at each of the teller windows in the branch lobbies and the same type of stand-alone shields were purchased for our banker desks and conference rooms.
When you come in today, you’ll see Barnaby reminding you that masks are recommended. We may need to ask you to lower your mask solely for identification purposes when you enter the building.
Barnaby will also remind you about social distancing – we have markers on our lobby floors to encourage you to stay six feet apart.
To help curb infection spread, we’ve removed coffee makers, pens and deposit tickets from the lobby. Our branch staff also performs a cleaning schedule of frequently touched surfaces throughout the day.
We’re glad to be back and helping you face-to-face… even if we need to be six feet apart with a mask on!