Beginning this month, Huntington branches will be open an additional hour weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday hours will remain 9 a.m. to noon.
The pilot program ran during November and December with extended hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays at just five of the company’s hub banks.
“We really learned that we didn’t need to stay open quite as long as we did. We found that, for whatever reason, Saturday afternoons weren’t that busy,” said Michael Lindley, vice president and marketing director.
Anecdotal feedback from customers was “very positive” about the convenience of extended hours during the rush-rush holiday season, he said, and from a community goodwill standpoint, it was “absolutely the right thing to do.”
Lindley noted that Huntington has already decided to operate under a similar extended-hours schedule next holiday season.
“From a business standpoint we looked at it a variety of ways. We got feedback on transactions, number of accounts opened, and one important area — which is keeping clients. That was probably the area where we saw the most impact.
“Household attrition declined significantly in those hub offices during that two-month period to the extent that it couldn’t have been anything else. It was just noticeably improved.”
He said the bank also saw significant volume growth in both loans and deposits among business banking customers during the period.
What Huntington learned, he said, was that convenience is a primary driver of customer satisfaction and loyalty and that extended hours help solidify customer relationships.