Shedding Legacy Industry Practices: Bank To Store & Coffee Shop Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

Customer experiences are delivered year after year without challenging the approach in what they do.  This unique bank reinvented their customer service approach and culture.”  

The banking industry is one of the more entrenched, which drew my attention to this innovation case example.


CEO Ray Davis Explains His Decision to Change Umpqua’s Purpose:   Umpqua Bank has a quirky, lighthearted nature for a financial services company, perhaps because they started with the simple goal to help loggers and farmers with their banking.

...Observing Umpqua’s lack of a clear customer-service approach, CEO Ray Davis decided to make a change. In a move away from traditional banking, he renamed Umpqua locations “stores.”  In redesigned “stores,” “shoppers” could browse products and services, stay as long as they wanted, sit a spell with their legs up on a comfy chair, and sip a cup of coffee. And when they were ready, they could tap an Umpqua associate to help them with their banking needs—all without the red ropes.

At Umpqua, customers are not herded into a line for service, and they don’t have to stand in separate lines to get different services. Dedicated associates assist each customer from start to finish.

“Umpqua Bank is part Internet café, part community center, and part bank. The coffee’s good and it’s not a bad place to sit and read a book.”