The Story of Virgin Money’s Lounges

Virgin has a 40-year history of going into areas with the aim of making things better for customers. In the last 12 months, we’ve set out to do the same for banking. Our long-term ambition is to build a new kind of bank in the UK, one that aims to make everyone better off, and Virgin Money Lounges are a key part of our plans.

A new face on the high street
As we entered the world of banking, we knew the expectations would be high. Virgin is a business built on innovation and excellent customer service. This would also be the first time the Virgin Money brand would be seen on the high street. So we wanted to do something completely different, something traditional banks wouldn’t do. The Virgin Money Lounge was born – a fresh and modern space, exclusively for Virgin Money customers to use for free.

Bringing Lounges to life
We spent many months with specialist design consultants Allen International developing the Lounge concept and working through every detail. A lot of time and effort also went into finding the perfect locations to bring the Lounge idea to life, with bespoke designs to complement each building. In November 2011 we opened our first Virgin Money Lounges in Edinburgh and Norwich, with our third Lounge opening in Manchester in February this year.

An exclusive space for customers
Our Lounges are designed to be a place for Virgin Money customers to come and unwind. They can drop in for a hot drink and a snack, use our free Wi-Fi or one of our iPads, read a newspaper or magazine, or just sit and relax. Children are more than welcome, with a dedicated children’s area in every Lounge, complete with toys, books and games consoles. And our Virgin Money Lounge Hosts are always on hand to make customers feel welcome.

Take a look inside
To give you a taste of what it’s like inside a Virgin Money Lounge, here’s a selection of photos:

 

No sales – just great service
It’s important that our Lounges are a haven for customers, away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. So we’re here to help them relax – no hidden agenda and no hard sell. Naturally, we are in constant communication with our Stores, so if customers enquire about our products we can put them in touch with the right team quickly and easily. Customers are also welcome to use our dedicated phones and iMacs to manage their Virgin Money products online or by phone.

At the heart of the community
From the outset we’ve always seen the Lounges as a great place for local charity and community groups to meet. We can provide a warm, welcoming environment and light refreshments. We’ve even made Lounges available for after-hours community events like exhibitions, talks and book signings. This year we’ve held over 50 customer, community and charity events, and we’ve helped raise more than £6,000 for charity through our Lounges.

Keeping our finger on the pulse
So far we’ve had nearly 100,000 visits to our three Lounges, and over 10,000 customers have registered for membership. Since opening, we’ve collected feedback in a variety of ways – face-to-face, feedback cards, guest books and more detailed forms. The response has been overwhelming, with fantastic customer satisfaction and advocacy scores. In addition, we’ve seen a remarkable uplift in business, with customers more likely to take out one of our products following their Lounge experience.

Keeping one eye on the future
We’re working towards our long-term aim of having Lounges in a dozen key cities across the UK, and are excited about continuing to provide our customers and communities with great city spaces to use and enjoy.

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