While many clients are now using ATMs, telephone and online services to handle their routine financial transactions, advice provided at the branch is becoming more important.

Staff members consult on mortgages, loans, investments, retirement planning, business activities and more. These in-person meetings present the opportunity to cement existing client relationships and make new ones. They also involve highly confidential information, making speech privacy a priority. Clients want to have control over personal information, especially when it’s connected to their financial transactions. This level of protection is also indispensable for staff to negotiate effectively.

Though conversations are often brought from the open branch environment into an office, closed doors and even deck-to-deck walls are usually not enough to provide speech privacy.

Furthermore, studies show that the ability to hear overhear conversations and other noises reduces productivity and increases errors. These issues are especially relevant in the banking sector, where accuracy forms the basis of client confidence. Because noise is disruptive, it can also make people feel anxious, irritable and tired. Staff members need to be welcoming and energetic if they're to offer the level of attentiveness and quality of service clients expect.

Taking steps to protect speech privacy and create a positive acoustic ambience is a sign of control and professionalism that helps to reinforce clients’ confidence in the bank.