Over the last decade consumers have grown to expect quick, smooth transactions: Convenience stores, banks, pharmacies, and municipal offices are now all held to the same high customer-service standards. Good customer service hinges on clear eye-contact and easy conversations between staff and clientele. That can be strained if your transaction windows rely on faded old polycarbonate, a crackling intercom, or a big-fat steel talk-hole blocking most of the clerk’s face.
KEEPING BULLET PROOF SYSTEMS OUT OF THE WAY
The ideal situation, of course, is one in which bullet proof security is only important during low-traffic periods. For example, many performance venues only need to worry about elevated threat levels during shows. Large 24-hour gas stations near interstate highways likewise know that the likelihood of a daring daytime robbery is slim. In these cases, a sliding-glass transaction window is ideal.
During the day the glass is unlocked and slid aside, permitting unobstructed conversation between staff and clients. The window can then be easily–and, if need be, quickly–locked and sealed as the situation dictates.
THE SIMPLEST TRANSACTION WINDOW IS THE BEST
Unfortunately, once the slider is closed, it becomes just as much of an interpersonal barrier as any other bullet resistant transaction window: Voices are muffled, and both workers and customers feel like they’re shouting through a wall in order to talk to someone inches away. For that matter, not every building or business environment permits a sliding window. Where the threat-level is constant, the best solution is a simple “baffled” interior transaction window:
This is a graceful, cost effective solution: The transparency is divided into three panes, which are offset with the central pane slightly set back. This leaves almost the entire perimeter of the window open to free air flow (and thus easy conversation) while keeping the visual field almost entirely uncluttered.
ADVANCED TRANSACTION WINDOWS FOR ADVANCED THREATS
In most settings the air passage allowed by the baffle design is a very desirable feature: Not only is it more natural to connect with customers through such a transaction window, but the free flow of air makes it significantly easier to properly regulate air conditioning systems to keep the work and retail space comfortable.
But this isn’t desirable in all settings, such as ticket windows in drafty, high-traffic vestibules, or anywhere that the nature of the threat makes a broad air passage a liability. In these cases, an aluminum voice-around transaction window is the way to go.
The louvered bullet-resistant framing of the voice-around transaction window offers voice transmission very similar to that of the baffle window without permitting a free flow of air–or pepper spray or inclement weather or pesky wildlife–while keeping the window itself as a single unobstructed sheet; it maximizes contact while minimizing exposure.