CUA, Australia’s largest customer owned financial institution, has opened its concept ‘branch of the future’ in Carindale, Queensland. Based on leading customer-centred design principles, CUA has succeeded in developing a space unlike any of its competitors, where customers are encouraged to relax, learn, play, and explore all of their financial needs.
“CUA Carindale doesn’t look or feel like a bank, and this is what we set out to achieve,” stated Darrin Northey, CUA’s Group General Manager, Distribution.
“Our focus has been on the seamless integration of a relaxed, organic, warm and inviting environment, with the buzz and convenience of leading digital technology for our customers to explore opportunities and transact. The result is fresh, contemporary and interactive.”
According to Mr Northey, CUA has invested in the concept branch as part of its long term investment strategy to meet the changing preferences of its customers, and to reaffirm its ethos and beginnings within the community.
“We wanted to create an environment that doesn’t just reflect the community but becomes part of the community. We see our branch spaces as becoming far more than transaction and process based, or sci-fi service centres which have begun to alienate people. We want people to stop-in at our branch, to feel inspired and at home with us.”
Along with the new branch design, a new service model is being trialled in CUA Carindale, and its team has undergone an intensive, tailored, training programme.
“Our team of home and customer service specialists has had extensive training in our model box-branch, in a factory near Brisbane CBD. From the initial design phase, to useability testing and most recently our intensive customer service training, the model box-branch has been critical to the successful implementation and configuration of the concept branch – and I literally mean a factory of big boxes we’ve sat in and shuffled around to get the best result,” said Mr Northey.
“Through the next 12 months we will review CUA Carindale and how it engages the community, and we may look to establish the same principles and design elements across the broader branch network, but as appropriate in different locations.”
Mr Northey concluded, “CUA is in the early stages of innovatively transforming all of its distribution channels, including investment in our call centre, online and mobile platforms. CUA Carindale is the first tangible example of this evolution in relation to our branch network.”
CUA engaged designer ThomsonAdsett, an international architecture firm delivering architecture, urban design and interior architecture, to help see their vision through to reality. ThomsonAdsett is a world leader in customer-based design principles.
View the CUA Carindale fact sheet.
View the CUA Carindale photo gallery on Facebook.
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