New flagship branch in Milan's Piazza Gae Aulenti is the first in a three-year project involving approximately 1,000 branches to revolutionize the customer experience
UniCredit inaugurated its flagship branch designed to revolutionize the customer experience today in Milan at the base of the UniCredit Tower in Piazza Gae Aulenti.
The new branch, the first step in an investment by the bank to modernize approximately 1,000 of its Italian retail banking outlets over the next three years, combines technological innovation, cutting-edge design and experiential marketing to make the customer experience more efficient, enjoyable and interactive.
"This new branch is the result of more than 20 recent research and innovation projects that sought to understand what value our bank should create for customers and to emphasize their importance," said UniCredit's country chairman for Italy, Gabriele Piccini.
"We began by observing customer behavior as we worked to design a more welcoming, user-friendly service model that enhances their experience from the moment they enter a branch to the moment they leave it."
The Branch of the Future concept pays particular attention to the evolving preferences of customers, who increasingly expect services without scheduling constraints, seek financial solutions through a number of different channels and visit UniCredit branches both for advice and to carry out more complex transactions.
The Piazza Gae Aulenti branch reinvents the use of space in the traditional neighborhood bank environment, recasting how customers and personnel interact and offering a generous array of integrated technologies.
The windows in the new UniCredit branch, transparent during the day, use kinect (smart-glass) technology to become interactive screens at night, enabling more personalized and dynamic communications than traditional printed posters.
Upon entering the branch, visitors are welcomed by a customer manager at a workstation that is equipped to manage queues and appointments with advisors, as well as to provide immediate solutions for basic needs, such as updating a customer's personal information.
In the waiting area, a touch-screen table allows customers to read the day's news or explore information on UniCredit products. Customers can also access the bank via the internet from the branch's multimedia workstations, entertain themselves with available tablet computers, or surf the internet on their own mobile devices by connecting to the branch's Wi-Fi network.
With a view to fully integrating all channels that permit access to UniCredit accounts, the customer manager can also demonstrate to customers how to carry out banking transactions on their own laptops, tablets or mobile devices. An interactive video wall in the waiting area shows customers information on UniCredit products and services.
Tellers and advisors use workstations identical to the customer manager's, resulting in a flexible, personalized and highly multifunctional work environment. Each desk, laid out in a comfortable and spacious manner, is equipped with an electronic signature pad. The staff uses the latest generation of teller station equipment (Teller Automation Machine) when performing over-the-counter transactions. Customers are comfortably seated beside the teller or advisor for all their interactions.
Workstations for personal-banking, small-business and private-banking account managers are located on the second level of the Piazza Gae Aulenti branch. They are also equipped with electronic pads and monitors that allow for more interactive customer consultations. A meeting room equipped with video-conferencing equipment enables customers and account managers to obtain advice remotely from specialists working in other locations.
The branch self-service area, which is accessible 24 hours a day, contains easy-to-use ATMs that feature new touch screens and intuitive graphics. These ATMs perform with greater speed thanks to a new feature that memorizes the cardholder's debit-card use habits and presents the customer with the amounts most frequently withdrawn on the first screen, which can be selected with a single click.
Outside of branch hours, customers can access a video room that will connect them remotely to a consultant. This makes it possible for them to carry out up to 70 more complex transactions and contracts, including the opening of a new account or requesting a bank card, thanks to the available technology (e.g. graphometric pads, document scanners, tablets for consulting contracts, printers).
Milan, February 11, 2014