Sparkasse Bank is part of the Erste and Sparkasse Group, one of the largest financial groups in Central and South-Eastern Europe for more than 200 years. Trends in banking sector and financial services have changed how banks operate and interact with their customers in recent years. Changed needs and expectations of customers have given rise to a new concept of branches that put user experience at the heart of the business. Sparkasse Bank decided to gradually introduce a contemporary branch design across Slovenia in addition to renovation of its headquarters in Ljubljana.
Despite most banking services moving to digital channels, customers still desire having personal offline contact with the bank in branches. We have designed the new concept of Sparkasse Bank branches as support centers that create a welcoming customer experience and focus on the customer’s needs. Smart branches offer experiential banking that supports business through digital tools, and strengthening customer relationships through various forms of personal contact.
The new branch concept puts the customer at the center of the experience, making them feel seen, respected, welcomed, and valued. They know they have a reliable and long-term banking partner and enjoy an excellent customer experience that surpasess conventional banking services. In addition to private advice, they enjoy self-service financial services and an approachable way to manage their finances. A branch visit gives the user a seamless, simple, personalized, and intuitive experience, just like when interacting digitally with their bank.
The new branches reflect Sparkasse’s mission, vision, and values of kindness, customer focus, and responsibility. Users can choose from numerous advisory areas that provide the necessary privacy, convenience, and engagement. The open design of the branches, with separate private areas, fosters feelings of trust, accessibility, and transparency.
Offline branches are a powerful branding tool. They communicate Sparkasse’s values through personal interactions with customers, promoting their financial health, and supporting their transition to digital business. Design elements emphasize openness and adaptability to the individual needs of the customer, who feels welcome in the pleasant atmosphere of the branch. In addition to expert advice from a banking advisor, users can use financial services independently in the branch and enjoy a cup of coffee while the youngest ones have fun in the play area.
Banks that understand the unique needs of a subset of customers and build an offering to meet those needs can better deliver on their brand promise—and thus build stronger customer relationships. Sparkasse is a bank that offers a great customer experience and a reliable future by focusing on customers’ needs. While moving onto quick and seamless digital communication channels, it still provides an authentic personal touch point and puts the customer’s well-being and satisfaction first.
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