26th July 2018

An “open space” concept for BCEE branches!

In a society marked by digitalisation, consumers’ behaviour and their expectations regarding retail outlets have changed considerably. This trend is affecting all sectors, and every company must deal with this new situation by offering the most appropriate services to its customers. This is why BCEE has launched a strategy to modernise its branch network. Gaston Molling, Head of Coordination du Réseau des Agences (CRA) at BCEE, explains to us the modern banking concept in detail.

When and why did you decide to rethink the branch layout?

On the one hand, digitalisation has fostered the development of new tools aimed at helping our customers to manage their finances on a daily basis. Spuerkeess has adapted its internet banking application S-Net and S-Net Mobile in order to make it more user-friendly, and has developed other tools, such as the investment tool Speedinvest and recently MIA, the free financial assistant, integrated within S-Net.

The open space concept creates a friendly atmosphere that is more suitable for providing advice both to private and professional customers.
Gaston Molling - Head of CRA at BCEE

On the other hand, we had to review customer service in our branches. As part of the "Spuerkeess 2020” strategic plan, CRA conducted an in-depth analysis of the future development of the Bank’s branch network. We capitalised on the opening of the branch in the Belle Etoile shopping centre in 2012 to stress Spuerkeess’s modern spirit.

More welcoming in terms of infrastructure, the branch is equipped with new technology and offers a service that more closely matches our customers’ current lifestyle. On the back of the success of this project and positive feedback from our customers, the two new branches at Niederanven and JFK were fitted out following the same plan.

What do the new branches look like?

The current concept is above all characterised by a feeling of openness and modernity. The aim is to support customers and make their visit more pleasant and constructive. The new branches are divided into three areas:

The S-Bank area
The S-Bank area
The facilities in this area may vary according to branch location and size. ATMs may offer various functions, such as withdrawal in EUR or payment and withdrawal in certain currencies. Thus, depending on the number of customer visits or the available space, the branch may have a cashier's desk or alternatively ATMs. However, our advisors are attentive and will help people having difficulties using the machines.
The welcome area
The welcome area
Thanks to the new layout, advisors can go to meet their customers, thus better welcoming them. Through this initial interaction, we want customers to feel accompanied and supported in their initiatives. Depending on the reason for their visit, they will be invited to take a seat in a meeting room, with a view to handling their enquiry with more discretion.
The waiting and information area
The waiting and information area
Customers are free to walk around this area while waiting for their meeting with an advisor. This "lounge” space is designed as an information point. It’s a friendly space, with a café area and free Wi-Fi. Customers can look at the digital screens and use the available iPads to find out about our products and services.
With trust and the quality of the customer relationship paramount, our advisors focus on providing a tailored service.

Plans for future overhauls

This concept is intended to create a more open and customer-focused space. Depending on the branch location and its existing infrastructure, we will either undertake a complete refurbishment, take “quick steps” or implement small changes. In addition, there are our plans to create new branches, such as that in Leudelange, which opened its doors three months ago.

We monitor and assess the transformations completed in order to better plan them in the future. The project roll-out proceeds in line with opportunities and developments in the country.

Those that have undergone a "quick steps” makeover include the branches in Mondorf and Limpertsberg, which were arranged as open spaces, consisting of the three areas mentioned above. The Cents and Howald branches have meanwhile undergone a small facelift. This included adaptations such as the removal of the bullet-proof glass that separated advisors from their customers and the addition of an ATM in the hall.

We should also mention the City Concorde branch, which will move place inside the shopping centre, with work set to be completed soon. Finally, for 2018, the Bascharage, Belvaux and Sandweiler sites have been planned, with renovations already under way.