Today, more than ever, customers’ want a seamless experience.
This is especially true in the postal delivery market. With consumer needs shifting from letters to parcels - the role of the Post Office branch is rapidly moving towards a more streamlined self-service future.
20.20 first designed Austrian Post’s branch network back in 2012. Since then, Austrian Post have innovated with 24/7 self-service pick-up lockers, and more recently inventing a simple self-service machine, allowing customers to mail parcels and letters to their loved ones throughout Europe with ease.
With this in mind - Austrian Post approached 20.20 during the Covid-19 pandemic to design a new self-service branch, where customers could be in and out quickly and efficiently.
It was clear from our research and time spent in branch, that while it was essential to make the experience more efficient, we had to retain the human experience. Creating opportunities to interact with colleagues within the branch - even though a large proportion of the activities would be carried out through technology. This thinking allowed us to reimagine service roles and processes to engage customers, while improving back-office functions and customer facing interaction.
20.20 created new customer journeys where self-service is a first choice, with a seamless omni-channel experience from digital device to the in-branch technology. The new exterior signing, and internal communications programme were developed to help customers navigate the store efficiently and get the information they needed.
During the day, customers can easily engage with retail products and access enhanced postal services, including digital philately, bill payment advice, plus consultancy services from Bank99, and A1 Mobile. Within the self-service area, the new parcel drop off units are a strong feature, with an enhanced locker collection system and 24 hour banking area.
The self-service zones and consultancy areas clearly interact with each other, with defined spaces to consult, wrap parcels, or just sit and talk. These initiatives free-up colleagues to become the experts, to take care of complex transactions and to actively sell services that customers will thank them for.
A modular store footprint was designed to allow the concept to be adapted to different branch sizes and formats at scale.
The self-service branch has proved to be easy to operate. A safe 24-hour environment, with an innovative security system which protects the retail and consultancy areas out of hours.
Three pilot sites opened in 2021, and customer and colleague satisfaction far exceeded business expectations. Following a thorough research and retail analysis of the self-service concept the format is being rolled out across the branch estate.