Centrelink was looking to improve the customer experience and increase its effectiveness, and needed some help.

RED Design Group took on the project, which commenced in 2004 in Tasmania, and has now seen more than 200 of Centrelink’s 450 offices nationally redesigned using retail principles.

“The Centrelink project is a wonderful example of how retail design principles can transform customer experience in areas outside what we think of as retail,” said RED Design Group director, Roy Tavenor.

“In the first project for Centrelink we redesigned and strengthened the external branding to make it easier for customers to locate Centrelink offices. Shopfronts were opened up and clear sightlines established into offices that has once used blinds and heavily tinted glazing to give customers privacy.

“Interior colours were updated to a light, neutral palette that created a far more pleasant and attractive environment and complemented the brighter, more cheerful colours that were introduced to furniture, fabrics and wall graphics. A new system of fixtures and brochure displays using colour coding and directory signage made it far easier for customers to find the information they needed.”

The end result was a success – satisfaction ratings soared, aggression levels declined and the off-take of brochures increased by up to 40 per cent – and RED Design Group was appointed to design an ‘office of the future’, which is now on trial at Tuggeranong, ACT.

“By introducing such innovations as cafés, resource libraries and business centres, a range of self-help technology aimed at eliminating queuing and even comfortable lounge areas for older customers, Centrelink’s new store concept will improve conditions for staff and customers even more,” he said.

“RED Design Group is looking forward to being part a national roll out of the concept that will improve the Centrelink experience for millions of Australians,” said Tavenor.