Bupa’s Retail Next: A Collaborative Approach to Deliver a Digital Experience

Improving the customer experience is a catchphrase that’s often noted in a strategic plan… and rarely put into action. Doing it well means listening to customer feedback, understanding what customers want, and rethinking your brand interactions.


In designing their new generation of retail stores, Bupa chose to put customers squarely at the centre. The idea was to create an environment where partnerships could develop to help a customer with their healthcare needs. Gone is the transactional mindset: replaced by customer choice and real relationships.

Five Faces’ role was to execute the customer-facing digital experience at the first store in Springfield, Queensland. This meant guiding the customer journey from the point of entry to seeing a consultant, then reconnecting afterwards for feedback. The aims were threefold:

  • Make it easy for all customers to join the queue
  • Give customers control
  • Make it easy for the instore team to manage the queue in real time


Consultants would use the Five Faces digital solution to manage the queue and report on wait times, consulting times and feedback, all with head office visibility for continuous improvement.  Here’s a look at the Bupa Retail Next Customer Journey at the initial Springfield store, which has now been deployed to six other sites, with a further 14 scheduled for 2018.

Bupa Health Insurance Experience Design Manager Renee Jeffery had this to say about the project:

“In my experience working with Yazz and the Five Faces team on Retail Next I was impressed by their responsiveness, collaboration and expertise in delivery.”

The storefront is designed to be welcoming, open and bright. Gone are the dreaded ‘queue line’ and ‘bollards’ that typify old-school retail. Instead, the ‘Queue Lectern’ greets customers as they enter.  Its user-centred interface design was created after workshops with staff and feedback from customers, and the result is a highly efficient process. A customer joins the queue by entering their preferred name, and can select a specific consultant or next available making it easy for them to know what to do and how to best connect with the right person. This puts customers in charge of their experience, as they may wish to see their preferred consultant, for example one with a second language or where there is a pre-existing relationship. By entering a mobile number, they can opt in to provide feedback on their experience.  Feedback data integrates into the Five Faces platform and can be reviewed by store managers and head office alike.

After entering, the customer can walk through the store, interact with reading material, or sit in the wait area. There, they are taken away via an immersive digital window display to a beautiful beach, forest or park. Executing this required 2 x 84-inch Ultra HD displays powered by the Five Faces Platform, installed behind a window frame to create the effect. The videos were filmed for Bupa by The Brand Institute and include overlaid tips on healthy living. Videos are centrally controlled, allowing the experience to be changed instantly, or scheduled based on time of day and other factors. The resulting experience not only keeps customers engaged, but enhances their interaction with the brand and reduces perceived wait times.

A home-style lounge keeps customers comfortable, with digital screens providing updates on their place in the queue (providing that sense of control as to where the customer is in queue and who is next in line) along with high quality videos of landscapes and nature, interlaced with news headlines, weather updates and fun activities such as ‘this day in history’ and ‘anagrams’. All content is supplied through the Five Faces Platform, which means the messages can be changed in an instant, and adjusted based on time of day or day of the week, and even triggers such as weather.

Of course, we can’t forget the kids. Two tablets are located on the wall along with a blackboard cavity to create a kids’ corner. Little ones can entertain themselves through the ‘edutaining’ games on the locked-down iPads, or use the blackboard with non-allergenic chalk to get creative and tactile while they wait.

The Retail Next environment is calm, inviting, with an emphasis on customer choice and comfort. Technology enhances both the customer experience as well as operational efficiency: it’s a win-win.  Five Faces worked directly with the Bupa Retail Next Team, Brand Institute and the Property Team, and we have been selected to continue this deployment to other Bupa Health sites over time. Of course in any project that’s pushing new boundaries, challenges will arise, and it’s important that suppliers are responsive and flexible. “At times where things didn’t go to plan, Five Faces was consistent in troubleshooting, keeping me informed and guiding me to a suitable solution,” said Renee Jeffery.

Post by Yazz Krishna

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