Spero Financial

An In-Line Branch That Does Everything but Blend In

The Details

Location: Simpsonville, South Carolina 
Project Type: Tenant Improvement
Branch Transformation 
Project Size: 1540 sqft 

The Story

Spero Financial, a $525MM credit union based in Greenville, SC has grown to over 150 employees, 10 branches, and just shy of 60,000 members. Key initiatives that have contributed to their outstanding growth include increased brand awareness, migrating branch transactions to self-service channels, shifting from transactional to advisory with Universal Associates, and breaking into new markets with branch experiences that stand out.

What’s been their secret to finding success?

One element is their unique partnership with both DBSI and CFM, two sister companies that combine technology, design, and member experiences together to deliver tangible results.

Spero had long trusted CFM to integrate their technology into their banking core, (things like cash recyclers), so when they discovered that CFM’s sister company DBSI could take their investment to a whole new level through intentional design and staff choreography, Spero knew that had found something special.

After a quick Project Jumpstart, the Spero Financial team flew out to DBSI+CFM’s Ideation Center to find some inspiration and see how the latest trends, technology, and designs working together could drive their transformation. After spending a full day taking in the future of banking, visiting local branch transformation projects, and engaging with a host of banking and design experts, Spero knew they found the answer for their newest branch initiative in Five Forks, South Carolina. From here, the project began and a few months later, the result was an incredible, retail-friendly branch. (Read on for the result in detail!)


Strategic Planning
Branch Technology
Cash Automation
Core Integration
Staff Training
Digital Signage
Project Management

The Results

The Five Forks branch has already made an impact in the new market and community Spero is serving. Knowing they had lofty goals to shift to a universal staffing model, offer an enhanced client experience, lower transaction costs, and increase brand differentiation, DBSI+CFM’s approach of fusing all the design and technology elements together to achieve all of these (and more!) was crucial.

An open floor plan that allows staff to move around the branch more easily was at the base of Spero’s strategy. From there, more progressive retail features were added to enable advisory conversations. Things like Teller Towers, a retail-friendly replacement to the teller line; Service Spots, flexible workstations that remove the salesy vibe of a confining office and allows for more value-driven interactions; an Expert Nearby Room equipped with two-way video technology to allow staff immediate access to specialized bankers including loan officers; and a Discovery Bar lined with tablets that can be used by clients to both onboard to and access digital banking solutions.

What about Spero’s goal of shifting from transactional to advisory? Both the design and technology offered from DBSI+CFM made this transition a home run.  With core-integrated cash recyclers and CFM’s patented RTA solution, Spero’s Universal Associates, or known to them as “Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors,” can complete transactions with ease while advising a client from anywhere in the branch.

And a self-service kiosk was also added to the branch, off-loading those expensive, low-value transactions, and freeing their staff up for high-value interactions.

Speaking of technologies, the last piece of the technology puzzle was digital signage. To achieve the goal of increasing brand awareness, dynamic digital displays are a must. In this branch we added a Wow Wall to serve as a large, eye-catching piece that displays branded messaging, and a community board to supply hyper-localized messaging that creates an emotional connection between the branch and the clients.

And last, but certainly not least, our Delivery Defined team visited the branch to train their Universal Associates on how to best operate in their new branch. From the basics to role playing, this hands-on program ensures the investment into an innovative design and tech does not go to waste, as well as guarantees every staff member delivers an engineered, advisory-level client experience.

All put together, Spero Financial ended up with the ultimate retail branch that meets the needs of their clients—and looks good while doing it. And not only does it meet the needs of the clients, but it also checks off all their initiatives they originally came to DBSI + CFM with.
Brian McKay | President & CEO