New Branch, New Opportunity, New Customer Experience

HDB opened its newest branch, its 21st, in Punggol recently.

I checked it out this morning and was impressed. Every new branch is an opportunity to rethink old assumptions, learn from existing branches, try new ideas, and strive to make the newest the best. The best is not to be measured against hardware characteristics. The best is to be determined based on customer experience.  Does it improve customer service? Does it make it more convenient for customers, young and old?  Does it make customer service a hassle-free experience?

Picture2I took this approach when in Health. Every new polyclinic must be better than existing polyclinics. Every hospital must be better than existing hospitals.

I have impressed on MND colleagues to do the same. Every new HDB town must be better than existing towns. Every new HDB branch must help push up the standard of customer service.  This is how we make progress and raise our quality of life.

Punggol Branch is small yet cosy. From the sofas to the walls, the use of a green theme added to the soothing ambience and reinforced the green eco-town concept of Punggol.

The special kids’ corner right next to the family service counter is a thoughtful and family-friendly gesture. The cartoons and drawings keep the little ones occupied while their parents are engaged with HDB officers. Hopefully they inspire the newlyweds to join the club of new parents and experience the joy of parenthood.

These are small changes, but what a difference they can make. The ideas do not come only from our staff. We get them from our HDB residents who readily provided feedback and suggestions when we engaged them while designing the space.

The new Branch also provides several new services initiatives. For example, there are roving Service Ambassadors to assist residents with their queries right at the entrance of the branch.


Residents seeking straightforward transactions, such as buying season parking tickets, were happy not to have to join the queue when they can simply use the E-lobby for their transactions. One self-service kiosk can slide up and down to cater to physically challenged residents: another small but thoughtful gesture.

As the new Punggol Branch further fine-tunes its approach to provide good service, some of these features will eventually be implemented in other HDB service touchpoints. Good practices will be shared and replicated elsewhere to benefit all.

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