KPMG Nunwood

UK Customer Experience Excellence Analysis 2016

first direct

Financial Services

first direct – ‘’the unexpected bank’’ – has reclaimed its place at the top of the UK Customer Experience Excellence rankings. With a chart-topping CEE score of 8.27, this financial organisation is proficient in every aspect of The Six Pillars, creating an overall experience that is efficient, empathetic, and personalised. first direct undoubtedly focuses on the needs of the individual customer, but it also takes good care of its employees, ensuring they are thoroughly trained and empowered to make judgment calls on the customer’s behalf, avoiding the frustration of passing a person through a labyrinth of laborious processes.

Formed in 1989, the bank has attracted 1.25 million customers, many of whom are markedly loyal towards the organisation and would recommend them to others, something that is reflected in the company’s impressive NPS (+46). This score is ahead of any other bank in the United Kingdom, a feat that is perhaps even more significant as first direct does not possess any physical branches.

Indeed, much of the organisation’s success is down to its ability to create memorable moments for its customers. first direct seems to recognise that, in creating events that are new, novel or personally meaningful, it can provide pleasure peaks in the overall experience. As one individual explained: “When I happened to contact them on the anniversary of my joining this bank, they very kindly sent me a box of three wines! On the very rare occasion an error has been made by first direct over the past 20 years, they are very apologetic and have always sent a case of wine!”

Furthermore, first direct has been successful in combining its telephone and digital touchpoints, creating a customer experience that, whilst memorable, is also consistent across all channels. For instance, customers have the freedom to contact the bank via Twitter if they wish, and can make use of its 24 hour a day service. If they do so, they will invariably have the same quality of interaction as they would over the phone, albeit in a more truncated form. Nevertheless, first direct is excellent at helping individuals to reach their desired outcome, regardless of the chosen medium.

first direct is a forward-thinking brand in terms of its technological innovations, and is currently experimenting with voice recognition software, which will be able to recognise the unique sound of the customer’s voice when they contact the bank by phone. In the future, this will mean that individuals can avoid having to answer the usual security questions; they can simply speak, and within two seconds, the programme will be able to identify them by comparing the movement of their vocal cords to a previous recording.

Innovations such as these highlight the levels of concern the bank has for its customers, and it is clear that its large customer base of 1.25 million invests a healthy degree of trust. As such, first direct’s place at the top of the UK rankings is well-deserved.

Company Profile

We are the unexpected bank.

first direct is currently Britain’s most recommended bank. We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and every time you pick up the phone, so do we, because a real person answers every single call, whatever the time, day or night. We’re also available online and on your mobile and tablet, so it doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing: we’re here for you.











Time and Effort