KPMG Nunwood

UK Customer Experience Excellence Analysis 2020

first direct

Financial Services

The UK bank first direct has been number one in the UK for customer experience 5 times in the last 11 years and is a global exemplar of what constitutes customer best practice. In common with many banks, first direct moved quickly to protect its customers against negative economic consequences with fee free overdrafts, loan repayment holidays and lower insurance payments. Its agile at scale operating model allowed the bank to very quickly scale up a dedicated, empowered team to empathetically respond to their customers’ difficulties. Proactive engagement, strong communications and a highly committed team meant their customers continued to receive outstanding service at a time when they needed it most.

"Always a great experience when I have to contact first direct about anything (which is rare). I’m currently re-mortgaging with them and as always their staff have been an absolute pleasure to deal with.”

UK CEE 2020 respondent

The following underpin first direct’s approach to the customer:

  • A strong sense of mission and purpose, with c.3,000 people committed to the customer.
  • People first. first direct has three critical metrics: How are our people feeling? How are customers feeling? What is our commercial performance?
  • Active nurturing of the culture. The culture is recognised by the leadership team as a critical part of the employee experience and is carefully nurtured to ensure it continues to be relevant for today’s challenges.
  • Deep knowledge of the customer and a clear target experience. first direct knows exactly what customers are seeking physically, rationally and psychologically and are very diligent in delivering the target experience.
  • Constant physical reinforcement – symbols and totems to ensure the brand purpose is always uppermost in their people’s mind.


Pillar Score vs. Industry Average

Company Profile

The bank that does things differently. The bank that never closes. The bank with real people answering the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We're the bank that changed what being a bank means - we're not over there, on the high street, we're right here, on your mobile or laptop. We're first direct. We love what we do. We love coming to work every day - even Christmas Days and New Year's Days. Even Mondays - oh yes... And it's all for you.











Time and Effort