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The first direct UK customer experience

14 Dec 2015

Future Foundation research

first direct has recently celebrated 25 years as an innovator and leader in improving customers’ experience in the UK’s personal finance sector.  To recognise this milestone it approached the Future Foundation to pursue an original programme of research focussing on customer experience.

The primary purpose is simply to provide a comprehensive descriptive ‘audit’ of customers’ experiences in the UK today, but also ask, how is customer experience changing? How do we feel about it? And, how do people vary, at an individual level, in their approach to interactions with businesses?

Why say ‘customer experience’ rather than ‘customer service’ or ‘customer relationships’? Two key messages of this report are that:

  • Most of us, most of the time, want so much more than just to be ‘served’.
  • The experiences that consumers have, and the experiences they want, vary enormously from industry to industry, context to context, and from individual to individual. They run the gamut from prolonged, personalised, proactive, protective and personal relationships, to interactions that – whether by accident or design - are none of these things.

This research programme sets out to discover which kinds of experiences characterise different industries, and just how much people vary in their needs and expectations as customers.

In the course of presenting our results, we’ll be asking some provocative side-questions: are banks the new newsagents? Is wild passion or cold logic the best way to get a deal? Is good service becoming a ‘status symbol’? Is a new segment emerging who would rather not deal with real human beings?

 Related press release


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