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first direct bank is the UK’s top brand for customer service

first direct has been voted the #1 company in the UK for delivering high quality customer service, according to The Institute of Customer Service.

In the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index, published today, first direct  is the most highly rated organisation for customer satisfaction – across all sectors and industries. With a score of 86.7 (out of 100) the bank sits well above the national average of 77.7, and the average for banks and building societies of 80.4.

UK customers’ report their most important priorities for satisfaction are product / service reliability and quality, employee competence, attitude and helpfulness. However, with customer service satisfaction in the UK falling to its lowest point since July 2016, first direct  ’s achievement highlights the impact a sustained focus on service has on customer trust, retention, and recommendation.

The UKCSI is the national measure of UK customer satisfaction*. It rates customer satisfaction at a national, sector and organisational level across 13 sectors – incorporating the views of more than 10,000 consumers. Over 30 different considerations – such as staff professionalism, quality and efficiency, and complaint handling – are factored into the results.

Joe Gordon, Head of first direct  , said: “first direct fundamentally believes speed, ease, and consistency are key when it comes to providing an exceptional customer experience. Using data and smart analytics in order to deliver this are the bedrock of today’s successful firms; it enables us to operate at a more bespoke, more personal, and more relevant level than ever before.

“However, what can’t be automated inevitably becomes more valuable. At first direct we’re certain there’ll always be a customer need for empathetic, highly-skilled, and empowered people too.”

Jo Causon, Chief Executive of The Institute of Customer Service, said: “In today’s complex world, it is vital organisations get the basics rights first: efficiency of service, complaint handling and the actual customer experience. On top of this, consumers are placing growing importance on trust, transparency, emotional connection and ethical behaviour. Our research shows there’s a compelling argument for meeting both these types of customer priorities for a profitable business return.

“The uncertainty we’re currently navigating as businesses, consumers and citizens has for the moment, no clear end. Brands can overcome this difficult time by understanding what is genuinely important to today’s consumer and acting on this.”