Thursday, November 15, 2007

First Direct - Beating customer expectations

I've just opened a First Direct account. They have a great deal which means that as long as you pay in a certain amount each month after the first month they give you £100. This is exactly the way banking should work.

For years the norm has been to give banks your money and in exchange they give you a puny return, while they make billions from your cash.

They then have the temerity to charge you for letters, statements and be closed just when you need them.

How much sense does it make to be a company which supplies people with cash and then to close on Saturday when the majority of people actually need money or want financial advice about a loan or mortgage. Only banks would put barriers in the way of allowing customers to interact with them. They instead force customers to make appointments in the week when they should be working. While I'm at it why do doctors and dentists do the exact same thing? Open all weekend and close a day in the week if you really have to.

Anyway to get back to the point. First Direct say that they'll transfer the £100 after the first month of banking with them. This sounds fair enough so image my surprise when they transferred the £100 13 days after I opened my account.

First Direct are different because they change the banking conventions and exceed customer expectations. If you business can do both of these and do it well then you're on to a winner. Anything less and you're just another also ran.

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