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Online banking with chemistry

21st February 2012 Print

first direct has relaunched its customer website following a complete redesign to reflect the changing nature of how its customers communicate with the bank.

first direct is often viewed as the benchmark for offering great customer experiences over the phone and the new website is part of the bank's initiative to replicate the positive conversations digitally.

As well as traditional customer research methods, in an unconventional move, the direct bank also used its highly successful beta testing site, firstdirectLab, to gather the thoughts and opinions of the public on how its website could be improved.  From this invaluable insight first direct designed a phased approach to implementing the suggested changes.

Stage one improvements include:

New look and feel and improved search functionality making the site easier to navigate

New tools and guides area dedicated to helping people help themselves with financial decisions such as loan amounts or mortgage affordability

Share functionality, to help connect the site with the social world

Mortgage guides for first time buyers, remortgagers and home movers to provide support for people in what can be a daunting and complex area

Brand area to connect the public with what makes first direct tick

Information on first direct's communities and social networks to let people know how they can engage with first direct safely on their social media sites

Corporate Social Leadership (CSR) events calendar to give customers the opportunity to get involved with charitable events

Natalie Cowen, Head of Brand at first direct commented: "We wanted to create a space for our customers to take online banking beyond a purely transactional relationship and create more of a first direct community, in short, creating ‘online banking with chemistry'.

"This is the first wave in a series of changes over the coming months.  We plan to keep improving the site by introducing more tools, self-service functionality and by further integrating with our social media channels.  We also had a lot of constructive feedback on the Internet Banking section of the site, so we'll be looking at how we can make improvements there too."