Page 2: Marketing
Perhaps the most important ingredient of marketing is market research. Market research is a systematic process which sets out to find out detailed information about the market place and, in particular, to identify the needs and requirements of customers. First Direct carries out extensive market research amongst customers and non-customers on a regular basis. This includes both quantitative surveys (e.g. questionnaires that can be analysed in a quantitative way) and qualitative research (more detailed research with focus groups of both customers and non-customers to find out their opinions and views). First Direct sends out two major questionnaires to find out customer perceptions of the bank.
- The questionnaire First Impressions is sent to all new customers, three months after opening an account.
- The questionnaire First Response is a quarterly survey of 2000 customers who have banked with First Direct for 12 months or longer.
Another important source of feedback to First Direct comes from customers who spontaneously phone or write with suggestions for new services they would like to see introduced. These ideas are logged and trends identified. Banking Representatives, the people who speak to the customers, are also a vital source of information. They had noticed that customers were making balance enquiries by telephone and then immediately typing the information directly into their own PCs - a strong indication that PC Banking would be welcomed as an additional service.