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First Direct launches online helpdesk

22nd August 2005
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HSBC's online banking subsidiary First Direct has launched a webchat service that allows representatives from the company to talk to customers in real time over the Internet.

The service will initially cover inquiries regarding new accounts, allowing prospective customers to obtain immediate answers to their questions. If it proves to be popular, the bank was reported to have said it would consider adding the webchat function to its wider Internet banking service.

All 70 representatives in the new First Direct customer team will handle webchat enquiries as well as telephone calls. "Some people may be using our website and online application forms from a public place and they may specifically want to have some questions answered without others hearing their queries," said a spokesperson from First Direct.

By being able to immediately respond to customer queries, First Direct said it was making the process of applying for a product easier, "and ease and convenience is what First Direct is all about," continued the spokesperson.

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