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Case Study

First Response

  • Car finance provider
  • UK based
  • Operating for over 30 years
  • Over 280 employees


First Response Finance has been providing vehicle finance for the subprime market since 1998. Taking pride in their people and the service they provide, they have regularly held high-ranking spots in The Times ‘100 Best Companies To Work For’ lists.

With a focus on their ‘People First’ values and improving further on their employee experience, First Response were looking for a fresh new look and approach to their employee benefits platform.

Challenges and aims

Facing a competitive market, First Response provides an attractive benefits proposition to help attract and retain the best talent, ensuring their organisation gives their customers the best service.

Working to enhance their ‘People First’ values, First Response’s HR team wanted an employee benefits platform which would allow them to deliver their existing benefits scheme to their employees in a more engaging and efficient way.

However, their existing technology was not performing in line with First Response’s goals. Slow to load, confusing user journeys and complex manual administration processes combined to create a poor user experience. Often leaving employees and administrators feeling frustrated, lost and disengaged. There was always a requirement for ongoing training for employees as well as frequently having to respond to queries about benefits and the system itself.

First Response’s existing platform was using up large quantities of precious resources which could be focused elsewhere more effectively.

In need of a solution which would help, not hinder their efforts, First Response turned to Zest to provide a fresh engaging employee benefits platform which would offer easy access for employees to their benefits program. Empowering their people to make the most out of the great benefits scheme available to them.

First Response required a platform which provided simple and effective scheme administration. After facing the frustrations and restrictions of their previous technology, they were looking to utilise their time and resources more effectively.


We’ve been receiving some really great comments on the look and feel of the platform, it’s something we’ve never had before
James Lamb
HR Advisor - First Response


With a hands-on collaborative approach, the Zest team provided a simple and informative design and build process, working to keep First Response involved at every step. Jennifer Gregory, HR Advisor commented: “Our Project Managers were fantastic, they carried out the project with complete control and were with us every step of the way, answering any questions we had.”

A fast-paced development and build process meant First Response were able to get their new employee benefits portal up and running, with the enabled benefits and eligibility groups to be built and rolled out with the correct rates in no time and with little stress. 

Using a friendly and intuitive platform, First Response has been able to offer an engaging and clear view of its benefits scheme. From log-in to check-out, employees are able to make well-informed decisions, understanding the impact on salary, employer contributions and their overall remunerations package. “We’ve been receiving some really great comments on the look and feel of the platform, it’s something we’ve never had before. People really liked the entire experience.” Says James Lamb, HR Advisor at First Response.

With Zest’s simplified intuitive user experience, First Response’s HR team have found that they no longer need to provide hands-on training to employees. Many employees are now logging on and making their benefit choices where and when it suits them. Questions regarding benefits selections have considerably dropped, providing a much more positive experience for employees and freeing up valuable resources to focus on other important projects.

First Response’s HR team have also enjoyed vast improvements in their benefits scheme’s administration. Simple changes to benefits content or eligibility groups are now handled in-house and changes are realised instantly, instead of having to wait days or weeks to see changes completed.

With the Zest dashboard, First Response’s HR team are able to easily access statistics on engagement and benefit takeup without having to request complex reports. First Response can now pull any required data themselves without complication. Painting a clearer well-rounded view of the impact of their benefits scheme.

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