Gimmick or Heartfelt? TD Bank “Thank You” Campaign

Filed in Blog, Customer Service by on August 5, 2014
Gimmick or Heartfelt? TD Bank “Thank You” Campaign

Last week with over six million views on YouTube, TD Bank of Canada received tremendous press on their new customer experience campaign. They handed out more than 20,000 envelopes each containing $20 to customers, deposited surprise funds to on-line accounts and donated heartfelt gifts to people who are going through difficult times. The video can bring tears to even the most stoic.

I am a tremendous advocate of saying thank-you, not only to customers, but to employees too. I think, however, that appreciation doesn’t need to be a monetary reward or gift. In some instances, it is almost an insult when a company offers compensation for your loyalty or a dollar for providing feedback on a survey.  Your opinion is worth more than that.

For the most part, appreciation is more meaningful when it is between a specific associate at a company and the customer.  This happens over time.  In the promo video TD produced, some of the gifts were tailored to the customer’s individual circumstances. TD Bank deserves credit for the associates developing a relationship with the customers and knowing what their problems were.

However, the campaign seems to be a gimmick drummed up by a marketing team.  Video shots and background music get emotions in high gear complete with a beautiful flower bouquet, Disneyland tickets, and checks for $1000 all coming out of the ATM with the press of a button.  Every news channel carried the story the day TD Bank released it.  The real test of TD’s commitment to thanking their customers and extending customer appreciation as part of their goal to improve the customer experience, can only be evaluated over time.

Recently, I had my newspaper rerouted during a two-week summer vacation with our family.  When I received the last paper the day we left, there was a yellow sticky attached. “Thank you so much and I hope your family enjoys the rest of their summer,” signed, Sandra.  That was totally unexpected, felt sincere, and put a smile on my face.  I’m confident she didn’t need a company-wide program to know the impact of a genuine thank you.

There were many positive comments by the public commending TD Bank. I may be a bit of cynic about their idea for customer appreciation; what do you think?

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About the Author ()

Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies amassing the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business, was released in February, 2016.

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  1. Marie says:

    It seems incredibly generous of a bank to do this. Everyone loves free money so this was a successful marketing campaign that got lots of You Tube views and air time with bloggers and generated buzz in the consumer relations industry. However, I wonder how their consumers felt about it? Essentially almost everyone was treated the same, so did their consumers feel special and appreciated? I wonder how many people who got the electronic deposit thought there was a bank mistake in their favor and didn’t realize it was a legitmate gift? I wonder if the bank will monitor loyalty of these recipients and to see how many are still their customers in 12 months. Hope you will monitor more on this program in the future.