How to Foster Great Customer Engagement: A Lesson from TD Bank
This brief interlude from blogging metrics and content marketing strategy was inspired by a surprisingly thoughtful and courteous employee at TD Bank.
For the last few weeks I’ve been writing about the challenges of measuring a particular form of customer engagement — audience engagement generated by a company’s corporate blog. This week I want to shift gears from measuring customer engagement to a lesson in generating and fostering it.
A month ago, my girlfriend and I got married. Initially (and very briefly), we had planned on having a traditional wedding, but after realizing the amount of time and money that would go into it, we decided the better decision (for us) would be to elope. So we both asked for a day off of work, and on a Friday morning in August we went to Cambridge City Hall and walked out 20 minutes later husband and wife.
It was beautiful weather, not a cloud in the sky, and we hopped in a rental car and drove to Maine for a great weekend free of all the stress that would have accompanied a big wedding. It was perfect. But we knew we had to enjoy and make the most of it, because despite our best efforts, we weren’t off the hook entirely. Our families would understand about not having a ceremony, but there was no way they were going to let us get away with not having some kind of celebration.
Wondering what this has to do with fostering great customer engagement? We’re getting there…
Even though we bypassed planning a wedding, we still had to plan a party. And what started out as a simple cookout in concept eventually turned into what would essentially be a reception, complete with place cards, catering, and tent rental. So much for saving time and money. Nicole and I realized we were going to be cutting a lot of checks, and that caused us to navigate one of marriage’s first great challenges: deciding whether or not to open a joint checking account. We decided to go for it, and quickly determined we’d go with her bank over mine.
That’s how, on another sunny Saturday, we found ourselves sitting in a TD Bank, opening a joint checking account, depositing close to the minimum amount required to get started. As far as the bank was concerned, we should have been at the bottom of the customer priority totem pole. But the employee who set us up was helpful and polite, the whole process was incredibly simple and quick, and before long we were on our way. All in all, it was a routine and fairly unremarkable visit.
Then, a few days later, we received a card in the mail — a hand-written card — from the employee who helped us. In it she thanked us for our business, but she also congratulated us on our marriage and wished us the best with the upcoming party. I had honestly forgotten all about telling the employee what was going on, but here she had taken the time to follow up by sending us a thank-you card, even going to the trouble of personalizing it with an incredibly thoughtful hand-written message.
I was blown away. I mean, we had already chosen TD Bank. She didn’t need to win our business. We’d also signed up for the most basic checking account we could get. That kind of follow up is rare in any industry, and I’d never expected it from a bank.
I don’t know if the note was a singular above-and-beyond gesture by one employee, or simply standard protocol, but either way, it was a low-cost initiative that made a big impact on me and the way I view the company.
The Morale of the Story
In all our scrambling to be at the forefront of marketing innovation, to be the first to get our heads around the hottest trends, clever new tricks, the latest platform or tactics, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that, even in this new era, connecting with customers doesn’t necessarily have to be cutting edge or complicated. Sometimes it’s the simplest measures that are the most effective.
I’m not sure whether TD Bank has a great presence on Facebook or Twitter. I don’t know whether they have a content marketing strategy or whether there are any other creative or innovative measures they’ve taken to engage target prospects and foster customer engagement. What I do know is at least one employee there knows who to rock it with a good thank you card. And that’s something that certainly did not go unnoticed.