TD Bank’s License to Thrill: 4 lessons for Banking
With Apple, Amazon, and Ali Baba venturing towards providing banking services to the public, the traditional banks are up for some serious competition. According to a study conducted on 151,894 consumers in 29 countries, it was found that more than half of the respondents trust at least one technology company more than they trust a bank. This distrust is heightened by providing a meager customer experience. Banking industry averages a Net Promotor Score (NPS) of 35% which corresponds to declining profits, high customer churn, lower bank deposits, and non-monogamous banking.
TD Bank is a breeze of fresh air in a world of average banking experience, with their customer loyalty obsession, their commitment towards creating the proper means to WOW their customers and employees. Finally, they are implementing a successful NPS Spirit to consistently innovate the better customer experience. With over 27,000 employees, 9 million customers and 1,250 branches, TD Bank is one of the “10 Largest Banks in the U.S.” and consistently providing the WOW experience from Maine to Florida. TD Bank’s example then is not just worth studying, but worth following.
Here are some crucial factors that be learned from TD Bank:
1. Leadership Commitment
The in-depth research of TD bank reveals that a legendary “Customer Experience Management” is at the core of everything that they do and this approach is central to their leadership model. Whether it is 24/7 banking, opening on weekends, always finding a way to say “Yes” to the customer, going out of the way to resolve customer problems, and creating a highly motivated employee base, TD Bank wants to fulfill each promise with the utmost regard. They have given a LICENSE TO THRILL to their employees, by providing the proper infrastructure, cultivating a healthy culture, and rallying everyone under one goal – to enable a “customer satisfaction” obsession.
Customer Experience Management is a serious commitment and while the journey is not an easy one, the reward is worth every bit of effort. Superior customer experience has proven economically positive, and TD Bank tracks that the Promoters of the bank have more deposits, and do more business with them. Another study shows that customers who are willing to recommend the bank to their friends and family have a “five-to-eight times” more Customer Life Time Value compared to the detractors of the bank.
The leadership commitment, in order to provide a legendary customer experience, is the key and converts customers into a fanbase which results in positive growth and business economics.
2. Customer WOW Index
TD Bank’s strategy right from the beginning to convert customers into a fanbase. Fans have radically different behavior than average customers of any bank. Fans are an “epitome” of loyalty. They support their object of affection (teams/individuals), they cannot stop recommending a Bank to everyone they talk to about their banking needs and would go out of their way to show their support. Therefore, TD Bank came up with a different name for the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and they call it the “Customer WOW Index” which rates an organization/company on a scale from 1 to 10. They have 7 very simple and basic questions that they ask their customers, but the key question remains to be “would you recommend TD Bank to your friends and family?”. TD Bank then measures the experience at every customer touch point, whether if the customers are calling the customer helpline with any problem, if they are coming to the bank physically, or if they have used any other channel to use the bank’s services.
It is critical to have a mechanism to measure the customer experience at every customer touch point. This mechanism can then be analyzed to consistently improve the system to a level where it acts as a touchstone for the customer-centered and customer-obsessed philosophy practiced by the bank. This process analyzes the in-house employee base, who can then convert customers into fans by measuring how many they have WOWed.
Every little factor put together, contributes to the great experience.
3. The culture of WOW Customer Experience
One of the toughest organizational transformation, also the exceptionally rewarding, is creating a culture which reflects the WOW Customer Experience. 86% of fortune 500 companies today believe that they compete with each other, primarily on customer experience management, since product differentiation is becoming less and less pronounced. While many companies today understand the importance of it, very few have actually been able to bring the whole organization together under the banner of a common culture that implements great customer experience, rewards and appreciates any employee effort that improves it, and provides the proper avenues to live it.
“Wow is the emotional attachment that we have with our customers and with our employees”
One tradition of TD bank is to narrate and promote stories of exceptional every-day experiences, whether it was an employee who went out of the way to return a debit card to a customer, whether it was an employee who brought a customer to the branch during a rainy day under his umbrella, or whether it was resolving a customer’s complaint through a helpline by going beyond the call of duty. All 27,000 employees of TD Bank have an opportunity and the potential to create their own distinctive and individual stories of a WOW customer experience. Such stories are not just shared but celebrated which keeps the culture fresh and nourished.
A deep-rooted culture of legendary customer experience must be nurtured properly, which ultimately becomes a living-thriving organism that relentlessly grows.
4. Obsession with Detractors
As much as TD Bank is obsessed with creating fans, they are even more obsessed with their detractors. Detractors are the customers who give TD Bank (or any company) a low rating and are unhappy with their recent services. They tell others about their bad experience, spending less on products/services and ultimately choose to leave and opt for other competitors. All detractors are requested to have an in-depth conversation with a branch manager or any senior official, to learn about their experiences and a cooperative effort is carried out to resolve their problems. This is a great example of how important the “Closed Feedback Loop (CFL)” methodology is, and how crucial it is to not just go back to every detractor and address their concerns but also to resolve the root causes of those concerns. Since it is not necessary that every customer responds or gives feedback, there might be many customers who would have similar problems/concerns which go by undetected. Therefore, it is important to look at the symptoms of every problem (whether big or small) and address their root causes.
Negative word of mouth travels a lot faster than a positive one. Banks should take every caution to listen to every negative feedback, analyze the broader patterns of similar nature and not only resolve individual concerns but also resolve root causes for in order to create a Legendary Customer Experience.