Treat me right or someone else will: Canadians say customer service makes or breaks a relationship



    - June 20 is Customer Appreciation Day at TD Canada Trust and
    TD Waterhouse -

    TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ - Pushovers? Not us. Canadians demand good
customer service. In fact, according to the second annual TD Canada Trust
Customer Loyalty Poll, customer service is so important that 95% of Canadians
say their experiences can make or break a relationship with a particular brand
or company. This number is up 10% from last year's survey, showing that
Canadians are even more serious about the importance of customer service.
    Businesses are constantly looking for new ways to show customers that
they care: they may offer rewards/loyalty programs or even gifts. Though many
appreciate the perks, the bottom line is that Canadians just want to be
treated well. In fact, when asked which form of appreciation they are most
interested in, 49% ranked "just good customer service" as number one.
Rewards/loyalty programs and gifts followed (18% and 17% respectively).
    "I'm not surprised that good service is the most important decider of
loyalty for Canadians for the second year in a row," says Tim Hockey, Group
Head, Canadian Banking and President and CEO, TD Canada Trust. "All of our
research and all of the conversations we have with our own customers support
this. Service is the number one deciding factor for people when they are
choosing a company to deal with, and it's the hardest thing to get right.
We've found that good customer service has a ripple effect, in fact our poll
shows that 89% of people will share their positive stories with their friends
and family."
    Being friendly to customers goes a long way. When asked what makes
customer service great, the number one answer was friendly staff (24%). The
number two and three answers to what makes customer service great were quick
service and being helpful (15% and 14%). Canadians say they generally receive
good customer service, with nearly three-quarters (73%) reporting that they
have received good customer service in the past month. This number has
increased by 11% over last year.
    Always interested in raising the bar on customer service, TD Canada Trust
speaks with approximately 400,000 people every year to find out what they
think of the bank's service, good or bad. In fact, Tim Hockey personally meets
with groups of people across Canada every year in order to gain as much first
hand insight as possible. This year, in the interest of stimulating candid
discussion, he has been meeting with people who are connected to each other,
like the dining club he saw on a recent trip to Ottawa. Hockey found that
speaking with people who had connections to each other made individuals more
open to sharing their customer service stories. One dining club member who was
planning a trip consulted with the group about a tour company he was thinking
of using, saying "I would take their advice way before any other information.
Because it's a real person saying 'this is what I experienced.'"

    
    Other poll findings:
    -   Retail stores and financial services companies (29% and 28%) are
        perceived to have the best customer service and utility companies are
        perceived to have the worst (42%) (especially in Ontario and Quebec)

    -   81% of people in BC report that they received great customer service
        in the past month versus 73% nationally.

    -   Those in Quebec are more likely than the rest of the country to be
        interested in rewards/loyalty programs (25% versus 18% nationally).
        People in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are least likely to be interested
        (13%).

    -   Atlantic Canadians are most likely to purchase a service or product
        if it is recommended by a friend or family member (91%), whereas
        those in Quebec are least likely (66%)
    

    TD Canada Trust and TD Waterhouse Customer Appreciation Day

    To say 'thank you' to their millions of customers across Canada,
TD Canada Trust and TD Waterhouse are celebrating Customer Appreciation Day on
Friday, June 20. An annual tradition, customers are invited to join in the
celebrations with TD employees and enjoy refreshments as a thank you for their
loyalty. As well, this summer, TD Canada Trust will run contests, giveaways,
and advertising during a six week campaign to thank customers.
    "For us, every day is about appreciating our customers and giving great
service, but our annual Customer Appreciation Day is special because it gives
all our employees, including ones who don't normally meet customers face to
face, an opportunity to speak with customers and thank them in person for
their business," adds Hockey. "It's a great way for us to slow down a little,
listen to our customers and learn more about how we can improve their
experience with us."
    Winner of best customer service awards from Synovate (three years in a
row) and J.D Power & Associates (two years in a row), TD serves customers at
more than 1,080 TD Canada Trust branches and 135 TD Waterhouse branches across
Canada. Customers can also bank on-line through the award-winning EasyWeb,
over the phone with EasyLine, and at more than 2,500 state-of-the-art Green
Machine ABMs in convenient locations across the country. TD Waterhouse clients
can invest in person with the help of a financial planner or an Investment
Advisor or online at tdwaterhouse.ca.

    About the TD Canada Trust Customer Loyalty Poll

    The TD Canada Trust Customer Loyalty Poll surveyed adult Canadians from
across the country, to explore perceptions on customer service and customer
loyalty. The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies on May 26, 2008
with English and French speaking Canadians 18+, using the Angus Reid Daily
National Omnibus. The sample size includes 1,021 men and women. The maximum
margin of error is +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

    About TD Bank Financial Group

    The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as
TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the seventh largest bank
in North America by branches and serves approximately 17 million customers in
four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial
centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including
TD Canada Trust; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment
in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth
and Commerce; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank
Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial
services firms, with more than 5.5 million on-line customers. TD Bank
Financial Group had CDN$503.6 billion in assets as of April 30, 2008. The
Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges under
the symbol "TD", as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.





For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Abbass, Karen McCullough, Paradigm
Public Relations, (416) 203-2223, cabbass@paradigmpr.ca,
kmccullough@paradigmpr.ca


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