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TD Bank Goes Social in Customer Communications

The bank recently launched TD Helps, an online social community that answers customer questions and provides financial insights.

Managing customer communications effectively is an important endeavor for any bank. Gone are the days where customers only contacted their banks via the phone or by walking into a branch.

In an effort to meets its customers where they are, Cherry Hill, N.J.-based TD Bank recently launched TD Helps, an online social community providing financial information and guidance to U.S. consumers. TD Helps is a managed community where people can ask questions about a wide range of personal finance topics and receive answers from TD Bank specialists as well as other consumers.

Specialists answer all questions submitted to TD Helps, and if a question cannot be published publicly for privacy or other reasons, the TD Helps program team will respond to the consumer privately within 24 hours via email, says Vinoo Vijay, CMO of TD Bank. All answers are checked for accuracy before they are published, he adds.

A sample TD Helps experienceA sample TD Helps experience

"Just having a platform alone [to communicate with customers] is not useful, what's useful is to offer a genuine response," he says. "We're still remaining very true to our core purpose of what we deliver, but thinking about how we use technology to do it distinctively. We don't use technology for the sake of using technology. I believe great companies have a deep understanding of what the technology is about and how it adds value to the customer; it's not just about having the next new shiny thing."

The TD Helps site site is currently designed for an online environment, but Vijay says the bank will always be looking for ways to improve the experiential aspects of it and look to implement mobile in the future.

He adds TD Bank's ultimate goal is to provide "a true omni-channel experience" for its customers. "Our convenience model must evolve along with their lifestyles, which certainly includes digital channels," he says. "But the need for brick and mortar stores, innovative ATM capabilities, and talking on the phone to a human about their account is not going away."

[Related Content:All Roads Lead to the Omnichannel]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
6/18/2014 | 6:03:58 PM
re: TD Bank Goes Social in Customer Communications
It's a challenge for enterprises to respond to customers with speed in social media. If you call the call center, you kind of expect to wait on hold a little while. But if you send a message through Twitter, you expect an immediate response. It's good that TD is vetting its answers for accuracy, but there's fine line in that they need to dot their i's, while also responding to customers quickly.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
6/17/2014 | 2:11:22 PM
re: TD Bank Goes Social in Customer Communications
I certainly would! Last time I called a customer service line (though not TD) I ended up waiting around 15-20 minutes to speak with an actual person.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
6/17/2014 | 1:59:12 PM
re: TD Bank Goes Social in Customer Communications
Alot of people will probably like to contact their bank with issues via this way, as opposed to calling the 80 number, which I had to do last night.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
6/13/2014 | 7:56:50 PM
re: TD Bank Goes Social in Customer Communications
I like how TD is emphasizing genuine communication with consumers. Vijay's point about using technology to really add value for the customer is something other banks (and all financial services companies) should look to. Having new tech is great, but knowing how to use it effectively is even more important.
Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
6/13/2014 | 6:36:21 PM
re: TD Bank Goes Social in Customer Communications
I expect these kind of communities to become common place for banks in the future. Barclays has already done interesting things with this model. It's an opportunity that banks need to be taking advantage of. The fact that TD is vetting its answers before they are published is definitely a best practice too.
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