TD Canada Trust launches interactive website for customers experiencing financial hardship
TD Helps reaches out to customers with worries about credit card debt, mortgage payments and bill payments
July 22, 2009 (Toronto, ON) – Tasha leans against the railing of a bridge overlooking the shuttered mill that, until recently and for many decades, was the lifeblood of her small Northern Ontario town. A customer service representative at the local TD Canada Trust branch, she worries about the effects of this latest economic blow on her customers, most of whom she knows personally.
Not long ago one couple came in to see her and Tasha went over their whole financial picture with them. As Tasha explains in a video on TD Canada Trust’s new website for customers who need help, “We were able to arrange lower monthly payments and offer a bit of a cushion in case times got worse and they did
the husband lost his job. We don’t know if the mill’s going to reopen, but what we do know is that this couple is comfortable for the next few years. They have a plan in place and they’re going to be ok.”
TD Helps, launched today by TD Canada Trust, is a website dedicated to helping customers who are experiencing financial hardship. Inspired by stories shared among employees on TD’s intranet, videos on TD Helps feature employees explaining in their own words how they were able to help their customers.
“Our employees were the driving force behind this website. We thought and hoped that a lot of our customers would identify with some of the situations our employees have helped with, and that their stories would encourage people to come and see us sooner,” says Tim Hockey, President and CEO, TD Canada Trust.
Earlier this year, to help customers facing real hardship due to the economy, TD Canada Trust introduced an internal program to make sure that its employees knew what some customers were dealing with. Employees were specially trained and equipped with real solutions, like the ability to defer mortgage payments, and to consolidate debt for lower monthly payments. And, importantly, they were given the decision-making ability to make a difference for those customers.
Says Hockey, “The result was that we were helping thousands of customers stay in their homes, get their debt under control and their lives back on track. And while we know it isn’t possible to help 100% of the time, the program has been a huge success and we wanted to spread it to more customers. The earlier they come and talk to us, the more we can help.”
Pretty soon TD employees were asking “How do we reach more people? How do we get the word out to more people that we can help them?” The TD Helps website, launched with a full on-line marketing campaign, was the answer. The site features:
- Encouragement to customers to talk to TD Canada Trust as early as possible about financial problems
- Video interviews with TD Canada Trust employees sharing real life examples of customers they helped
- The opportunity for customers to comment on the videos
- Information about how to contact TD Canada Trust for help with credit card debt, mortgage payments and bill payments
While customers have been able to comment on the TD on Facebook page for a couple of years, this is the first time the bank has ever opened up its own site for comments.
“We’re pretty excited about that,” says Hockey. “Customers are going to be able to share their thoughts about the videos and the stories our employees are telling and we are eager to hear what they have to say.”
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 sixth 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 and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth and TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 5.5 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had $575 billion in assets on April 30, 2009. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
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