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TMCNet:  Canadians ready to break up with companies that can't keep up, digitally speaking

[November 19, 2020]

Canadians ready to break up with companies that can't keep up, digitally speaking

Big expectations: 84% of Canadians say they will take their business elsewhere if they have a poor digital experience, while 81% say they have adjusted to a new normal because of COVID-19 restrictions and they expect businesses to do the same

TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2020 /CNW/ - According to the TD New Digital Customer Study, released today, Canadians' digital expectations of the companies that they engage with are on the rise: 84% of Canadians surveyed say they will take their business elsewhere if they have a poor digital experience, and 81% say they have adjusted to a new normal and expect businesses to do the same. Another 80% now expect organizations to enhance their digital tools more often to ensure better customer experiences.

"We saw our customer engagement and expectations surge with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic," says Rizwan Khalfan, Chief Digital and Payments Officer, TD Bank Group. "Now, the majority of our customers are regularly using our digital platforms to manage their day-to-day banking and learn more about their spending and saving. We know our customers are expecting experiences that reflect how they have adapted during the pandemic and we're working to deliver personalized experiences in new and innovative ways, across all our channels."

Building customer trust and loyalty, virtually
According to the study, in the year ahead, almost three-quarters (72%) of Canadians surveyed believe they will spend more time online, engaging with companies digitally and making purchases. But the data from survey respondents reveals that pressure is on companies to ensure that they are meeting customer expectations.

Financial services are at the top of the list when it comes to the types of products and services Canadians are most likely to purchase or access digitally: 87% of Canadians surveyed say they are most likely to make financial transactions online, like e-transfers and bill payments, with 44% saying they are using digital services for financial advice. Clothing, remote learning and household items round out the top five types of products and services Canadians are most likely to purchase or access digitally:



Financial Services

87%

Clothing

60%

Remote learning and/or continuing education

54%

Household items (appliances, furniture)

48%

Financial advice as it relates to investing, budgeting, financial management

44%

Medical/health advice and services

43%

Home improvement items

39%

Groceries

37%

While the trend is towards digital adoption, these Canadians are still looking for the same level of service that they would expect from an in-person experience, with the majority, 74%, saying they want companies to prioritize virtual customer service as they introduce new digital offerings.

Canadians less forgiving than you'd think
The study also investigated the different perspectives of Canadians and Americans in their digital expectations and priorities. Canadians turned out to be more likely to walk away from a company over a bad digital experience (84% of Canadians surveyed vs 75% of Americans surveyed), and felt more strongly that companies should be upping their game and adapting to meet their needs (81% of Canadians surveyed vs 75% of Americans surveyed).

Canadians and Americans remain united in their plans to engage more with companies digitally and order items electronically in the year ahead (72% for both), and with COVID-19, they have both made digital purchases more frequently than ever before (63% for both).

The evolution of digital engagement
With the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, the study reveals that the Canadians surveyed have increasingly turned to digital for experiences beyond commerce, exploring new online services like virtual therapy sessions and consultations with a family physician (37%), virtual exercise programs (32%) and adult learning classes (26%).

The study also shows that Canadians are supporting small businesses and have changed their shopping habits to do so:

  • With the onset of COVD-19, 47% of Canadians surveyed say they have shifted their shopping habits and now purchase more from small, local businesses than they did before the pandemic.
  • A majority of Canadians surveyed, (57%) say that local businesses in their communities now offer more digital shopping/service options than they did before the onset of COVID-19; the same percentage also say they plan to continue to purchase goods and services from small, local businesses through their digital shopping options beyond the pandemic.

The uptick in digital engagement isn't going anywhere – 68% of Canadians surveyed say they plan to continue accessing digital platforms more than they did before the pandemic.

Delivering for the new digital customer
Now more than ever, it is critical for businesses to deliver seamless and connected experiences for all of their customers.

"For TD, this means remaining focused on truly understanding our customers' evolving needs and expectations," says Frank Psoras, Senior Vice President, Customer Strategy and Innovation at TD. "As we continue to focus on delivering positive customer experiences, we are also committing to meeting and exceeding customer expectations across all the platforms where we engage and connect with them."

Since the onset of the pandemic, teams from across TD have collaborated to create new, connected experiences, including:

  • The TD Ready Advice Hub through which appointments can be made with an advisor and financial information and tools are available to help customers manage their changing financial needs.
  • Offering customers a convenient way to access financial advice from the comfort of their home using digital tools like online conferencing and an interactive wealth planning platform.
  • The new TD Global Transfer marketplace, which allows customers to securely send money to more than 200 countries and territories, right from their TD account, through EasyWeb and mobile.
  • TD GoalAssist as a way to help Canadians set financial goals, invest for their futures, and most significantly, save on fees.

"Knowing that Canadians are relying on digital more heavily than ever before, we know that we will need to continue to innovate in order to exceed their expectations. Using technologies like artificial intelligence, voice, chat, and video will be key to creating stronger connections with our customers," adds Khalfan.

About the Survey These are some of the findings of a Leger poll conducted between October 9 and 19, 2020, on behalf of TD. For this survey, a sample of 1508 Canadians and 1594 Americans aged 18+ were interviewed using Leger's online panel. The margin of error for each of these samples was +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.  

About TD Bank Group The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves over 26 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in The Charles Schwab Corporation; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 14 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.7 trillion in assets on July 31, 2020. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group


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