By : Colin Gordon
March 12, 2015 09:00 AM
Formula One driver and former world drivers’ champion Jenson Button wowed bank customers in the UK recently by appearing in a specially-constructed ATM. The British racer spent a day hidden inside an ATM at a Santander branch in Windsor, just outside of London, to surprise a few lucky customers.
When they pressed the machine’s Jenson ‘button’ a hatch opened to reveal the driver bearing £100 in cash and a box of delicious Christmas treats.
The publicity stunt proved a big hit and videos of the campaign have racked up more than a million hits on YouTube
It comes after Canada’s TD Bank ran a similar stunt last year by creating Automated Thanking Machines that dished out highly personalized gifts to selected customers. Invited to take a ‘trial’ of a new cash machine, they were instead met with an ATM that spoke to them and dispensed free cash and presents.
Of course, while these kinds of stunts are light-hearted ways to get people talking about a bank positively, there is a more serious message around how banks interact on a truly human level with their customers, even as digitization takes banking into the online and mobile channels.
As banking goes increasingly digital, it’s easy to forget that for many people the branch and the ATM are still the most important channels. Moreover, added functionality of ATMs means people can choose to a do a lot more banking through this channel.
The second annual TD Bank Checking Experience Index offers further insight. Most of the consumers polled still rely on a telephone call or a visit to a bank branch to have questions answered about their account. As the bank points out, “a personal connection remains important to consumers.”
It’s all about being customer focused to improve the experience. The TD Bank campaign was especially useful in highlighting just how the personal touch remains so crucial.
Chris Stamper, senior vice president of corporate marketing for TD Bank Group, told Today.com: “The folks in our branch networks know their customers so well that they were easily able to identify who they felt would be deserving and excited by the opportunity.”
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