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TD Trust ATM: An ATM That Dispenses “More than Just Cash”

If you got to the ATM to withdraw some money and instead of money, it dispensed a plane ticket to Disneyland, or “gives you 1 dollar when you wanted 50 cents”, how would you react? 

TD Trust, a Canadian Bank, launched the “TD Thanks You” campaign to give customers a surprise. To convey the message “TD Trust is a bank that understands you”, the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in some regions were secretly converted to Automated Thanking Machines. These machines look just like a normal ATM. It’s only when you insert your card and prepare to operate the machine that you discover “this machine knows you well”.

▲The Automated Thanking Machine looks like an ordinary ATM but adds a human touch.

This machine not only says “Hi!” but also interacts with you. It even knows your name and what recently happened to you whether good or bad. A corresponding gift is then given to you. Some people receive extra money, some people receive a gift that “can’t be dispensed from an ATM”. These can be a bouquet of flowers, a ticket to fly to another city for visiting a relative, or team shirt…. If you were that lucky someone, you’d be grinning from ear to ear! 

Customer Respect are Not Just Empty Words

You might be wondering like I am, how this machine knows the customer’s name, their preferences and what recently happened to them?

The truth goes like this: TD Trust asked branch employees to identify customers who they feel deserve this special surprise and then the customers were “invited to test the new ATM service”. They weren’t told they will be receiving a special gift. Since they were handpicked, the bank naturally chose people with a story. And these stories were learnt through these customers’ everyday interactions with bank employees. That’s how the bank knew what happened and what gifts to give out. And naturally, their names as well. 

▲Rather than just giving out money, it also made invitation cards inviting your kids to go to Disneyland with you. 

One of them was a baseball lover and Toronto Blue Jays fan. Apart from receiving a Blue Jays team shirt and cap, TD Trust even invited former Big League home run king and current Blue Jay right outfielder Jose Bautista to personally invite this fan to deliver the opening pitch at the game – “something that not even money can buy”.

The most touching story was a mother whose only daughter living in another city had just undergone cancer surgery. TD Trust thoughtfully presented her with a return plane ticket so she could visit her daughter.

As for customers not on the list and did not use the machine, TD Trust didn’t neglect them either. Every user who used the bank’s services at the counter or online at 2PM on July 25 received an unexpected check for US$20.

Enhance Your Event by Creating Unexpected Surprises

These events that surprise people often earn goodwill and give an immediate boost to happiness. It almost always work and surprisingly, it’s not “how much the gift is worth or how useful it is” that people care about, but whether “it gave me an unexpected surprise”.

Just imagine. Scenario 1: You know that everything at the department store is going to be 50% off today. Or scenario 2: You pick your clothes then at the register, the store clerk tells you: “Congratulations, you are our 10,000th customer. Everything you buy is 50% off today”. The result may be the same, but which scenario would make you really happy? Which scenario would make you want to share it with your friends and family?

Master this trick and the next time you are planning an event, try think about “how to create an unexpected surprise for the consumer”. There is no need for extra giveaways or a higher marketing budget. Just try to do something to make the consumer feel better and you can be that your event will be twice as effective!





Photo source: YouTube

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