Although ING Direct Canada can bring in customers with its higher interest rate on savings accounts and fee-less banking, they have slowly been introducing other types of accounts to expand existing customer relationships. The newest offer from ING is THRIVE, which is ING’s first chequing account. This would be especially useful for existing customers.
ING’s customer service however, appears to be what is retaining customers and creating promoters of their business. I am a satisfied customer of ING for a number of years now and they were able to resolve my issues quickly and efficiently when I needed to contact support.
ING Direct Canada has won a Gold Medal for their contact centre. What is it that ING does to separate itself from the pack? While you can review the criteria for winning the medal (it’s a panel of judges that makes the ultimate decision), there are many customer centric things that ING does. They are leaders in the following:
- The Contact Centre
Support is 24/7 and you will rarely have to wait more than a few minutes to speak to customer service rep. If you do have to wait, you will hear interesting sound bites and not regular boring “did you know” segments that we are used to hearing elsewhere. The reps are friendly and helpful. They call back when they say they will.
- ING Direct Cafés
If you want customer service, you can get it face-to-face. The cafés are intended to break down barriers between you and your money. The ING staff will work with you and help you with financial questions that you may have.
- Planet Orange
An interactive, financial literacy web site is provided free and is aimed at kids from 1st to 6th grade. I plan to introduce my own first grader to this next year.
- Orange Key Referral
Who likes free money? ING has a program where if you refer someone who opens an ING account, you both receive $25.
(For anyone considering opening an account, this is my ORANGE KEY 13279486S1
Disclosure: I would earn $25 if you include my key when setting up a new account).
- TFSA Proactive Alerts
Due to the unique nature of the TFSA account, ING has been providing proactive alerts for withdrawals /deposits reminding customers about the annual contribution limit. Pay attention to those alerts to avoid over-contribution
ING’s business model does not attract all customers since the majority of transactions are done online. If you enjoy frequent face-to-face interaction with bank tellers, or look forward to weekly updates of your bank book, stick to a traditional bank. For everyone else, there may be advantages to ING.
In my next post, I’ll share with you a company that is widely accepted as a model of customer service.
Readers: Are there any other customer service-type strategies that ING offers worth noting? What customer service strategies have you experienced from other traditional and online banks?