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Customers want companies to respect them and stand by them in tough times: TD Canada Trust Customer Loyalty Poll - June 5 is Customer Appreciation Day at TD Canada Trust branches across Canada TORONTO, June 4 /CNW/ - 85% of Canadians say respect is the most important factor in good customer service, according to the third annual TD Canada Trust Customer Loyalty Poll. Conducted by pollster Angus Reid in April, the survey reveals that for customers, respect is as important as knowledge when it comes to service. "Along with comfort and convenience, one of the themes that consistently comes up in our research and our conversations with customers is the idea of respect as a quality that defines good service - especially in this climate," says Tim Hockey, President and CEO, TD Canada Trust. "Customers are telling us they still want the same things, like security for their family, a home, a good life, but they're scared right now. Their financial situation may be different but they are the same good people and they want companies to acknowledge that and to take care of them by listening to them and treating them right - which is, of course, what respect is all about." And the best way to thank Canadians? Treat them right. Though respondents had differing ideas about what that means, how they are treated still ranks above things like freebies, discounts and gift certificates in importance. If you're a business, listening to customers and providing genuine, friendly and helpful service are still the best way to keep Canadians coming back. While 90% said their service experience can make or break their relationship with a company, 85% of Canadians polled also agreed that if a company treats them right during the hard times, they will be their customer for life. "We're seeing the reality of that right now. People are worried and many are coping with loss of income and other challenges. We're seeing first hand how important it is to stand by customers in these tougher times, whether it's by helping them with good advice at the branches, or by offering them more options like help with their mortgage payments or ways to restructure and manage their debt," says Hockey. "The response we've seen from customers when we've been able to provide them with some peace of mind has been incredibly inspiring to our employees right across the country. And we really do believe that because we stood by them, those customers will stand by us." Other poll findings: - Retail stores and financial services companies (30% and 29%) are perceived to have the best customer service and utility companies continue to be perceived to have the worst (44%). - Over a quarter of Canadians (26%) feel that customer service has worsened in the past year - When asked what made their last customer service experience great, friendly service topped the list at 20% followed closely by being helpful and polite at 16% and 13% respectively - 85% of people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan report that they received great customer service in the past month versus 70% nationally. - People from Ontario and Albertans (94% and 92% respectively) are most likely to share stories about their poor customer service experiences with friends and family compared to 68% of Quebecers. - 78% of British Columbians believe that their customer service experiences have influenced others in their purchase decisions, whereas only just over half (53%) in Atlantic Canada believe the same. - Only 2% of Atlantic Canadians feel that customer service has improved over the past year verses 10% nationally TD Canada Trust and TD Waterhouse Customer Appreciation Day To say 'thank you' to their millions of customers across Canada, TD Canada Trust and TD Waterhouse will be celebrating Customer Appreciation Day on Friday, June 5. As part of the annual tradition, customers are invited to visit their local TD Canada Trust branch and join in the celebrations with TD employees. Winner of the Synovate Award (four years in a row) and J.D Power & Associates Award (three years in a row) for best in customer service, TD offers its customers the convenience of longer hours than any other bank and access to more than 1,100 TD Canada Trust branches and 140 TD Waterhouse locations across Canada. Customers can also bank on-line through the award-winning EasyWeb, over the phone with EasyLine, and at more than 2,600 Green Machines in convenient locations across the country. TD Waterhouse clients can work with a professional who provides financial guidance and investment advice, or they can manage their own portfolios online at About the TD Canada Trust Customer Loyalty Poll The TD Canada Trust Customer Loyalty Poll surveyed adult Canadians from across the country, to explore perceptions on customer service and customer loyalty. The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies on April 14, 2009 with English and French speaking Canadians 18+, using the Angus Reid Daily National Omnibus. The sample size includes 1,007 men and women. The maximum margin of error is +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20. 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. For further information: Tashlin Hirani, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 982-3375,

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