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February 20, 2014
They have been called the most elusive group in digital history. Since they were originally formed back in the summer of 2011, T3 has made few, if any, live appearances. Now, in an unprecedented turn, Texas Bank and Trust’s illustrious tech support team has announced a thirteen-city world tour for 2014, appropriately titled, Unleashed. The tour, which will have the group making rare public stops at seventeen venues, is set to showcase the group’s expertise in navigating electronic banking services. Customers lucky enough to snag a ticket to this TBT exclusive event will experience the world of e-banking like never before. With live demos, one-on-one consultations, insider tips on feature functionality, and fraud protection, tour-goers will take their use of digital banking to a whole new level.
Just two weeks before the official launch of the tour, I caught up with T3’s Unleashed tour managers – Casey Huntsinger, VP/Marketing Research Manager, and Tawny Ormes, Marketing Projects Coordinator, in their TBT Marketing Productions offices in downtown
“This (world tour) is a great opportunity to show all of our customers the lengths we will go to help them out - that we are, in fact, here for them,” Huntsinger explained. “Tech support is usually done on the phone or online. This face-to-face experience is a big opportunity to bring the extent of our service to the forefront.”
T3 will officially kick off the tour with its first stop at TBT’s Cushing branch on February 25. From there, the group will weave their way through the piney woods of East Texas for stops at all bank locations. The group will make their final tour appearance in Marshall on November 18.
Marketing has led the project team in coordinating the year-long tour that will put T3 out in front of customers, demonstrating the bank’s full line of electronic and mobile banking services. Huntsinger and Ormes both agreed that working with T3, their managers - Chris Davis, E-Banking Manager, and Kathy Mosley, E-Banking Operations Manager, and tour production coordinator, Allison Benton, Technology Compliance Officer, has not be an arduous task for such an undertaking. Quite the opposite, getting the group and their people to agree to the tour after months of working solely from behind their PCs was much easier than one would have imagined. T3 was ready to come out of their cubicles, if you will, and put faces to their familiar names.
Rewind back to July 2011 to a time when tech support was simply a customer-phone-call-answered-by- whoever-was-available model, a small group of wickedly smart techies destined to change the face of service, debuted with the redesign of the bank’s website, TBTonline. From behind their iconic silhouette, it would take only a few short months for T3 to rise from a mere “resource link” on the new website to independent prominence as its own department within the bank’s Technology Division. Following an evolving lineup of members, the current quartet has now become firmly entrenched in the local customer service scene, and poised to, once again, take the banking world by storm.
Who could have imagined their debut in the sweltering Texas heat would be one of the last times we would see the group appear live. Current T3 members - Ervin Smith, Kasey Netherland, Ashley Adams, and Lincoln Wingerd – are ready to change all that. The group’s moniker, which has been a source of much confusion for fans, actually stands for Tier Three Support – the highest level of support in the technology world. Therefore, the team’s newfound willingness to take support to the people should come as no surprise.
“T3 is a great group of people, very personable,” Huntsinger said. “Being new to the bank, it’s nice that you can go over and just sit down and talk with them. They are friendly and open with customers, so they were very receptive to the tour, itself. We didn’t have to really convince them. They were eager to get out there. They know it’s a lot easier to help people when you are face to face. This tour gives them the opportunity to do just that.”
Ormes, who admits to being a bit of T3 fan herself, says that she is most looking forward to seeing who will come out to see the group and what product s will be of interest to them.
“I am curious to see the reaction of our customers and how it (the tour) will be received,” she said. “Customers will have more options to ask questions and give us an opportunity to tweak or change our products to better fit what our customers want.”
While on tour, newcomers to the T3 fan base can certainly expect the group to demonstrate their latest hits, “SMARTDeposit,” “Live Chat,” and “The Redesigned Mobile Website” while diehard T3 TechHeads will appreciate old favorites, such as “Setting Up eSTATEMENTS,” “Loggin’ on to Online Banking,” and “Taking Life on Go with TBTgomobile.” Tour-goers will also get a rare opportunity to hear more about T3’s lost hit, “TBTmyWay,” that one-of-kind e-service that allows you to customize your online banking homepage with widgets.
With this super grab bag of service demos, mini seminars, and setup assistance, customers are encouraged to bring their personal e-devices to their local tour stop for T3 autographs.
Manager Davis explained T3’s desire to embark on a tour of this magnitude was done in an effort to complement a shift in their focus to the customer experience. “We want to revolutionize the way we do banking while showcasing the power of convenience and usability (of our bank’s e-services),”
“The tour will highlight the products we have to offer to make the customer more confident in using them and to certainly not be afraid of them. We want to create brand awareness, while, at the same time, showing our customers that we care. T3 was created for personalized service. Through this experience, customers will get to know the faces that go with the names, and we will have an opportunity to gather feedback on our services from them.”
When asked about T3’s demands for backstage perks while on the tour, Huntsinger assured that the team had been quite easy to work with. “Being tech people, we are expecting Starbucks will be a big request (from them) while on the road,” he conceded. “But, nothing like having to separate colored M&Ms.”
No fee tickets for the 2014 T3 Unleashed World Tour will be available at each stop thirty days prior to the group’s appearance at that location. Log on to www.texasbankandtrust.com for tour dates and times.