This article is written by Bart Burggraaf, Managing Partner at MediaGroup Worldwide.
Last I checked it’s 2017, and definitely not 1999. Yet when looking at the experience of becoming and being a customer with many brokers, you would think time stopped since the year the Euro was introduced.
Due to compliance rules it’s pretty difficult to become a client of a broker in the first place, brokers should make all the rest of the process as brainless as possible. It starts with advertising and being less annoying. Advertising needs to happen, but it can be so much better. Why do all broker ads look the same and talk about the same things? Why not focus on being different? Then when a visitor comes to your site, they are bombarded with claims of being the worlds’ best broker or some such hyperbole. Or a user needs to fill out 30 form fields to get a demo of your platform. Would this not annoy you?
Even when you get through all of that noise and become a customer, most brokers don’t make things as easy as they could. Beyond just user experience design, the fact that (despite the recent efforts of regulators) bonuses with excessive fine print, pressure selling, excess leverage, withdrawal difficulties and so on still exist, is evidence we all need to take a good hard look at the business practices employed.
It’s time as an industry we focus more on customer experience and less on short term thinking. How can we make the lives of our customers better? What can we do to make investing or trading as easy and straight forward as possible while making an honest living? How would you like the experience to be when you become a customer with a certain company?
There are certainly brokerages who try to think in this direction and employ empathy as a business strategy, but the vast majority see this as a zero sum game. Because if all you do is compete with the same company with a different name, the current situation happens. To win others need to lose. And to get out of that predicament of zero sum, your company needs to be different, better. So let’s go there.
It’s time for a Golden Rule for the Brokerage Industry; do unto traders as you would have them do unto you. Focus on making the experience as friendly as possible. Focus on giving rather than taking value. Focus on being different from the competition. And when your brokerage does this, you will see a reward in customer satisfaction, word of mouth and acquisition of new traders. Let the others party like it’s 1999.