The online financial services provider’s new interactive channel, Service Now, provides online chat and web collaboration with a trained advisor. Few banks offer interactive web platforms, putting this application at the edge of CRM technology. It should prove a major asset to E*Trade, as the financial services world becomes increasingly multi-channel.
E*Trade has launched a service allowing real time interaction with its financial advisors.
Online broker and financial services provider E*Trade has launched a new interactive channel, Service Now. The application, the latest development in E*Trade’s personalized Digital Financial Media strategy, provides customers with access to Financial Services Associates through online chats and web collaboration as well as call routing.
All the enhancements are intended to drive greater profit and growth through the increased cross-sell and up-sell opportunities of its personalized products and services.
The new application uses E*Trade’s scaleable technology platform to provide customers with enhanced touch-points, while improving operational efficiencies. Obtained through the acquisition of E*Trade Mortgage, Service Now provides customers with live direction from experienced advisors who can guide them through relevant product applications, tools and information.
Smart call routing, meanwhile, serves the company’s most lucrative clients. By entering their account number via the telephone, customers are directed to Financial Services Associates with the most relevant skills to serve their specific inquiry. E*Trade will also improve training for its advisors and CRM teams.
Consumers like the flexibility of multi-channel – branch and Internet – banking. These multi-channel networks enable banks to deliver the necessary service (and hand-holding) when originating complex, high-margin banking products such as mortgages, loans and investment products.
This channel integration will remain key in online and offline banking, as consumers continue to demand branches, ATMs, kiosks, phones and Internet access. Banks that successfully integrate their various distribution channels will attract and retain more profitable customers than single, or limited, channel banks.
E*Trade’s move to provide another channel of service, then, is clearly a step in the right direction. The company is also moving ahead of its competition, since few banks offer an interactive web service and it could well prove popular with tech-savvy consumers. The call routing technology, however, has been used by a variety of brokerages, such as Fidelity, for quite some time. E*Trade is simply catching up to its competitors here.