Knowing your customers and having the ability to anticipate their needs within the market can be a considerable advantage when it comes to retaining clients and gaining market share.
The winner of the Australian shares category, CommSec, has benefited from its approach to client engagement through the technological advances it has implemented, which have supported adviser needs.
“We’re very focused on meeting the needs of the market and making it easy for advisers to do business with us,” CommSec adviser services general manager Eric Blewitt says.
“Anything that we can do to make it easier for them to do business with us and that focuses on their core value propositions of helping clients [is a good thing].”
This has been a key area of focus for the group over 2014 and one it will carry through into the coming year.
It’s important to understand advisers’ businesses, the requirements of these businesses and to deliver on these, Blewitt says.
This year, CommSec has targeted technology as a vehicle to enable the delivery of more efficient and integrated products and services to clients.
“We’ve focused on the innovation of technology and delivering technological connectivity, [as well as] our integration with [clients’] systems and businesses to make it easier to do business with us,” Blewitt says.
“We will continue to listen to the market and invest in [technology] to make it easier for them to invest [with us].”
So far this has meant a particular focus on technological integration for clients in customer-facing roles, such as advisers and accountants, he says.
“For an online business it’s important that our technology is market leading,” he says.
“[Effective technological] interaction is critical to success in clients and for those clients’ businesses.”
The approach has paid off, with a substantial number of advisers and SMSF trustees choosing to invest through CommSec.
“We’re the preferred online broker for over 40 per cent of do-it-yourself high net worth investors, and about one in three Australian financial services licence holders use us,” Blewitt says.
“Our overall customer satisfaction ratings are in excess of 90 per cent.
“As Australia’s leading online broker, we provide secure real-time trading and tools where advisers need [them].
“We really do meet the needs and wants of the market.”
Commonwealth Bank of Australia SMSF accountant and intermediated channels executive manager Stephen Aguilera-Mendoza accepted the award on the night on behalf of CommSec.
Class Super: SMSF accounting software/administration
- Cromwell: Property
- Macquarie: Cash and term deposits
- FIIG Securities: Fixed income
- Westpac: Residential property loans
- CommSec: Australian shares
- TAL: Insurance
- BT Wrap: Investment platform
- Magellan: International shares