Author: Michalis Michael, Senior Content Strategist, HotForex
9 Dec 2015
The foreign exchange market is an international, decentralised market which is open around the clock, five days a week. It is known to be the most liquid financial market in the world, yielding a daily turnover of roughly $4trn, giving traders the opportunity to invest in a multitude of asset classes with relatively low capital requirements.
These are just a few elements that render the forex market one of the most popular in the world. However, due to its dynamic and overly competitive nature, forex brokers face a continuous struggle to retain their clients. Nowadays, with so many emerging all over the world, a broker’s reputation can be influenced by customers’ experiences and their reviews about that broker. Forex brokers recognise that providing outstanding customer service and support is one of the most important things clients look for.
Clients are more sophisticated today than ever before; they have a deeper understanding of the business and greater demands
Choosing a forex broker is a challenging task, even for the most experienced traders, as many brokers sell themselves as ‘the best in the market’ in a bid to overcome fierce competition. The spreads offered by brokers are more or less similar, and the same goes for the performance of trading platforms. What really differentiates a broker in the competitive field of forex is the level of customer service they offer to their clients, how innovative their approach to customer service is, and what value this adds for the client.
Clients are more sophisticated today than ever before; they have a deeper understanding of the business and have greater demands for their brokers. They expect the broker to provide support in their native language, and they expect to deal with customer support representatives who are knowledgeable and can answer their questions in a swift and accurate manner.
If the speed of service is slow and they do not get the information they want quickly, they will deem the broker unreliable and most probably move to a competitor. Also, if clients are not satisfied with the service they receive or if they have a bad experience with their broker, they can easily share their experience with other traders through social media or online forums to give negative reviews and ratings.
Proactivity and personalisation
Brokers acknowledge that in a consolidated market like forex, providing personalised and dedicated customer care is paramount for retaining and gaining clients. Therefore, they try to add a personal touch to their interactions with their clients in order to build a robust, long-lasting relationship with them. In doing so, brokers invest significantly in humanising customer service. This implies adopting a more empathetic and caring approach, rather than using a robotic way of dealing with clients.
Support agents deal directly with clients over the phone, by email or on live chat channels, and serve as ambassadors for their company. As such, they should strive to represent the human side of the broker. This can be done by empathising with clients; that is, actively listening to them, demonstrating patience and enthusiasm, understanding their personal needs, and going above and beyond to meet these needs. Support agents should also make sure they clearly understand clients’ issues, enquires or complaints so that they can troubleshoot their problems effectively. Communicating clearly and accurately with clients is key and keeping them updated on their enquires or requests is essential in making them feel reassured.
Brokers should also embrace a more proactive customer care approach and come up with ways to resolve potential issues before the client experiences them. For example, support agents can use visuals like screenshots and video tutorials to explain procedures to clients with limited English proficiency. Moreover, employing agents who speak the client’s native language is the best way to prevent misunderstandings and assure the client that there is always someone who shares cultural traits and business attitudes with them by their side.
Since most forex brokers have a diverse customer base, they feature a variety of language options on their websites, enabling the trader to enjoy a sense of familiarity when browsing the broker’s information. Most forex brokers equip their websites with all the information and tools a client requires, so that clients do not need to ask for an agent’s assistance. For example, clients can have direct access to real-time price quotes, market insights, detailed information about products and services, trading accounts, and terms and conditions. This saves clients considerable time and effort, as they can find all relevant information at their fingertips.
The role of technology
Since forex trading is an online activity, technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing the client’s trading experience. Technology changes rapidly, and brokers need to be very adaptable to advancements if they want to survive. HotForex recognises this and capitalises on its in-house IT department to develop internal systems that streamline the customer service process. For example, HotForex has made it easy for clients to communicate their issues, enquires or suggestions to the appropriate department by introducing a ticketing system within the ‘myHotForex’ client area. With this ticketing software, the client can send an enquiry directly, without logging in to their personal email account. Clients using this option can also monitor the status of their ticket at any time, and can also easily track the history of their tickets.
A major part of HotForex’s strategy to refine customer service is to receive customer feedback. HotForex receives client feedback from account managers and customer service representatives, who interact with clients regularly. The broker also gains direct feedback from clients via a new feature on myHotForex which enables clients to communicate their feedback to the broker and rate their level of satisfaction in regard to different functions (e.g. account manager, execution, and withdrawals).
Quality shines through
HotForex applies a strict internal quality control system in relation to customer support. The company carries out continuous assessments of customer service agents’ performance through quantitative statistics and qualitative reviews, measuring average response time and average waiting time for clients to be assisted via the live chat service. Mystery shopping assignments are also carried out to measure and improve the broker’s levels of service.
With the forex industry being increasingly susceptible to technological developments, and forex clients becoming even more sophisticated and business-savvy, forex brokers are stepping up their efforts to stay relevant in the market and overcome the competition. Providing considerate customer support and giving clients what they want before they even ask for it is how brokers should go about differentiating their brand.
HotForex thrives in the forex industry by putting the client at the heart of everything it does, embracing positive changes in an effort to provide the best customer service to its clients. The broker’s recent recognition as European CEO’s Best Customer Service Provider 2015 proves that HotForex has taken a significant step forward to becoming a market leader in offering superior customer services.
Disclaimer: This material is provided as a general marketing communication for information purposes only and does not constitute independent investment research. Nothing in this communication contains, or should be considered as containing, investment advice, an investment recommendation or a solicitation for the purpose of buying or selling any financial instrument.