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E*Trade Beefs Up Customer Service

By Beth Cox     Feedback

Online brokerage launches a new interactive channel called Service Now, giving online customers access to chat with service reps and Web collaboration.

Online brokerage and financial holding company E*Trade Group Inc. enhanced its customer service operation for the new year, rolling out a new Web-based interactive channel called Service Now.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company said the service allows online customers to interact in real time with E*Trade service reps (the company calls them Financial Services Associates) via online chats and Web collaboration.

E*Trade also said that its "priority customer households" now get the benefit of preferred call-routing technology. What that boils down to is that the company can now identify its more profitable customers and give them a higher level of service - less waiting on the phone, for instance. Other brokerages, including Fidelity, have been doing that for some time.

The enhancements "... as a part of our personalized Digital Financial Media strategy, empower customers to make critical decisions about their money and further differentiate E*Trade from the competition," said Jerry Gramaglia, president and chief customer operations officer at E*Trade Group Inc.

The Service Now technology, first introduced to Power E*Trade brokerage customers, was obtained through the acquisition last year of E*Trade Mortgage, formerly known as LoansDirect. Customers enter their account numbers by phone, and the system flags those that are the most active --and profitable traders --for faster service.

This article was originally published on January 2, 2002
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