For the full service brokerage firms, logical target customers include planning-based investors who are attracted to packaged products, as well as those who are more oriented toward individual stocks. A further subset of planning-based investors, people who invest in no-load mutual funds, also should be considered a viable and valuable customer group.To appeal to these investor groups, full service firms have aggressively started marketing the value they can add as a total service provider. Understanding a client's goals and risk tolerance, developing investment strategies consistent with those goals and measuring performance against the goals is critical to delivering on the full service promise. In addition, the value of personalized service and individual attention, the convenience of bundling products together and the availability of research material are strengths and capabilities that are being actively promoted.Enhancing product breadth, including offerings in the no-load mutual fund category and goal oriented programs, is also critical. Most importantly, full service firms have started proactively managing client relationships to ensure that the value of their complete range of capabilities is being utilized and appreciated. These firms are establishing and delivering high service standards, and also initiating loyalty programs to help retain key customers.On-going cost management is imperative, too, as customers have become increasingly aware of the more cost effective alternatives. Thus, full service firms are faced with the challenge of reducing costs while enhancing operating efficiencies. They pass these improved economics on to customers in the form of lower commissions or discounted fees in order to reduce the visible price disadvantage with specialized providers. It is so good to see the service standards of stock brokers coming up to this extent and all this is because of the fierce competition that is happening amongst top broking firms because of the influx of discount brokers and online stock brokers.
Superior service is now a basic requirement for all brokerage firms. Customers expect access to investment and account information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, across a variety of channels. The stock brokerage firms have enhanced their direct channels to offer these service levels. In addition, customer expectations continue to become more demanding regarding transaction execution cycle times and the time it takes to resolve problems, as well as the rate at which those problems occur.In conclusion, all types of stock brokerage firms are aggressively focusing and managing their business to remain competitive in the coming years.