Schwab, best known as the first discount brokerage for individual investors, also serves independent advisors that use its technologies and products for their own clients. In the early days of the business, Charles (“Chuck”) Schwab made a make-it-or-break-it wager on technology by investing significantly in a mainframe computer to automate processes. The bet was successful, and Schwab continued to embrace new technologies, becoming one of the first firms to launch online trading. Today, as a socially connected business, Schwab is reinventing its interactions with investment advisors and giving them new ways to engage with their customers.
The technology infrastructure Schwab provides to its 7,000+ advisor customers integrates Sales Cloud with proprietary investment tools to help advisor partners manage their businesses more effectively, and grow them efficiently. More than just recordkeeping and safekeeping assets, the company is providing a true platform that helps advisors simplify their interactions with clients so they can help them more.
Schwab recognizes that when consumers hand over their nest egg to an investment firm, they want to retain a personal relationship. Social platforms offer an opportunity to reinvent the relationships between clients and their firms. In the past, communications between clients and advisors, and advisors and Schwab, were all separate channels. Social provides a seamless way for everyone to connect.
Schwab sees a future where communities enable clients to quickly access the right experts at the right time, so they can get the advice or service they need, when they need it. Communities can also help solve problems collaboratively, as well as maintaining the personal relationships that consumers demand for financial services. Schwab expects that communities will play a similar role for independent advisors, enabling them to get together to compare best practices and share tips and tricks.
In addition to building in personal connections, Schwab is also trying to make financial services easier for people to use and access. Financial services are complex, and consumers appreciate everything companies can do to simplify them and make them more accessible. One way that the company is doing this is by building out its mobile capabilities.
More and more customers are using smartphones and iPads to manage their finances and Schwab is building mobile apps that help them connect with advisors and Schwab employees when they need them. And, new features like video chat will continue to deliver the personal connection while making it easier than ever to make transactions.