I was asked an interesting question regarding retention in the online trading industry and thought it may be interesting to dig into it in this post: “what are the right behavioral patterns that should be observed for the purpose of retaining clients?”
Before rushing to answer the question – I would like to comment that the question itself implies several things: “behavioral patterns” sounds like a magic spell that if you decipher it you will have the key to endless wisdom and wealth. The second thing about the question is that there is a fantasy to find the right answer, the ‘secret sauce’ that will make retention a stroll in the park.
In the spirit of a new age where there is no one single truth I can understand people’s desire to find ‘the answer’. I think each retention agent/account manager has his own insights and answers as to what works for him or her, but I am not sure there is one ‘secret sauce’. However, I can take you with me on a quick tour of behavior patterns and let you make up your mind:
The building blocks of behavior patterns are all in the trading data: transactions, market prices, preferred trading time, deal size, trade duration and so on. These are all the pieces of the puzzle that make up a unique trading profile for each trader. Two simple examples: one could be very conservative when he has a large sum in his account but prefers to take small trades with minimal risk. Another would have less funds but take very frequent large trades.
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And now what? Do brokers need to create a profile for each trader? I don’t think so. It takes too much time and it is a very complicated task. My take on this is that brokers (account managers) need to be able just to observe the data and use it to make a better connection with their clients! Yes – instead of over sophistication, I advise that data (properly handled) should be used as a platform for communication with the client. Every account manager should be able to use any data that is reliable and valid to get closer to his client and provide better care.
Let’s take an example or two:
- A client used to make ten trades a day on average and now his activity has reduced to ten trades a week. Account Manager could use this as an opportunity to call the trader and inquire how he feels and whether there is anything he could do to help. If the client feels that the account manager genuinely cares for him, than it could be a basis for a professional discussion about trading strategies and other possibilities.
- A client suddenly makes several large wins. The account manager could use this as an opportunity to congratulate the client and ask him what he thinks the reason was for the success and how he could leverage that success further.
These examples are two simplistic ways to use simple events for engaging the client. The account manager, who should learn to know each client’s preferences, is required to judge which piece of data is a good enough reason to call the client.
This becomes challenging, as there is a lot of data and clients have different preferences. But if the account manager succeeds in creating trust relationships with his clients then their volume should increase. In my line of work it shows that this assumption is supported with numbers.
So getting back to post modernism, it reminds me of the concept underlying “Kung Fu Panda”: there is no one way to become a warrior (account manager). There is YOUR way and if you find it you will become a master.