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Digging into the Customer Experience: Brokerage, Online and OffBrokerage is Corporate Insight’s original areas of expertise, dating back to the introduction of Broker Monitor and e-Monitor in the 1990s. Our value-added brokerage and online services research digs deeply to identify and assess specific aspects of the customer experience.
|Branch and Financial Advisor Locators|
This Broker Monitor Report covers branch and financial advisor locator tools provided on brokerage websites. We looked at how accessible tools are on the public site, the search methods provided (such as by ZIP code, city, state, advisor name), and what information is provided in search results.
This Broker Monitor Report reviews branch and financial advisor locator tools provided on brokerage websites – a topic we last covered in October of 2010. Traditionally, branch locators were more important for full services firms with the majority of their business based on financial advisors, but now discount firms are following. We looked at the accessibility and usability of the tools, methods of searching, the suggested branches and advisors within the results.
Most firms provide easy access to branch and financial advisor locators. All firms except one offer a link to the search tools or direct entry fields on their homepages. One firm goes even further by providing its branch and FA locators as a dedicated main navigation tab.
Firms understand that aside from offering branch and advisor locations, they should also provide instructions on how to get there. All but one firm provide maps and driving directions. Five firms display maps that incorporate public transportation options. Since 2010, four firms have switched to Google Maps as the third-party provider for maps and directions. Currently, 60% of all Broker Monitor firms use Google as the third-party resource provider within branch or FA locators.
In terms of search options, city and state searches are the bread and butter for advisor and branch locators. All firms currently offer both. All firms but one allow users to search by ZIP code. Eight firms allow for a search by full address. One firm offers a unique option that allows users to search through LinkedIn. The LinkedIn search yields the advisor’s information as well as the name and degree of connection. The LinkedIn search was the only instance of a firm incorporating social media into its branch and financial advisor search tools.
Additional Key Findings: