In last 3 years we have seen major changes in brokerage Industry. Discount brokers are doing cut through competition. They are offering better rates, better trading tools, coping marketing strategies from each other. Few examples- Zerodha 60 days challenge is followed by Fyers 30 days challenge. Zerodha Free Delivery trade has been followed by Upstox, Tradingbells. Competition in Trading Tools like Zerodha Kite vs Upstox Pro vs StockNotes by Samco. New offerings like Monthly Plans, Yearly Plan, Free Trading Plans and many more new marketing strategies are coming up.
Does all this matter when you will not get a proper response from your broker when you need him? The answer is “NO”, brokerage business is very sensitive business, even though this is a completely online process, but once a while you need help/support from your broker. That support you get when you need is the key to satisfaction. How fast, how reliable and how satisfying answer you get when you have some query to your financial partner.
The customer support is one of the biggest cost expenses in terms of the low brokerage industry. Companies are putting more effort towards the online library, so users will get all queries resolved online before calling to customer support team for the basic question.
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Companies like Zerodha has its varsity, z-connect, and TradingQ&A - online library from Zerodha, Similarly Upstox – Trade Academy is doing online webinars, classes to educate and trained peoples, 5paisa School is similar initiative, Samco Education has Knowledge Center and Video Tutorials.
Full-Service Brokers like Sharekhan, Angel Broking, Geojit have their own advantage towards customer support, local branches, local support, makes a big difference in the brokerage industry. Still, people are not 100% comfortable in online trading, so local brokerage offices are still in demand.
The third level is 3 in 1 account provider, like ICICI Direct, HDFC Securities, Axis Direct – even though they called 3 in 1 account but their banking and trading arms work is completely different, you will not get trading related support from banking branch and vise versa. The main reason to open 3 in 1 account with such big players is to get better customer support under one roof, but with my personal experience, this is not the case. On top of this for each and every request, one needs to visit the nearest branch, even though you are using complete online banking and trading.
In summary, If you can manage online trading and banking, discount brokers are the best fit for you, else traditional full-service brokers are good in terms of customer support and personal attention.
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