Charles Schwab, the San Francisco-based brokerage service, has long been doing what has recently become the trend for banks and utilities. It offers personalized service based on customers' dealings with the company.
According to Glen Mathison, a spokesman for the company, the customers, depending on the amount of stock purchased and the frequency with which they trade, get varying 800 telephone numbers. Schwab 500 customers have had this service available to them for several years and Schwab Priority Gold was implemented in 1996.
The Schwab 500 Club, is reserved for clients who trade 40 times or more a year. Schwab Priority Gold membership is based on those who trade $1 million or more annually. Mathison would not disclose results from the two elite programs.
“We have special services for people who trade quite frequently and they get a dedicated service team made up of experienced traders who are up to speed on their stocks,” Mathison said. “The idea was to attract new customers and keep the customers we had who had special needs. And they are doing very well.”
“If you don't qualify for other more dedicated teams, you still get assisted, but you go through prompts and get the first available representative.”
At Charles Schwab's four call centers, manned by 4,000 employees throughout the country, agents who are not members of the elite service teams are still trained to handle all levels of accounts; but the ones who make up the teams have access to information the service agents on the main 800 number do not have.