How SelfWealth manages its explosive growth in customer numbers

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When the stock market took a dive at the start of COVID, one set of businesses that saw an immediate surge of growth were the brokers and trading platforms. But they didn’t all have the capability to service the influx of customers.

According to Jarrod Purchase, head of marketing at Australia’s fourth largest share trading platform SelfWealth, the business saw its customer numbers increase exponentially as a result of the influx in new investors looking to capitalise on the low stock prices.

“Our real explosion actually came last year when every man and his dog decided to get into the stock market,” says Purchase.

“Everyone was stuck at home thinking, ‘What do I do? Let's look into the stock market. It looks like it's on sale effectively.’”

Since the market correction, Purchase says that the number of investors in the Australian stock market has grown from approximately 750,000 to 1.5 million investors. But while the stock market doubled in size, SelfWealth saw 500 per cent growth.

In order to service this demand, the company made investments in two areas: people and technology.

“The initial response was we just need more people,” says Purchase.

“Most people in the business were doing customer service just to get people through the door. There was times where, I'm in the marketing team, but I was on live chat for four days a week for a period there.”

While hiring was an important strategy to manage the growth, SelfWealth had to reconsider its technological capability in order to efficiently manage the influx. According to Purchase, the organisation’s previous customer service platform was not adequate.

“It was mainly just a live chat and support platform. It didn't allow us to do anything around triaging. We didn't have systems in place that allowed us to even understand where that demand was coming from.”

SelfWealth implemented Zendesk as part of its customer experience (CX) strategy. Since first deploying the solution in 2019, the company has seen its support team increase by 400 per cent.

“One of our internal values is we've got customers for decades, not days. You won't be able to have customers for decades if you don't invest in their experience and the support that they receive. If we had no live chat, no email, or you have to send a letter and you get a response 10 weeks later, we wouldn't have the customers we've got. So that's been massive.”

According to Purchase, SelfWealth was, is, and always will be “digital first”, which is largely what he credits as the driver of success.

Wendy Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer, APAC, Zendesk said, “Organisations across industries, sizes and lifecycles are realising that the customer service function is no longer a cost centre, but a revenue driver.”

“Today’s digital-first economy has made the customer service function the hub of all customer relationships, which is why continuous innovation and investment in CX must be a business imperative for long-term success and growth.”

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