Prudential to Direct Clients With a "Navigator"

Getting accustomed to the changing product offerings at a brokerage firm can be daunting for new and existing clients. To better orient clients and to save reps and their assistants' time, Prudential Securities is experimenting with an in-branch "navigator."The navigator--basically a customer service rep--will be available once a client has completed account paperwork. The navigator will walk the

Getting accustomed to the changing product offerings at a brokerage firm can be daunting for new and existing clients. To better orient clients and to save reps and their assistants' time, Prudential Securities is experimenting with an in-branch "navigator."

The navigator--basically a customer service rep--will be available once a client has completed account paperwork. The navigator will walk the client through what Prudential offers in terms of cash management accounts, pension plans, annuities and other services. The service rep will also coach the client on reading monthly statements, as well as explain how to access account information online.

The navigator program is still in beta testing and available only on the East Coast, but brokers there seem pleased.

"I think it's a great idea," says a Prudential broker in New Jersey whose office has had a navigator for three months. "Clients get more personal attention. It saves us time and makes clients more familiar with what we do. Sometimes the financial adviser doesn't have a chance to do that properly. ... It looks like it's going to be a great success."

Prudential reps can also sign up existing clients to be "navigated" simply by making an appointment.--Nicole Coulter

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