Smart Money Ranks TradeKing #1 for Customer Service - Two Years Running!

bigdog posted on 05/12/11 at 10:50 AM

SmartMoney's annual ranking of online brokers just hit the newsstands, and I'm proud to report that TradeKing rose yet again! We're #4 among online brokers overall, moving us up one slot since last year. (You can read Smart Money's full online broker survey here.)

We also earned a perfect five-star score for customer service, for the second year in a row. Here's what Smart Money reporter J. Alex Tarquinio had to say about our service: 

"The best firms in this category allow investors to contact them whenever and however they like, and they offer quick and thorough answers. Our winner, for the second year running and by a wide margin, is TradeKing. The people at this five-year-old firm communicate with customers a lot, from its blog-happy CEO to the customer-service reps who respond to calls and e-mails with lightning speed. (The firm answered one call in 36 seconds, less than half the average time it took brokers in our survey.)"

We're very pleased with this ranking, and particularly gratified to be recognized for outstanding service. As anyone who reads my blog knows, we invest big in this part of our business. And we think it matters a lot. Not only is great customer service an increasingly rare commodity, as firms grow in size and complexity it becomes more elusive to maintain than ever. 

How many times have you encountered this scenario: you have a problem that doesn't easily slot into the predetermined FAQs on Company XYZ's website. Clearly, to get an answer you have to call or email them. Tell me your heart doesn't sink at the very prospect of navigating your way through the phone tree, waiting on hold, and then getting a rep on the line who may or may not have the expertise and motivation to get your question answered. That's the typical experience of a big, anonymous company.

We founded TradeKing with a totally different model in mind. We try hard to make sure our service reps are highly educated and motivated to get to the bottom of your question, not to hustle you off the line quickly. Why not give yourself the gift of great service, especially when it comes to something so important as your investment portfolio? It's great to confirm that, despite our rapid growth, we've been able to maintain our high level of excellence in customer service. 

Thanks to all of you, too! We couldn't have grown this quickly or risen in our industry without your patronage, your feedback on our products and services, and your many referrals to your friends. We appreciate it!


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Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options.

SmartMoney survey was based on the following categories: Commissions and Fees, Mutual Funds & Investment Products, Banking Services, Trading Tools, Research, and Customer Service. SmartMoney is a registered trademark of SmartMoney, a joint publishing venture between Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and Hearst Partnership.Documentation supporting the awards listed above is available upon request.

Online trading has inherent risk due to system response and access times that may vary due to market conditions, system performance, and other factors. An investor should understand these and additional risks before trading.

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Posted by bigdog on 05/12/11 at 10:50 AM


Lawrence-Lugar posted May 13, 2011 (02:26AM)

#1 - can't get any better than that.

BD, you should wear a King Crown on your avatar photo.

Backroom Trader posted May 13, 2011 (03:18PM)

Very nice. There's hardly a category that could be considered more important. Makes me glad to be a customer.

Now, if you could just start competing in the 'banking services' category...

El Dorado posted May 13, 2011 (07:39PM)

Congratulation BigDog, and the TK staff of course! But something wrong with your avatar, shows you sitting at a desk with a tie relaxing, the only thing believable in the picture is your shirtsleeves are pulled up, politics maybe? 

buynhold posted May 13, 2011 (09:09PM)

Congrats, Don.  I am trying to understand their logic with ranking TK behind so many others on costs, when the "winners" charge more than TK for stock and options trades.  Oh well, maybe TK will have to lower prices even more to attract their attention.

VSATrader posted May 14, 2011 (09:06PM)

I think if we can get a realtime options trading platform that shows realtime adjustments to the GREEKS also like thinkorswim, TradeKing could be #1 in my book.

sublimevotum posted May 15, 2011 (10:32AM)

I've called TK several times to close out a trade.  They respond quickly, and they are always very nice.  I'm still kinda surprised that there is no extra charge for doing this. Thanks TK!

bigdog posted May 16, 2011 (10:02AM)

If I could share that crown with every single customer support rep who really made this happen, I’d do so in a heartbeat! Those guys and gals really won this award for us, with their hard work every day. Thanks, team!

bigdog posted May 17, 2011 (01:26PM)

El D: so you’re the first to comment on my new profile image! We got a photographer in recently to take some head shots of me and newer members of our management team.
The team picked this pic of me out of several possibilities, and it’s possible we’ll rotate some alternates in later. (We even took a few with my two dogs, a fun play on the “BigDog” theme. I’d like those to see the light of day sometime.) I like that this is at least a bit more casual than the usual “CEO shot”, but I guess it’s inevitable that images like these don’t always square with reality. I don’t usually wear dress shirts around the office, sleeves rolled up or not. I also don’t sit behind a desk while I work – I stand or pace around. And as you know, I rarely sit back and relax, on or off the job! But then again, I wasn’t in the habit of standing around in swimming pools wearing dress suits like my previous pic, either. I have some teammates here who always hated that avatar. Can’t win ‘em all, I guess.
Buynhold: I agree, it’s a puzzler. The next time I get a chance to catch up with the reporter who wrote the review, I hope to learn more about how she scored that category. I think our secret sauce is value: that is, we work to give you a heckuva lot for a low price. Our guiding question is very often: how can we pack more value into that low price and still run a profitable business on our end? I’ll go out on a limb now and make a prediction: next year at this time you’ll see TradeKing has pushed the envelope on trading platform and product innovation, just as we’ve revolutionized the service paradigm in our space. There, I’ve said it – so now we’ll get back to making that happen!

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