When you are selecting a binary options broker to trade with, one of the most important features to look for is great customer service. In fact, that is arguably the most important feature. A company’s commitment to customer service is the good faith guarantee that backs up all their other features. If a broker offers excellent service, you can trust that you will have a great trading experience. If they do not, they are not going to follow through on any of their promised features.
How do you actually evaluate a binary options broker’s customer service team, though?
I recommend you take several steps:
- First, look up customer reviews and see if you find a pervasive quantity of complaints.
- Second, see how accessible customer service is via various channels.
- Third, test them! Call them and chat with them, and see what kind of service you actually get before you send them money.
What You Should Look For:
Great customer reviews that are believable. In other words, you should not expect a broker to have a 100% record of glowing, over-the-top testimonials. By all means, look for those testimonials, but look for positive but believable language that does not focus on hyperbole. The occasional complaint is not the end of the world—it indicates the reviews are not all from affiliates, and that is a good thing.
Service should be as accessible as possible through a variety of channels. A broker that offers contact via live chat, Skype, local toll-free phone numbers, and email is great. If channels are missing (no chat of any type, for example), that is not so wonderful.
You want to talk to customer service agents eager to help you, and who can reply knowledgeably to your replies with reasonable speed. They should not have to spend ten minutes looking up the answers to simple questions. The replies they give you should be thorough and straightforward.
Red Flags to Avoid:
Customer reviews that are either all overwhelmingly positive or all overwhelmingly negative. Be very wary of companies you see written up on websites like Ripoff Report. At the same time, realize that even legitimate businesses have competitors who are occasionally out to get them. You want a mix of reviews that lean toward the positive without falling over into the realm of unbelievable hyperbole. Again, 100% glowing reviews is often a sign you are dealing with a company that has done little actual business.
Avoid companies that say they are accessible via channels they are not. A lot of companies advertise live chat help 24/7 or 24/5, but then do not actually staff their live chat desks when they claim they will. This is a form of false advertising. If they do not staff their help desks when they say they will, what other promises will they break?
Steer clear of companies that answer questions with deceptive language or veer away from giving you a simple “yes” or “no” answer to a “yes” or “no” question.
Avoid companies that employ customer service staff members who take a million years to answer a simple question which should take two seconds to answer. There is no excuse for that lack of knowledge. If a company does not even understand its own services, how can you trust the agents to help you with those services when you need it?
Companies that tell you “you have to talk to an account manager for that” in response to every question via live chat should be avoided. They are not really providing you with service. They are just trying to get you on the phone.
If you are given a continual hard-sell for opening an account, that is a sign to run. While hard-selling is a legitimate sales technique, you are not looking for aggression with a broker. The last thing you need is someone pressuring you to do something you are not comfortable with when it comes to your money!
Fake customer service awards. These crop up on a lot of websites. They have an award on their site for “Best Customer Service in (Year),” but if you look up the award, you will discover that it is a fabrication from the broker itself.
I have mentioned learning how to parse reviews a couple times now. How can you tell review reviews from fake ones?
How to recognize affiliate reviews:
Lots of overly positive language and excessive exuberance.
Nonspecific language that tells you that the features are all really great, but either lists the features inaccurately or avoids detailing them at all.
Language with a lot of calls-to-action. Telling you a site is worth checking out is one thing, but telling you to “open an account now!” is affiliate language.
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How to recognize real negative reviews from fake ones:
Scattered across a long timeframe. Avoid reviews that seem to have been spam-posted (this goes for positive reviews too).
When negative reviews regularly mention the same problem, but address it in different ways or different aspects, there is a good chance that these are real complaints pointing toward a real problem with the broker. A pattern may point toward an underlying scam. If the reviews are really vague, they may very well be fake. If they are written in really similar language, that is another sign they may not be real.
Now you should be in a better position to evaluate whether a broker is going to offer you stellar customer service or not. If you do find a broker that is fast, informative, transparent, and reliable, you should feel very fortunate. They are a rarity, and well worth investing with. Need help beginning your search? Have a look at our recommended brokers! Customer service is one of our top criteria in ranking binary options brokers!