Schwab takes advantage of Live Voice

Charles Schwab Canada, a Toronto-based brokerage that does a significant portion of its business on-line, is delighted with its implementation of Bell Canada’s new Advantage Web Live Voice service.

Advantage Web Live Voice allows Internet users to conduct live on-line voice calls with call centres. Charles Schwab Canada has been piloting the service for the past year, branded on their site as TalkLive.

“The tool is well suited for our business because customers often come up with questions while doing transactions,” said Sean Church, COO for Schwab Canada.

Agents can also use the technology to push information and Web pages to the customer’s PC.

“We can actually take a client through the account opening…we will be walking our customers through their portfolio review and recommending changes.”

Internet customers can call the brokerage using a second line through the computer or over the Internet with a multimedia PC including speakers, a microphone, and a program such as Microsoft NetMeeting. Calls run partially over the Internet and then go through the PSTN on Schwab’s toll free lines.

Customers who don’t have a second line or multimedia capabilities can direct the system to place a call to them in a specified amount of time, allowing them to log off and wait for the call. The system will call the customer at the specified time and when the customer answers, it will automatically dial the toll-free line back to the call centre.

“The name of the game is providing customers with a choice of service levels and the means to reach those service levels…and Bell has done that,” said Church.

He said Schwab preferred this service to straight voice over IP “because the quality just isn’t there, so we jumped at this hybrid.”

According to Charles Schwab Canada president and CEO Paul Bates, the Canadian office is leading the American parent company and other world offices.

“We are being watched here by the rest of the Schwab world to see how this turns out,” said Bates.

Charles Schwab Canada’s Web site is at

Web Live Voice will be included as part of certain Bell toll free packages. Pricing was not available at press time.

For more information, call Bell at 1-877-932-3282.