Secret sauceOnline investment advisers have made recent strides on the technology side. For example, some start-ups have built automated services using algorithms that allow individuals to purchase basic investment portfolios on websites or mobile devices. Other firms have assembled investment marketplaces that let individuals invest right along human portfolio managers they may not otherwise have access to. However, technology is only the first step in a longer journey.
"The secret sauce is not the technology, although that plays an important supporting role. It is the single-minded obsessive focus on solving one big universal problem for the buyers, and removing that friction that existed in transacting offline," says Laumeister, the CoachMarket chief. "For a service marketplace to gain customer traction and not just serve customers but delight them so they tell their friends, the marketplace must deliver on their secret sauce dramatically and consistently," he adds.Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos always talks about the company's commitment to continually make the customer experience better, and online investment advisers can certainly take a page from his book.