FidelityFidelity Brokerage Company has over $1,900,000,000,000 $1,770,000,000,000 in assets under management administration.  With success like that, you can imagine they’ve learned a thing or two about customer service.  But some of the best insight from today’s Q&A session between Bill Doyle and Ellyn McColgan was where Fidelity is moving beyond customer satisfaction:  customer success.

What is customer success?  Not being satisfied with how well you did yesterday and looking in the opposite direction:  thinking about how an individual can reach a goal.  Success is not only a number but also a series of choices and Fidelity intends to help customers make the next best choice at each step along the way.  For example, you call in and want to open an IRA.  They should ask if you have a 401(k) at work – and if you’re taking advantage of any employer match.  If so, after you’ve maximized that option, then opening an IRA is your next best choice.

In Ellyn’s view, most consumers are setting goals with four big factors in mind:  buying a house, educating children, planning for retirement, and taking care of elderly parents.  Starting with investors and offering products to help them make next best decisions on the way means customer success, both for the individual and the company.

Looking forward, Ellyn sees 3 major changes for the brokerage industry in the next 10 years:

– Fee structures change to account for "de-cumulation," i.e. distribution of wealth
– Globalization – wealth is increasingly created outside of the U.S.
– Entitlements – system needs to change or else there won’t be money left to invest in anything.