Fidelity Investments: Moving beyond customer satisfaction

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.


re: Fidelity Investments: Moving beyond customer satisfaction

i totally agree.. at our company, we've also changed our focus from "customer sat" or "customer delight" to "customer success" - that truly is the goal we need to have and how we will cultivae long term partnership and loyalty with our customers.sat/delight are nice, but their success needs to be our overarching goal.

re: Fidelity Investments: Moving beyond customer satisfaction

Having spent over a decade working in marketing departments for financial companies, I can definitely see the utility of a phrase like customer success. Not only will it create a great marketing opportunity in terms of advertising but it also ties into financial companies' desires to leverage cross sell opportunities and attempting to sell more than one product to each customer. This strategy is a perfect match for an investment company like Fidelity.

re: Fidelity Investments: Moving beyond customer satisfaction

Hi Susan and ben - I agree with both of you; Forrester's term for this is "customer advocacy" as we've done research to prove that the mindset actually drives loyalty and long-term sales. I think it really comes down to the execution level. No firm would say that they're not about customer success, but it's a question of whether they put the right metrics, culture, and technology in place to support the effort.