Customer experience has never been more critical for superannuation providers. With an increasing range of choice in the sector, super funds need to differentiate themselves, and customer experience is the way to do it. Traditionally, super funds have operated predominantly on a B2B basis, often interacting more with employers than individual members. Times have changed, and customers are demanding more – more benefits, more contact, and more simplicity. Essentially, they want to see what makes their super fund so great. It’s easier than ever to compare products, and customers are realising that switching super funds doesn’t have to be a long, laborious process.
The main point of focus for super funds today is finding a way to engage with the younger generation. Typically, super is thought of as an older person’s interest. This means superannuation tends to get thrown in the “I’ll look at that later” category, which roughly translates to “I’ll look at that in 20 or 30 years time when I actually have to start thinking about my retirement”. This is the attitude that super funds are actively working to change, however the task of convincing potential customers to consider super earlier in life is no easy feat.
So what can superannuation providers do to disrupt their customer experience game and convince the future generation of super members?
Make it Easy to Engage
One of the main reasons many Australians aren’t actively paying attention to their super is that they don’t see it every day. Checking super needs to become as easy as checking the weather app. Customers are already in the routine of checking their mobile and banking apps on a regular, if not daily, basis, and superannuation shouldn’t be any different. Super providers need to keep striving towards making it easier for members to engage with their super on a frequent basis, whether that’s through a mobile app, smartphone or tablet. It’s not enough for super funds to sit passively in the background. Providers need to assess their current touch points and look at where the opportunities lie for further touch points to be introduced. Every interaction with the customer needs to be meaningful, and although this process takes time, super funds aren’t in the journey alone. They need to take the customer with them by listening to their feedback along the way and making sure that the customer is part of the process for driving innovation.
Firstly, super funds need to dig deeper into their data pockets. They already know a heck of a lot about their customers, including where they work, where they live, their likely working duration and their earnings. Because of the access to information they already have, it’s not enough to sort members into age brackets. They need to go several steps further to find out what makes every customer different within this age bracket. For example, within the ‘millennials’ category there is a growing number of customers looking for ‘ethical’ super funds. Super funds need to pay close attention to these market niches and determine if they can cater to them. Awareness of each member’s individual goals is critical to showing the customer that they are understood and valued, and this is the super experience that customers are after.
In the past, members have mostly remained distant from the superannuation process, but now customers want to be involved in the process rather than choosing to stick with their default fund for the rest of their life. Customers have grown to expect a lot more from super funds, and providers need to be able to deliver on these expectations. An example here is Guild Trustee Services, who in November launched a discount scheme called Supersuper, which allows members of the company’s two super funds to earn cash rebates on their everyday shopping and have cash automatically paid into their fund. Whether you think this scheme will work or not, it has certainly shaken things up in the superannuation sector and has set the bar for innovative thinking.
There’s plenty of opportunity for super funds to make superannuation more user-friendly, and customers are ready for it. What’s important is that super funds know that focusing on customer experience is about more than new technology or a new marketing strategy. Customers are expecting more than just low management fees and high return – they want a superior experience, and they’ll be willing to look elsewhere if their current super fund can’t provide it.