Superannuation is a unique industry whereby consumers are influenced as to which brand they choose by a broad range of inputs such as employers, financial advisors and family. With so many external factors feeding into the decision making process, it is imperative that once consumers are on the website that they’re met with a strong online experience, otherwise they’ll be easily swayed by external factors rather than what the brand can offer them that competitor brands cannot.
The top reasons for consumers to shortlist a superannuation brand for further consideration, as defined by market research conducted in January 2016, were brand recognition (I was familiar with their names 48%) and search engine placement (I saw them when using search engine 40%).
Looking more specifically at website performance in conjunction with branding, top rating reasons were trust in the brand (35%), the website helped compare options (26%), product/offers easy to understand (26%) and looks easy to use (25%).
Top reasons for shortlisting a superannuation brand
All these reasons for shortlisting a company each have their own features which can help improve the overall customer experience. As seen from the scores, one of the most important reasons for shortlisting a company is trust in the brand, however, online customer experience research conducted in July 2016 saw an industry average for building trust on the website at only 54%.
While the industry is already making moves towards including more features and functions that can build consumer trust, there are many features and functions that still need to be improved.
There is currently no company within this industry, that we measured, that is performing outstandingly in the area of meeting expectations and building trust. The top performer is Sunsuper with 61%. Considering the average is 54%, the general performance of the industry is pretty poor. The companies that are not scoring well, such as BT (47%) and EquipSuper (46%), would benefit most from improving on features that will help build consumer trust.
Meet expectations & build trust benchmark scores
Given the low scores within the superannuation industry, it becomes important to look to other industries to learn ways in which to improve a sense of trust on a website. Nationwide, a UK home insurance company, is the top performer for building trust. Nationwide scores a perfect 100%, which is 39% higher than the top performer in the superannuation industry.
So what can be learnt from the home insurance industry when it comes to meeting expectations and building trust, what is done differently and what is similar?
When comparing Nationwide with the superannuation industry, there are a number of features that the home insurance industry utilise better than the superannuation industry.
- The first feature noticed when comparing websites, is the lack of a phone number on some superannuation websites. The phone number of Nationwide is hidden under the tab additional information, and while this might not be the optimal way for customers to notice it, it is still accessible.
- The second feature that Nationwide has is a feedback feature on every page. This can be of major importance for companies to help guide website adjustments to better meet customer needs and lessen any problems customers may experience whilst on the site.
- The last feature that Nationwide has that many superannuation sites do not, is a trust building page about history of the provider. If customers can see the origins of the company, it can instill a greater sense of trust than having no context as to where this brand came from.
Some other functions that can be of great value, but are not used by a lot of companies within the industry are having ‘why choose us/this fund’ content easily accessible i.e. within a click of the homepage/landing page. Superannuation brands all offer similar, if not the same, products so it is important for a prospective customer to be able to differentiate between brands in order to make an informed decision.
Also important is having information available on the fund’s performance within a click from the homepage, and how the chosen fund compares to other funds. This last feature, the comparing of funds, is currently only used by two companies in the industry. This is an important element that should be used by a brand to differentiate themselves from competitors.
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