Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

Superannuation industry doing a poor job of meeting customer needs online

By Jette Doherty, Senior Client Advisor, Global Reviews

As the financial year end approaches and Superannuation funds make a push to increase funds by the 30th of June by assisting current customers in understanding what a little co-contribution can mean in the long run, we as members start to panic and contact the superfund to make our deposits – or do we…?

In this whole process the superannuation funds seem to be overlooking the whole aspect of members switching and what a little education around options and investments could do and how that can impact the results in the long run for the member by switching to another super fund.

Or perhaps it is no coincidence that the funds focus on retention rather than acquisition, considering that the latest Global Reviews Sales Effectiveness Benchmark (Q1 2013) reveals that at 36% the average customer experience score in the superannuation industry is poor and superannuation funds could do more to maximise ROI.

From this study it is evident that superannuation companies are struggling to keep up with other industries, in terms of the experience they provide online to potential customers. Amongst the 12 Superfunds measured, the best performer was Sunsuper at 54%, followed by AMP at 49%. Despite being ahead of its peers, having customer experience scores around 50% is considered to be below acceptable levels.

Top 5 performersQ1 2013 AU Super

In comparison, the Credit Card industry shows an average score of 55%, with individual companies scoring as high as 63%.

In general, the industry is struggling to provide a well integrated web experience journey across the site that services and helps the prospective member to make a choice around the complex decision of finding a suitable superannuation fund.

The superannuation industry is falling behind in 3 key areas in particular:

1. Easy intuitive access to different superannuation options

2. The information about the different superannuation products available from a specific provider is insufficient to make a decision

3. The industry lacks an educational element for the potential customer/member of the different choices available to match to their needs

The two top performers in the superannuation industry, Sunsuper and AMP, are both scoring well for their educative approach on super and investments – an area where they are ahead of their peers. However, both are dragged down by a website that is complex to navigate and where information on super is both hard to find and hard to understand. These areas are consistent with the industry as a whole.

In the Global Reviews Marketing Effectiveness study (Q1 2013), 78% indicate that they would use superannuation provider websites to research superannuation options. And with only 29% looking to ask friend and family for advice, the loyalty and word of mouth is not something the superannuation industry can rely on for increasing and maintaining business.

Furthermore, 72% also indicated that they would use comparison websites as part of their research process.

However, different comparison tools are becoming more and more evident on superannuation websites themselves, such as the ‘Apple Check’, which helps customers evaluate other superannuation options. While some organisation and industries would be hesitant to offer external comparison on their own website, doing so is actually a true reflection of understanding the customers’ need and servicing it accordingly – the reality is that they will go and compare anyway.

It is therefore imperative that superannuation funds nail the online customer experience. In conclusion, the Superannuation industry offers its customers a poor online experience compared to other verticals in financial service and they need to up their game to increase online conversion and satisfaction and to drive down costs per acquisition.

The Global Reviews Sales Effectiveness Benchmark measures how easy it is to buy from you and provides you with a performance against your key competitors, other industries and best practice. We help you understand the touch points where you customer journey is leaking money and provide you with insights into how to make changes and improve the experience.

Companies detailed in the benchmark include AMP, ANZSuper, Australian Super, BT, CareSuper, Colonial, MLC, Plum, REST, Sunsuper, Telstra Super and VicSuper.

If you would like to understand where you sit in the mix of Australian superannuation funds and gain insights into how and where you can improve the experience in the customer journey please contact:

Ché Carbis
Senior Commercial Director

T: +61 3 9982 3419
M: +61 411 962 857
E: che.carbis@globalreviews.com

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