Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

There is a lack of prioritised digital maturity in the “member login” area of most Super brands

An email by one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, on the 15th of April, thanked fund members for their patience and understanding as a 270% increase above normal rates of calls to the call centre had led to increased wait times for phone-based assistance. What is occurring in this business is occurring with the majority of customer facing brands around the world. For all, there is a need to continuously monitor and review service strategies and consider increasing digital maturity during these unprecedented times.

How can any brand, faced with such an unforeseen global upending of normal working practise, cope? Crippled face to face channels, depleted call centre staffing and demands for answers on the fly from a clamour of nervous customers mean digital channels and digital maturity are to the fore. How can brands respond appropriately and rapidly?

Verify which digital features to prioritise based on what target segments deem important

Take this scatter chart, which details the self-service digital features that are most important to superannuation fund members between the ages of 25 and 35. From here decisions can be made about a prioritised digital feature roadmap, digital experience and associated communication strategy based on audience requirements.What is critical with a chart like this however, is the innovation culture that would have to emanate from the leadership team all the way down to the implementers. A belief in continuous innovation would have led to a previously developed solution to deal with an increasing demand for assistance; innovation maturity would have led to the development and testing of a solution to cover this kind of customer need.

In our recent digital maturity benchmark of 15 superannuation brands across Australia, measuring performance based on the weighted desirability and importance of circa 500 self-service digital features (per brand!) we found 3 brands met this standard. A more stark result was that, 7 in 15 brands scored below an average performance – this means they are falling significantly behind their peers in offering the digital services users actually want.

Superannuation brands below average digital maturity is driving down member satisfaction and increasing churn. 

For example, our recent study uncovered that early adopters do not want the same digital features as the early majority let alone the laggards. Younger audiences want different features to older audiences. The types of features you offer have a direct impact on prospective and current customers perception of your brand and whether it is a brand for someone like them.

When we surveyed 1,000 superannuation fund members, those who regularly use the online services provided by their super fund, are less likely to agree that the online service provided meets their needs, in comparison to those who dip in and out at a maximum of once a month. With the most recent demand for service generated by COVID 19, it may be that an increase in frequency of use of digital services will drive down satisfaction of service provision as is demonstrated by those who use most frequently. Early adopters and those in the early majority are also more likely to state that the online fund management experience is more likely, than the average super member, to cause them to stay or switch fund.

The insight is that some features with significant price tags may bring publicity, but do nothing to move engagement or frequency metrics and many brands are guilty of opinion led or misguided prioritisation. Before a brand invests, they need to know their audience and what features will cause them to switch or use their current fund’s services more frequently.

For example, when we look at the top five feature criteria across three different age groups, those between 25 to 34 years of age are more likely to place a “find my lost super” tool in their top five criteria than older age groups do. Those between 35 to 44 place priority on being able to change personal details and those between 45 and 54 want to be able to nominate beneficiaries during the application.

Rank25 to 3435 to 4445 to 54
1stWhile applying, a clear sense that my information will be kept safe and secureWhile applying, a clear sense that my information will be kept safe and secureWhile applying, a clear sense that my information will be kept safe and secure
2ndQuick information on my account balance immediately after logging in.Information about fees, charges and commissionsInformation about fees, charges and commissions
3rdRetrieval links for forgotten password or login details to the member’s areaQuick information on my account balance immediately after logging inQuick information on my account balance immediately after logging in
4thInformation about fees, charges and commissionsBeing able to change personal details online (Address, email, etc.)Retrieval links for forgotten password or login details to the member’s area
5thAbility to find my ’lost super’ during the application (Old forgotten superannuation accounts with other providers)Retrieval links for forgotten password or login details to the member’s areaAbility to nominate beneficiaries during the application

So, let’s take another look at that scatter chart. When we take a deeper look at those features which are above average importance and desirability for the 25 to 34 year old age group, we can devise a clear picture as to how to design for this cohort. Shiny toys like “communication through social media” are actually neither desirable nor important, while being able to find a lost super is more important than it is desirable.Another thing this scatter chart tells us for the 25 to 35 age group is that having quick information available on account balance immediately after logging in is a feature deemed very important and desirable to this group, but who is doing this well? Only half of brands assessed, begging the question why other brands haven’t appreciated the demand for this simple offer.

And so it is today, those brands with an eye on digital innovation within the self-service environment, be it app or web services, have a distinct advantage. The nice to have has, very quickly, become the need to have. If a customer or member cannot change their personal details in the member environment your service is in the Stone Age. If you are not thinking of ways to enable end to end product and service fulfilment entirely online, you are already behind. And businesses that looks to the future based on what users really need and not just what is easy or the current fad, will out-perform their competitors in the digital experience being offered, especially in a time of crisis.

Upcoming webinar

Our upcoming webinar on digital maturity looks at the performance of 31 super and banking brands. To register for the webinar visit 

To find out more about what the webinar will cover visit


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