I recently chaired a round table that discussed ways in which the superannuation industry can increase positive engagement with its members amidst the developing MySuper environment. Now, more than ever before, there is the belief of a greater opportunity for the superannuation industry to engage with customers and drive long-term interest.
While our panel of leading thinkers in the financial services industry discussed the topic with much enthusiasm and difference in perspective, it was unanimous that paramount to rising to the challenge of increasing member engagement was looking beyond the initial focus on customer acquisition, to developing active, long-term engagement with personal investment.
Not surprisingly, the pending MySuper changes were instantly raised as a key source of impetus for the superannuation industry to sit up and take notice of current member engagement standards and what’s at stake. Supporting legislation such as SuperStream also scored an early mention as a driver of fund consolidation with the message coming through clearly that we will start to see measures to drive down the cost of operations once the legislation is in place.
Once the MySuper environment becomes established, providers are anticipating a higher level of member movement, and they recognise that customer engagement strategies will need to play a much bigger role. As panellists confirmed, there is a growing focus on engagement solutions that leverage these changes to the advantage for members, investment groups and advisors.
The discussion identified that all major players shared a future vision for member engagement, elevated from the current standard. The conversation began around engagement as being acquisition – getting the money in, getting the account started and securing the customer. But the conversation moved to how to engage members on an ongoing basis – by improving member services, deepening member education and understanding customers in much greater detail so that we can deliver them the best possible advice when they need it.
However, as Todd Stevenson from Colonial First State iterated; “You want to drive the right kind of behaviours with your customers, rather than getting them to engage and make poor decisions with poor outcomes. It is all about educating customers to help them make those important decisions.”
Already, the methods for driving a customer’s super engagement are being overhauled and reshaped. During our time together, panellists from Suncorp, ING Direct and Colonial First State all noted the advent of integrated tools such as online advice and employing so-called gamification techniques to make superannuation more relatable. But as it was pointed out, you truly need to understand your customers, find out more of what they really want – and talk to that. And even more than that, you need to make sure you gain enough credibility with a client base in order to engage them, and keep them engaged.
As Jason Tong, Bravura Solutions Chief Operating Officer Global Wealth Management, pointed out, technology is a key enabler for effective member engagement. “We [Bravura] look at the trends going forward and think about the challenge of bringing all the data and services together into a unified experience. Going forward achieving engagement with members is going to be absolutely essential for funds to survive; we believe this will only be possible through technology, specifically a sophisticated – yet easy to use – online offering for members.”
For a copy of the round table write up click here.