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Super fund customer experience benchmark holds steady

 — 1 minute read

While other sectors recorded improvements in the quality of customer interactions, the super sector remained flat.

The quality of customer interactions with superannuation funds remained unchanged during the past year, according to a new report released by CSBA.

As part of the firm’s SenseCX benchmarking report, which takes into account the ease, sentiment and success of customer interactions, the super sector received a median benchmark of 53.3 per cent for the 2021-22 financial year versus 52.9 per cent in 2020-21.

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Over the same period, the commercial sector recorded a gain of 3.1 points to 57.4 per cent while the education sector improved 2.8 points to 61.5 per cent.

“The importance of implementing a continuous cycle of improvement using regular analysis and independent feedback on customer interactions cannot be overstated,” said CSBA MD Paul van Veenendaal.

“Pleasing your customer has got tougher. The pandemic raised the bar for customer expectations. And organisations must work harder to make each interaction count.”

Spirit Super was ranked as the best customer experience performer in the super sector, ahead of Christian Super, Australian Retirement Trust, QSuper and Colonial First State.

Across the top five performers in each of the sectors analysed, water had the highest overall SenseCX score of 82.8 per cent, followed by higher education (81.6 per cent), local government (75.5 per cent) and energy (73.7 per cent).

The top performers in the super sector had the next highest overall score of 63.0 per cent, ahead of commercial (62.8 per cent) and banking (61.5 per cent).

Ease — or the effort that a customer expends to achieve their goals — was the biggest downfall for the super sector over the past financial year.

CSBA reported that the top performers in the sector scored an average of 33.5 per cent, with a median benchmark of 32.6 per cent and a score of 26.6 per cent for the lowest performers. Ease scores have continued to decline for the worst performers since 2019.

“Their biggest challenges included offering ownership at the start of the call; seeking permission to ask questions as part of the discovery phase; and going above and beyond by answering unasked questions,” the firm said.

For sentiment — or how an interaction made the customer feel — the five funds that ranked best on customer service saw an improvement from 62.5 per cent in 2020-21 to 65.9 per cent in 2021-22.

However, the median benchmark and the score for the lowest performers both remained flat.

Mr van Veenendaal suggested that those funds with the poorest performance on customer service would continue to slip without intervention.

“When organisations focus heavily on compliance and process, it’s usually at the expense of human engagement,” he said.

“Our research shows that empathy and emotional connection drive customer satisfaction and behaviour. Providing a pathway for further assistance at the end of the call is a simple way for funds to improve.”

Super fund customer experience benchmark holds steady

While other sectors recorded improvements in the quality of customer interactions, the super sector remained flat.

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Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.

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