The latest CSBA FEAL Superannuation CX Benchmarking report has found that members aged 45–54 are the most critical of their funds when it comes to customer experience (CX).
Overall, the report observed an increase in measures such as overall satisfaction and net promoter score (NPS) across all age groups when compared to six months earlier.
But members in the 45–54 age bracket approaching retirement gave lower ratings on nearly every CX metric and attribute versus members of other ages.
The 45–54 group gave an overall satisfaction rating of 7.4, compared to 7.9 across the broader survey involving 7,202 members from more than 100 different super funds.
This group also gave lower ratings on the measures of NPS (+4 versus +17), feeling valued (6.9 versus 7.3), retirement empowerment (64 per cent versus 71 per cent), and retirement confidence (6.1 per cent versus 6.5 per cent).
According to CSBA CX director of finance Sam Monteath, there is a large untapped opportunity for funds to sharpen their focus on members who are approaching retirement.
“The retirement income strategy is an obvious starting point,” she said.
“However, the critical question that trustees must ask themselves is: how much do I know and understand the members in this segment?”
CSBA cited a recent review by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) into how funds have implemented their new obligations during the first year of the retirement income covenant.
In the review, 12 out of 15 super trustees acknowledged gaps in critical member data and only four were found to have concrete plans in place to address these data gaps.
“The effectiveness of any program will depend on the depth of your understanding into the behaviour and attitudes of your members,” said Ms Monteath, before adding that “good engagement can only be built on a sound knowledge base”.
Furthermore, the APRA and ASIC review found that most trustees had not conducted an in-depth analysis of their members’ income needs in retirement.
It also determined that many trustees had not used metrics to track effectiveness and had not integrated retirement strategies into overall strategic and business plans.
In line with this, Ms Monteath said that the CSBA FEAL Superannuation CX Benchmarking report had identified a gap in engagement with at-risk segments, including near-retirees.
“Now’s the time for funds to act. They need to dig deep using independent qualitative research. This will allow them to understand the attitudes of all their member cohorts, to deliver exceptional experiences that add value and support,” she said.
“The retirement income strategy is a huge opportunity for purposeful engagement with those in or nearing retirement. Schedule information sessions; offer personalised attention; give them access to subject matter experts – meet them where they are.”
The CSBA report also observed a significant lift in super fund member loyalty over the past six months, with the measure of “intention to switch” falling from 25 per cent in February and March to 18 per cent in July and August.
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.