Katherine Forrest says to truly give credence to the voice to the customer; it takes more than collecting survey data and watching retention figures and financial returns. Listening means analysing every form of data and all aspects of member engagement. There’s a big difference between having the data and understanding what it’s telling us and what we can do about it.

The superannuation industry has been distracted from its customer focus over the past two years as it has grappled with legislative change. With SuperStream and Stronger Super initiatives now bedded in, funds are returning to their member engagement programs with a vengeance. But what is really interesting is how the approach has evolved and matured.

The focus is back but funds have moved on from “we know what customers need”. Today, there is commitment to genuine listening to what members want and “are we providing the right services at the right time in their lives”.

Customer Advocacy, Voice of the Customer, Net Promoter Scores, and Customer Satisfaction Scores are the catch cries of a customer centric approach to driving business success in an ever changing market.

Whatever metrics, formulas and frameworks you use, it is clear that the ability to listen and act upon the needs of your customers is vital to the success of business goals. Increasingly we look for ways to correlate the needs of our customers to the future direction of funds and wealth managers.

Here are four of the building blocks to consider in the evolution to a customer centric organisation.

  1. Integrate customer satisfaction data with other business metrics
    Often the data and metrics captured in an organisation are used in isolation by different areas of the business. This results in siloed initiatives that don’t always drive the most effective outcomes. An effective Voice of the Customer Program links customer metrics with the financial and commercial metrics and helps a business prioritise ideas that are valuable to members.
  2. Use customer feedback to improve value propositions
    The insights given as relationships are built with customers are invaluable when considering the future direction of products and services within the fund. As a business collects data and learns to listen to customer feedback, it will inevitably review and improve its offerings.
  3. Customers drive communication and marketing strategy
    Targeted communications and marketing to customers ensures that the right products and services are presented at the right time to the right subset of, or individual, members. Understanding the key characteristics that drive the needs of customers and creating customer groups allows segmentation to drive the communication of services that are valuable to and valued by them.
  4. Promote a customer centric culture
    Building a customer centric organisation begins internally. It’s your own people who will make the difference. Look for ways to communicate the importance of building customer relationships and create a desire to go above and beyond.

In my talking to funds about their current approaches, many are attributing customer satisfaction to not just taking feedback but spending considerable amounts of time and effort in taking the customers with them, in communicating what they’ve taken on board and the progression of enhancements. These loops are now driving communications strategies. The members are openly positive and satisfaction ratings are higher because customers feel that they’ve not only been heard and but know they’ve contributed to the improvement.

Others have used customer research for changing product design. And as that research influences customer strategies, they are able to correlate success to their customer centric approach.

It’s a good time for voice of customer to have resurgence and for the industry to be reshaped by it.


Katherine Forrest

Head of Customer Advocacy and Assurance