According to the old adage, the customer is always right, but that’s no longer the case, says Angela Baker, general manager of customer experience and insights at ME Bank.

“The focus now is not so much on the customers being right all the time and delivering an experience that delights customers, but actually just getting the basics right,” she told delegates in a session on the level of member-centricity in superannuation funds.

Baker polled delegates in the session on how well they feel they deliver on a number of customer service elements, including staff knowledge, friendliness and convenience.

About half the respondents said they deliver on most of the expectations, while 2.5 per cent said they don’t fulfill any of them.

However, according to a ME Bank survey asking the same question of members, 33 per cent of consumers said super funds delivered on none of the expectations.

Meanwhile, in terms of industry comparison, Baker says super funds are “intermediate” in delivering a great member experience. Only 20 per cent of Australians surveyed ranked super funds as being in the top two for customer experience, with banks at 44 per cent, telcos at 32 per cent and internet service providers at 31 per cent.

Baker says ‘customer-centricity’ is a burgeoning buzzword, and it means giving customers the experience they need, as opposed to what they say they want.

“If you ask a customer what they want, they often say ‘the best product for the cheapest price’. It’s not a sustainable business model to offer. So really, what you want to do is build profitable relationships customers value more than just cost alone.”

Baker says that when people are actually buying, recommending, investing in or deciding to work for an organisation, only 40 per cent of a customer’s choice is based on product, while 60 per cent of their decision-making has to do with other elements.

“People think differently about their finances. They have fears, concerns [and] aspirations about their finances, and if you actually understand what those are and how you can deliver them, you’re going to have a better customer base.”

Day 2 newsletter from CMSF 2013
Day 1 newsletter from CMSF 2013

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