HESTA was the top-scoring fund in a survey of member-satisfaction levels carried out by CoreData Consulting, which has highlighted the need for more tailored member communications.

Four out of five members (79.5 per cent) surveyed said they were satisfied with HESTA, compared to an average rating of 62 per cent for all funds after respondents were asked how satisfied they are with their main super fund overall.

Other high scoring funds were BT Financial Group (76.9 per cent) and QSuper (75 per cent).

A key determinant of satisfaction among the 1173 members surveyed was investment performance; members of corporate funds were most likely to be pleased at this (59.5 per cent), followed by public funds (59.4 per cent), industry funds (56.3 per cent) but less than half of retail fund members (48.9 per cent). On average members were largely happy with investment performance (54.7 per cent) in 2013, a big improvement on only 36.9 per cent last year.

Don’t ignore digital

However, the highest rated fund attribute in the survey was for online service (63.6 per cent of respondents satisfied) and Salvador Saiz, head of advice wealth and super at Core Data Consulting, believes communication is where most funds can improve.

“Contrary to some views, members want greater frequency of contact, with email the preferred method,” he said.

“However, it’s not just frequency, it needs to be relevant to their life stage, with a majority of members in the study saying they want tailored communications. There’s not much interest in newsletter and emails catering to all members, they want information that is relevant to them.”

Overall members preferred email (45.8 per cent) to paper communication (39.5 per cent) for need-to-know information.

He cited segmented and personalised communications as proving effective in boosting engagement.

The survey also found that more than three in five respondents (37.8 per cent) would be likely to use a smart phone app developed by their super fund. Of these, 50 per cent of Gen Y and 44.2 per cent of Gen X respondents say they would use a smart phone app.

“Given that younger members are generally much less engaged with their funds, developing an app could have the potential to help engage these members,” said Saiz.

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