When turning members into advocates is a stated business objective, focusing on doing the best job possible for them just naturally follows, says Paul Carter, executive general manager of corporate and institutional wealth for Plum Superannuation Fund, winner of the Fund of the Year in the member services category at the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards.

“Members have been in the DNA of Plum since our birth and this is why this award will mean so much to all of our people,” Carter says.

“One of our values is ‘passion for customer’ and if anyone walks the floor of Plum you will feel it, you will see it. It’s something that we talk about and we celebrate when we have customer wins. And we work through when we don’t do something to our customers’ expectations. We talk about it, and we learn. That has just been a critical part of who we are and our culture.”

Carter says the business aims to make every client “referenceable” – a term it uses to describe an advocate for its business.

“That is a high bar,” he says.

“Setting that bar just dictates everything else that we do, in terms of providing the right service to employers, the right services to members, a quality investment offer.”

Carter says being part of the broader National Australia Bank group also plays into Plum’s customer focus.

“This is something that our group chief executive officer says is a requirement for all of us – to live our values,” Carter says.

“Customer advocacy is central to what we stand for as an organisation.”

Carter says the superannuation award represents “external validation that we are on the right path”.

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“But this is a journey; we will never rest on our laurels,” he says.

“The bar as it relates to being passionate for our members always is rising. It’s why we continue to invest in or member services. We received what we just heard was a perfect score on online tools, ease of [navigating] website, access to advice.

“These are the things that we have invested in heavily and will continue to invest in heavily, because we know that the more members are engaged with their super, the better the outcomes will be in retirement.”

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