Two-hundred super fund members from 30 super funds around Australia were asked to rate the attributes of their funds, in order to see how satisfied clients are.
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey, now in its sixth year, is designed to benchmark customer satisfaction by assigning each participant a NPS. This is a metric derived from survey responses to the question “how likely are you to recommend” and is a widely used measure of customer loyalty around the world.
This year’s average score was 5, which Customer Service Benchmarking Australia research director Pat Heaslip told Wealth Professional
was “very good” for the financial services industry – with banks usually doing far worse.
The worst score was -39 and the top 38, with 10 institutions achieving a score of 10 or better. A third of consumers scored their super fund 9/10 in the ‘likely to recommend’ category.
The survey’s point is not to expose or rank the industry, and information on individual companies is not publically released, Heaslip said.
“Each fund gets their own information and own ranking, but not others’. It’s not a competition and that’s important.”
It was interesting to note members over 55 years old typically gave a higher score than younger members, and this is probably because they are more engaged with their super savings, said Heaslip.
No conclusive evidence correlated satisfaction with the size of fund, or whether it was an industry fund or not.
The strongest measure of customer satisfaction is excellent financial returns, but this was followed closely by four other benchmarks.
These are: clear and concise information provided to customers; highly-knowledgeable customer service people giving out information; provision of the required information; and the enquiry being handled quickly and efficiently.
“The message is it’s not just about financial returns to satisfy the consumer. Most people couldn’t tell you about their returns if you asked them on the street," Heaslip said.
"People want to be treated well, and superannuation companies obviously need to dig down into their own personal relationships in order to perform well in future.”
The survey was developed by the Fund Executives Association, Customer Service Benchmarking Australia and Melbourne Business School.
Fund Executives Association acting CEO Joanna Davison said for super funds looking to measure and improve member satisfaction and retention, the survey is cost-effective.
“It has become the recognised industry benchmark and, as a result, a number of boards and CEOs now require a benchmarked NPS in their regular reporting.”
Insights the survey gave around member engagement and satisfaction can be applied to future strategy and planning initiatives, she said.