The superannuation industry stands at a crossroads in a competitive, consumer-driven era where funds can either stay the course, or adopt a ‘new school’ approach and not only thrive, but grow in an environment of immense change, according to Mercer.
This critical juncture in the industry, an inevitable impact of increasing competition and disruption, has been the catalyst for a transformation of Mercer’s super administration business, the Super Genome Project.
The Super Genome Project has involved two years of business transformation, product innovation, investment in technology and building the customer service capability of our people to shake up the way Mercer interacts with and serves customers and corporate clients.
Super Genome is a shift from an age of administration to an era of engagement. The simple fact is that the way super is currently being delivered is ‘old school’: transaction focused, rigid and inflexible, not geared towards growth and lacking vision.
The customer is central to Mercer’s ‘new school’ approach, which is being driven through digital transformation, customer management, marketing automation, a renewed operating model and workforce management.
In launching the project, Mercer’s Financial Services Business Leader in the Pacific Market, Andrew Godfrey, said, “Super administration as a record-keeping service is no longer a sustainable business plan; administrators have to partner with their clients to achieve growth in an increasingly competitive industry.
“The industry has historically underinvested in administration, but this will change for players who want to achieve profitable and sustainable growth.
“Technology continues to challenge traditional business models in the superannuation industry. As new competitors enter the market they have the potential to disrupt the super industry as we know it. The need for a technology-driven, service-oriented business model is heightening.
“The statistics clearly show the challenges super funds face in engaging members. The average Australian spends 535 hours playing computer games each year compared to eight hours engaged with their super .
“However, disengagement shouldn’t be confused with an audience who will not respond to a more personalised and meaningful service, delivered with the right technology and channels, when and where they want it.”
Mr Godfrey said gaining a market edge in an increasingly competitive industry meant super funds could engage in battle of prices, or differentiate themselves in the market.
“Price wars are good for buyers in the short term, however in the long term it cuts into profit margins and threatens the survival of the business. A more sustainable future is developing the customer experience and investing in complementary new technology.”
“Integrating the superannuation customer experience - from first point of contact through to financial advice - is achievable, despite long held industry beliefs, and we’re demonstrating it every day.
“We’ve replaced the industry one-size-fits-all approach with a completely customer-centric model where every single individual sits at the heart of the interactions and experiences we create, and we think it will differentiate us in the market.”
The Super Genome Project has seen the rollout of a range of programs to enhance the customer experience capability for its superannuation clients and customers, including:
Mercer’s investment in redesigning super administration will mean:
Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset—their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in over 140 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With 57,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $13 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a leader in management consulting. For more information, visit www.mercer.com.au Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerAu