When members call their super fund, and are referred to the Mercer Advice helpline team, they’re given a comprehensive hearing: the average phone call lasts more than 20 minutes. But there’s been one small side-effect of this popular service: during peak periods, a queue can build.
While Mercer gives members in the queue the chance to request a call-back, about a quarter of call-backs result in a lost opportunity because the customer doesn’t pick up or the call comes at an inconvenient time. Now, Mercer is rolling out a system that eliminates all the frustration – enabling members to book a specific time to talk to an adviser.
“We’re now able to ask the member exactly when they’ll be available and organise a team member to call them,” says Mercer’s direct sales and advice leader, Jen Harding. “We send them a meeting request so it goes directly into their online calendars and also send a text message reminder.”
In recent trials of the new booking system, helpline consultants have found customers are more likely to commit to a particular time. “Not only is there a better service outcome, we’re finding when the helpline adviser makes the call, the member is actually more prepared for the call,” Harding says. “It also means we’re spending less time chasing customers so it’s a far more efficient use of their time and our own.”
The new system is not only critical in reducing “phone tag” frustration, it also has positive implications for members. “Because they’re prepared for the conversation, they’re interested in what we have to say,” says Harding. “They’re more likely to say ‘yes, I want that advice’ and take active steps soon after in implementing that advice.”
So if talking to an adviser about your super seems too daunting, or life is getting in the way of finding the answer to a question about contributing to your super, Mercer is making it a lot easier to talk to someone when you want to. “We really want to help those customers who are making their super a priority,” says Harding. “It’s just supporting our objective to help customers take action – and the easier we can make that process happen the better.”