(L-R) Andrew Inwood and Danielle Press

Researcher CoreData has found members with high account balances are starting to leave funds if they are not getting the level of service they expected.

CoreData global CEO Andrew Inwood told the Investment Magazine Group Insurance Dialogue last month that consumer behaviour was shifting amid a crackdown on lacklustre member experience.

The findings come amid Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones and ASIC both telling the event that improving member experience was a top priority.

“In the past, it used to be the members with over $300,000 who were considering leaving their industry funds – that’s dropped to about $180,000,” he said, adding that the number who had called another fund had jumped from a small number to 14 per cent.

Inwood added that superannuation had moved from a product business to a service business but was still trying to solve service problems with product solutions.

Most super funds had waves of customer data which was just getting lost in the system because the process hadn’t been designed to capture it, he said.

Back to basics

Chant West general manager Ian Fryer said when looking at member services, his firm examined many factors. “But increasingly, we’re going back to the basics looking at things like how long it takes you to answer a call and at complaints,” he said.

“In some ways, all the other stuff such as using data and engaging members doesn’t matter. If you don’t get the basics right, no one is going to listen to you no matter what you say.

“The basics are about just helping members when they reach out to you. That is the time when you have to get it really right. All the other stuff you do with data or engagement is trying to get them to do that.”

Fryer said with members getting older, a lot more engagement was required but the superannuation industry hadn’t provided enough resources to get that right.

“We’ve also had lots of regulatory change, mergers and all that sort of stuff which has been taking our attention away but that’s not an excuse,” he said.

SMSF exodus

ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said service standards hadn’t improved in recent years and had even deteriorated in some cases.