With around 2 million members, REST is among Australia’s largest superannuation funds by membership.  When it comes to customer experience, REST is also one of the industry’s most progressive. We speak to Beth Parkin, GM of Customer Service, about REST’s award-winning CX strategy. 

Would you describe the superannuation industry as CX leaders or laggards?

As an industry, Super Funds operate within strict legislative requirements. As a result, employers contributing to their employee’s Super Fund have traditionally focused on transactional efficiency rather than Customer Experience.  However, in the age of the customer and the impending market changes aiming to make Super more competitive, many funds are now focusing on improving and differentiating their customer experience.

What makes the customer experience at REST different from its competitors?

Our members have high expectations when it comes to communicating with us via digital channels.  We’ve introduced a number of industry-firsts over the last 12 months to support our customers; a Live Chat feature, a 24/7 chat bot named ‘Roger’, who also has the ability to handover conversations to Live Chat and a Facebook live Q&A with a REST Advice specialist via our newly launched social media channels.  We also launched the REST Advice Online platform and personalised and interactive annual statements for customers. We were also the first to offer online consolidation of multiple super accounts via the SuperMatch 2 tool, and extended our LiveChat offering to include Saturday. More traditionally, we expanded our Contact Centre operating hours to 10pm on weekdays. 

What is the most successful CX initiative you have implemented in the last 12 months, and what have been the results?

I’m pleased to say I can’t pick just one! Both our chatbot and LiveChat feature have exceeded our expectations, with the volume of enquiries reaching call centre levels. This roll-out of our digital offering has generated very positive results with a customer satisfaction rate of 95%+. Our newly launched in-app messaging is also looking promising with over 100 messages in the first week of launch!

What is your biggest customer service challenge and how are you working to solve it?

As with any business, the way we reach our customers is constantly evolving. We are committed to making it easier for them to connect with us so that our young member base will become more engaged and proactive when it comes to their super. We encourage our members to reach out, which is why we are so focused on developing customer contact strategies. Moving forward, we will continue to work on applying Human Centred design principles, deep Customer Journey mapping, and using simplified language (Super lingo can be un-customer friendly).  We also see a big opportunity to provide easy access to online video tutorials to make the complex simple!

What does the trend line look like for self-service?

Our customers have responded well to self-service with over 90% of our total contacts being initiated online.  However, our voice channels will remain very important as the nature of Super can be quite complex. Ultimately, we want our customers to get the most out of their Super so we are pleased to develop multiple layers of support tailored to their needs!

Which service channels does REST support and which one(s) do your customers rate the highest?

REST supports all channels. However, digital has grown the fastest due to its ease and immediacy of access, which is particularly important among our customers who work shift. We anticipate an ongoing move towards digital for less complex activities, while we continue to work on the higher value and more complex issues associated with supporting, educating and retaining our customers.

Related content

Virtual agents, chatbots and the future of customer engagement
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in contact centres – your questions answered
Best Practices for Web Chat