How Super SA put customers at the heart of its digital transformation

Member insights, martech overhauls and member journey rethinks all part of this superannuation firm's approach

Dascia Bennett
Dascia Bennett

Customers might be the most important part of many organisations, but by definition, they tend to be external to its processes and functions. They can be polled, surveyed and observed, but inevitably they are at risk of being left out of key decisions, especially during times of extensive or rapid transformation.

But when it came time for Super SA to undertake its digital transformation, the leadership team found a simple yet effective way of keeping customers at the centre of their thinking.

While customers could not be present for every important meeting or decision, chief executive, Dascia Bennett, made sure they were always represented, by having the stories of real Super SA members printed on to four-sided ‘persona blocks’ that were present in all meeting rooms.

“These are real people, and in every meeting room, that is who we think of,” Bennett told CMO. “So when you go into a meeting room, including in the board room, every decision made is made to benefit the member.”

Bennett got the idea of using customer personas from her former boss at First State Super, Michael Dwyer, whom she also called on to speak at the Super SA staff conference on the importance of customer centricity. His ideas clearly had a positive impact on Bennett and the rest of her team, as in January this year Super SA was awarded the Most Innovative Digital Experience award at the Optimizer Awards, conducted by the digital experience platform provider, Optimizely.

Super SA is a 118-year-old superannuation fund that services the needs of 220,000 public sector workers in South Australia. In recent years, Bennett said Super SA had fallen behind the digital needs of its members. in 2020, the organisation commenced a complete revamp of its customer-facing services. This included the implementation of a cloud-based contact centre and a total redesign of its website, delivered in partnership with Optimizely and the transformation specialists Empired.

“Our website was very outdated,” Bennett said. “We wanted to build a website that was contemporary, modern, easy to manoeuvre, and really brought out our brand and vision.”

What members want

The commitment to putting customers at the heart of the transformation effort stretches back to the project’s inception in October 2020, when Super SA conducted extensive research to determine what members wanted. One immediate finding was their desire for information to be more accessible, which translated to Super SA reducing the number of pages of content from 1300 to just 170.

Another key learning was the desire members had for education regarding investing and Super SA’s products.

“We worked really closely with Optimizely to make sure that the member education journey was really consistent for members and easy to use,” Bennett said.

Super SA digital experience specialist, Patrice Petropouleas, said more than 20 stakeholder sessions were conducted to uncover the insights that would help inform the structure and content of the new website.

“So meeting them where they wanted - whether that was face-to-face, over the phone, or via Teams,” Petropouleas said. “And there were simple things that they came to us and told us they wanted. And there are things we can look at on our website and say ‘that is from feedback’, where we have closed off the loop.”

The influence of customers even extended to the seemingly most trivial level.

“Even our green little log in button – that was originally silver,” Petropouleas said. “That was from member feedback – it just didn’t pop for them.”

Bennett said the response in terms of member behaviour has been pleasing, including a 70 per cent increase in users between the ages of 25 and 34 visiting the site, and a 65 per cent increase in users between the age of 35 and 44.

“One of the clear outcomes was to engage our younger members better, because they don’t want to engage face-to-face - they want a 24/7 experience,” Bennett said. “This website needed to be innovative and creative to ensure that those young members engaged with us, and we are really pleased that that has come out.”

The new site and contact centre will also prove critical as the rules governing Super SA change later this year, including allowing members to choose other funds.

“We may lose some members, so we are really on a transformation path to retain all of those members,” Bennett said. “We are shifting into a very competitive environment, so it has been vital for us to have our really good, innovative digital experiences.”

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