Five steps to increasing interest in pensions - through good support

Finance Professionals at work
Neil Hugh Standard Life By Neil Hugh, Head of Customer and Workplace Proposition Strategy, Standard Life

15 May 2018

Your employees are now enrolled and contributing into a qualifying workplace pension. That’s a great first step towards helping them build a brighter future at retirement. The job is however far from over.

The focus is now shifting towards engagement. Support needs to be in place to overcome lack of knowledge, build trust and encourage an increase in payments.

Creating high-quality customer service around pensions

When it comes to engagement, many employers only think about pension communications to educate and raise awareness. But good customer support is just as important.

Making sure that your pension provider offers a high-quality customer service should be an important component in your employee engagement strategy. It’s important for them to receive good customer service so they feel better supported and have an improved experience with their pension.

Customer expectations have changed significantly over the last decades when it comes to customer support.

Here are a few things that we believe people expect when it comes to good customer support:

  • 43% of people say they find it hard to access customer service in the way they want;
  • 83% of millennials would rather text message than call a customer service helpline;
  • 1 in 3 people aged 65+ prefer to deal with businesses through digital channels;
  • 61% will change how they contact an organisation depending on their situation.

Getting pension support right

1. A multi-channel customer service

Most businesses like yours manage multi-generational workforces. It’s important to recognise the needs and preferences across all generations. Only by adapting to the changing ways people want to interact with you will eliminate barriers to engagement.

2. Easy and convenient

Offering your employees options to engage with their pension anywhere and anytime they want through a mobile app will make it easier for them to access their online account.

There has been a rise in online self-service - and studies tell us that more and more customers prefer self-service over contacting a support agent. Self-service customer support systems are popular for good reason: customers want to solve their problems quickly and get back to their lives.

Research shows that 67% of people prefer self-service to having to speak to a customer service representative.

3. Quality over quickness

With 56% of people saying that the most important thing is that their issue is resolved satisfactorily, sometimes quality is more important than speed - especially when it comes to pensions which are a complex topic. Taking the time to truly understand people’s concerns is very important and can help employees receive correct answers first time.

This can help improve the experience and build trust with pensions.

4. Efficiency

While quality is important, efficiency also plays an important part in creating an engaging experience.

Customers find it frustrating when they are transferred from one customer service representative to another and when they have to repeat their concerns multiple times.

5. Consistency

Last but not least, while providing support through multi-channels is important, connecting all these channels also plays a significant role in providing employees with the same quality experience with their pension, no matter the touch point.

Standard Life is a pioneer in the workplace pensions market and is proud of leading the industry with meaningful innovations. We are a global business that manages, administers and advises on investments for our customers and clients.

Standard Life Assurance Limited is registered in Scotland (SC286833) at Standard Life House, 30 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2DH. Standard Life Assurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

GEN3096 0418 © 2018 Standard Life Aberdeen, images reproduced under licence. All rights reserved.

This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.


  • Business issues
  • Pensions

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