The recent KiwiSaver satisfaction survey by Consumer New Zealand revealed some interesting figures in terms of general fund knowledge and satisfaction levels. It revealed that up to three quarters of respondents didn’t know what they paid in fees, while 60% indicated that they didn’t know how well their fund was performing compared to others. And not surprisingly, the banks were at the bottom of the pack in terms of investor satisfaction, despite a purported strong focus on customer experience and satisfaction.  

Stash it and leave it? Yeah right. 

With KiwiSaver being a long-term investment, you would perhaps expect less frequent engagement by investors with their KiwiSaver accounts compared to non-KiwiSaver investments. However, the low levels of satisfaction indicate that there is significant room for improvement with the interactions and engagements that do take place. 

Online investment platforms have shown that investors are willing and eager to engage, with over 70% of investors who use online investment platforms indicating that these platforms are a great way to improve their financial knowledge. This should be a clear signal to KiwiSaver providers that their customers are eager to engage and learn more. 

While there is data that points to a lack of KiwiSaver member engagement, I have struggled to find any data that supports the notion that members do not want to engage. So for me, this also raises a few more questions. Are KiwiSaver members not engaging because the platforms and customer portals available aren’t making it easy or interesting for them? Are providers actively looking at tools and services to help members improve their knowledge around their investments? Therein lies the bigger issues at play.

Together we can improve KiwiSaver member engagement

I think this may be a collective issue, and it requires the whole industry to come together and set a higher standard when it comes to investor engagement and literacy. KiwiSaver providers need to look beyond the initial signup phase and make financial literacy tools and services an integral and continuous part of the customer service cycle. 

An engaging customer portal is an essential first step to improving the investment experience. Digital tools, such as financial calculators and interactive dashboards, provide an immersive experience. Coupled with informative prompts or downloads, your customer portal can become a central learning hub that is instantly accessible. 

Personalised experiences are becoming the new battle grounds for success, as investors benchmark digital experiences against those of BigTech and Netflix. Contextual and personalised information will be key to customer retention, while also driving better financial outcomes for each investor. To facilitate this type of experience, providers need to identify ways to use customer information to deliver experiences and tools that enhance what matters most in their lives. 

Let’s not forget that we’re in the business of dealing with people’s hard-earned money, which has both physical and emotional qualities for those investing. Providers would do well to make it their business priority to equip their customers with the right knowledge to make better decisions about their future financial position. Not only will this empower investors, but it will also lead to improved transparency and higher levels of satisfaction.

Rachel Strevens

Rachel Strevens