What makes investing in the digital member experience worthwhile?

  • Posted on November 9, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

smartMonday wants you to imagine each decade as a day of the week.

On Monday you are starting out, Tuesday is your 20’s, Wednesday is your 30’s and so on. When we get to the weekend (which are the traditional retirement years of 60’s and 70’s), we look back and think how fast that week went. No matter where you are in your week, people are most concerned about getting through today and tomorrow - it’s human nature (also known as temporal discounting).

The days of the week concept behind smartMonday’s name forms the framework for the fund’s financial wellbeing philosophy - smartMonday proposes that it is never too late to begin, and we are all working towards a bright weekend.

Turning this philosophy into real action demanded new thinking and engaging experiences. Experiences that are strategically designed to anticipate and meet the needs of members throughout their entire journey. It requires a deep understanding of what members, customers and users need, innovation and technological know-how to create rich and relevant customer experiences.

Together with Accenture, Avanade – a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft – partnered with smartMonday to rethink its digital marketing strategy, design and build a new website experience and member portal that would deliver better engagement.

To explore what made this upgrade worthwhile, I spoke with Tom McCann, head of member experience, and Shannon O’Shea, partner and head of member and corporate services at smartMonday by Aon.

What challenges did your employers and members face prior to this new digital experience?

O’Shea: Our brand philosophy is to make financial wellbeing real, we do this by enabling our members to take action today. One way is to remove the complexity of their superannuation so that it’s easier and simpler to engage with. While our smart coaches and smartPartners do it really well, our website wasn't easy to engage with.

Did this complexity impact member decisions about their super?

O’Shea: Market research links better experiences to loyalty and engagement. Digital experiences are a key part of the member journey. It was pretty clear to us that if we wanted to engage time poor members, or even the next generation of investors, we had to have a pretty tailored digital experience.

What were your goals for the new site?

McCann: Our goal is to build member loyalty. Building member loyalty is primarily about building trust by being authentic, transparent and competent in everything we do. And the new website is designed to deliver on all of these attributes in a pleasant, easy to use environment.

How did this change fit in with your growth strategy?

O’Shea: In the next year or two, member engagement is going to be the major differentiator between funds, it is important that people’s first impressions were that the site was really easy to use, engaging and somewhat cool. Our focus was to ensure it was personalised and tailored so members feel special and not just a part of a generic, massive one-size-fits-all fund. Our website is the first touchpoint, and we had to make sure that our digital assets communicate our brand philosophy for financial wellbeing.

What value did you get out of the human centred design workshops?

McCann: Accenture and Avanade helped us define the digital user experience and interactions needed to extract key information, desires and business objectives. We then translated that thinking into a forward-thinking design. They worked really hard to ensure our requirements and expectations were met. The whole experience was excellent – a big A-plus all the way around.

How did you envision the new member experience on the site?

O’Shea: When we talk about member benefits, we've made it easier and faster for people to understand and connect with their superannuation. In the least amount of clicks, you’re connected to a member home page that's tailored to you. You don't have to hunt for information; the website does all the hard work and brings what's relevant to each individual member up front, making it very simple and quick for members to get what is most needed. Our voice of customer feedback shows that the time-saving benefit is what people today value most.

McCann: We’re continually improving the site and making it more personal for people. Personalisation, transparency and simplicity are things that we haven't seen on other sites.

How will your employees benefit from this site and how will you measure success?

O’Shea: Our employees are important to us and Aon has very strong talent and culture, so we know that we've got one of the best offers in the market. Financial stress and anxiety are two of the biggest reasons for engagement. People are exceptionally anxious at the moment around financial security. And this is a way we can help them feel more empowered around their own financial wellbeing so they can ease some of that financial stress – for themselves and our members.

What makes this unique from other superfund sites?

O’Shea: Hyper-relevance. Each corporate plan design is very different, so we've tailored the member experience to the individual, which differs dramatically from a lot of the one-size-fits-all approaches that are in the marketplace. Our corporate partnerships are long standing and often Global Aon partnerships, so we like to think we know our clients’ employees as well as we know our own. This deep understanding also strongly comes through in our digital experience.

smartMonday's member-centric site embodies the forward-thinking nature of the fund. All it took was the right blend of experience focus, creativity, and technology to let its value shine through.

Learn more about personalized digital experiences that helped smartMonday members prepare for retirement.

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