Continuing to support advisers, clients, trustees and their members
Gail Izat | September 24, 2020
Time to read: 4 minutes
We are heading into more restrictions but be reassured that we remain resilient and able to maintain our excellent levels of service. The vast majority of our employees will not be returning to the office this year. This will both help to keep our employees safe and make it easier for the employees of businesses who can’t operate remotely to travel and get back to work, while still trying to manage the overall infection rate.
We remain committed to delivering for advisers, clients, trustees and their members from home and I am proud that not only did our colleagues adapt to the challenges we all faced, but they have continued to deliver a high standard of service; maintaining above 90% target in member satisfaction metrics. We’re passionate about the level of support we provide and are committed to continually improving this. Our Voice of the Customer programme helps us to gather feedback and this quote for me sums up the care and attention our teams take in talking to members about their plans:
‘The phone call was answered quickly, I did not need to be put on hold or ask to press this or that number, and the person I spoke with was able to answer my query quickly, in a detailed manner to my satisfaction, and was very patient listening to me (I am not very confident speaking on the phone, so this was appreciated).’
I’m also extremely proud of my colleagues who deliver enhancements to improve client, trustee and member experience. Yes, like everyone, we faced additional challenges due to COVID-19, however the sheer tenacity of the teams to deliver against our promises was inspirational. We launched in-scheme drawdown for DC Master Trust in July with investment pathways principles in place and our new online client analytics tool went live this month.
Engaging with members in the future
We were already seeing an increase in trend in digital engagement and COVID-19 has only accelerated this, with people adapting to digital solutions to connect with family, friends and colleagues.
We’ve seen a 72% increase in our mobile app usage year on year (to June 2020) and, as predicted, we’ve seen mobile app sessions take over that of the dashboard, meaning members are now engaging more with Standard Life via the mobile app.
Our employee engagement programme continues to evolve, sending automated, relevant communications to members at the moments that matter; engaging members with timely information and guidance.
To complement this, we provide member webinars. Interestingly, before COVID-19 some employers who wanted us to run specific events were nervous about the idea of a webinar and their preference would have been face-to-face events. What we’re seeing however is compared with face-to-face sessions, the engagement employers have had has been even better than previous years with attendance more than doubling. We’ve also seen more questions coming through for the teams from members and feedback has been excellent. We’ve also seen an increase in demand for our retirement webinars and video content.
We’re passionate about helping you to engage your members and a key part of this is truly understanding their needs. We‘ve started to roll out our insight tool, Client Analytics. This tool empowers employers and trustees by making it simple to turn data and insights into actions that will benefit members. It’s easy to navigate, segment, and analyse, so that you can spot areas for concern and opportunities in a timely manner. And we understand that at the heart of all this sits the need to drive better outcomes for members, and their future financial wellbeing.
Strength and resilience
Phoenix Group (the parent company of Standard Life Assurance Limited) recently released their half year results. These results underpin their position as resilient and stable. Andy Briggs CEO of the Phoenix Group made the following comment “COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented global crisis which has challenged each and every one of us. The resilience of Phoenix’s business model has been evidenced through this period and ensured the continued delivery of cash and growth, which underpins our ability to continue to pay dividends in accordance with our stable and sustainable dividend policy.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19 we have successfully completed the ReAssure acquisition, which establishes Phoenix as the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business. I am extremely grateful to my colleagues for the unwavering commitment they have shown throughout this challenging time and look forward to what we will achieve together in the future. Although there remains much uncertainty as the pandemic continues to unfold, I am confident that Phoenix remains well positioned to continue to deliver cash, resilience and growth.”
Phoenix Group’s commitment to Workplace and my extended role
As part of the Phoenix Group’s ongoing commitment to its open business a statement was released on some leadership changes and I have been appointed Managing Director of Workplace. I’m delighted to have been asked to lead the newly formed Workplace Business Unit within Phoenix’s open business, and I look forward to taking on wider responsibility for its Workplace propositions. The focused Business Unit will bring together years of experience as a trusted Workplace Pension provider into one team, which will be empowered to continue to deliver for Standard Life clients and maintain our position as one of the market leaders in Workplace. I trust you will agree that this change underlines our commitment to the Workplace market, which is key to the Phoenix Group’s success.
What’s coming up next?
It’s an exciting time for the Standard Life Workplace Team; following our launch of in-scheme drawdown for Master Trust we’ll follow with our GFRP and GSIPP in the New Year. We have started to roll out Client Analytics this month and will be incorporating more ESG into our investment solutions this year.
For more information on any of the above, please speak to your usual Standard Life contact. We also have a lot of useful information on our COVID-19 Workplace Pension hub.