Today’s customers are different from those of the past – they come armed with a wealth of information at their fingertips, expect easy and seamless interactions, and treat the overall customer experience as a clear point of differentiation between solution providers they deal with.

The retirement planning industry is not immune. Retirement plan participants have started to see themselves not just as passive savers but as active consumers of services.

At Congruent’s recent webinar on The Future of Participant Experience Innovation in the US Retirement Industry, Cynthia Hayes from Oculus Partners said, “I do think there is a need to start really thinking about these experiences as a consumer. Maybe it’s even in what we call these folks. They don’t see themselves as participants. They see themselves as consumers. They just happen to be a participant in this particular plan at the moment.”

This means for every business in the retirement industry that, it’s time to embrace the empowered consumer and find ways to evolve strategies to serve them better.

How? Give your customers what they want.

1. Information

Furnish customers with the information and tools necessary to make informed decisions. Equipping them with resources and choices will improve their experience, thereby cultivating a loyal customer base.

2. Tools

In response to the evolving landscape, retirement plan providers are expanding offerings, for example, to include financial wellness tools that can aid investors in managing risks and planning for life events, both short-term and long-term. The more you offer, the deeper the connection you build with your participant.

3. Self-service

Platforms must be intuitive, allowing customers to view account information, adjust contributions, and make investment decisions in real-time and easily. Virtual assistants, such as robo-advisors and chatbots, are indispensable today in customer service, and the retirement planning sector must embrace this.

4. Accessibility

Like any shopping or banking service, ensure your retirement planning service is accessible to participants anytime, anywhere, on any device, any channel, and for any information. Developing user-friendly, intuitive digital platforms and mobile apps will enhance user experience. If customers have to wait 12 hours to access a service, they’re going to the shop next door.

5. Personalization

Consumers today are spoiled for choice and accustomed to personalized experiences. Retirement planning is no exception. They will expect tailored investment options and flexibility to choose from a wide range of investments.

6. Convenience

Participants expect that their experiences with retirement plans will mirror their experiences with any other consumer product, whether that be Amazon or whatever consumer product they’re looking to buy.

7. Trust

This is done through easy-to-read communications, transparency in terms of plan options, authentication (multi-factor for better security) and seamless, non-intrusive verification are essential.

customized retirement solutions for the empowered consumer involves a combination of innovation, personalization, and communication. Congruent’s CORE solutions can help you deliver a better customer experience. Contact us today.

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