In her role as Head of Customer Experience for FairVine Super, Rachel Hamlen believes it is vital to have a growth mindset and to always be prepared to learn something new. She says, “As soon as you stop learning you stop growing, you become a dinosaur. Rather than saying I can’t do that, I don’t know that, or that’s not my thing – if you’re job presents something new, learn as much about it as you can.”
That eagerness to learn and grow has greatly helped Rachel in her career and to tackle numerous challenges. “I started my career doing front line customer service. From there I had many and varied roles across a number of companies and industries, including, SMEs, not for profits as well as large organisations. By virtue of necessity I had to learn numerous things about numerous topics.”
“I remember having to come to grips with automation and what it meant within the customer service world. Whether I liked it or not, automation was something that was going to greatly impact the way I did my job. I needed to learn as much as I could. Now it’s a topic I regularly talk about.”
Closing the gender gap in superannuation
Women, for a variety of reasons, tend to retire with a lot less superannuation than their male counterparts. FairVine Super was established with the mission to redress the gender gap in superannuation and help women to grow their superannuation. Hamlen comments, “In terms of superannuation, women are currently retiring with about 50% less than what men are retiring with. And the forecast for women currently in their 30s is not much better, unless we can change the system and do things quite differently.”
Rachel was part of the original team who established FairVine Super. “When we created FairVine we looked at the ways that women spend and the way they saved, as well as their life cycles and the various times in their life when they are disadvantaged in the financial services system. We looked at ways that we could ameliorate the problems and challenges as much as possible.”
A critical element of Rachel’s job has been to educate women about superannuation, how the system works and where they may experience inequity. As such, she does a lot of speaking at corporate events, conferences, workshops and board presentations. To help her get the message out there as well as deliver a range of programs aimed at redressing the gender gap, Rachel works with a range of teams including sales, marketing, communications and a technical team.
“We also have a range of programs in place like FairRewards, where members access normal online shopping sites, but via our portal. We have more than 300 retailers, such as The Iconic and Hello Fresh – members simply shop online as you normally would, and our rewards partner will contribute up to 20% of their purchase straight into their super”.
Listening to your customers
Aside from having a growth mindset to succeed at customer experience, according to Hamlen, you also need to be able to listen to customers. She says, “It sounds easy, but doing it really well can be quite difficult. Quite often what customers ask you or tell you is not what they’re really asking. So the answers you provide are not answering what they’re asking you deep down. As an example, someone might ask us a question like “who is backing you?” but what they are actually asking is ‘Is my money safe?’” It’s a subtle difference but having a customer mindset gives you the opportunity to go into more detail and really communicate.”
“So, the ability to truly listen to customers and empathise with them is critical, especially right now. People are scared and need kindness as well as information. I also think bravery is also an important part of the job. You need to brave enough to advocate for customers in an executive meeting – ”is this initiative good or meaningful for the customer?”