home Customer Experience, Executive Profiles Providing members with experiences they’ll never forget – Interview with Monique Bate

Providing members with experiences they’ll never forget – Interview with Monique Bate

Monique Bate, Head of Member Experience at ANZ Staff Super, emphasises the importance of customer experience and that the function needs to sit at a senior ‘strategic level’ within the organisation. In this interview with CXFocus Editor, Mark Atterby, she shares her thoughts about CX and its role in the superannuation industry.

Mark Atterby (MA): Can you please provide a background to your career and an explanation of your new role at ANZ super?

Monique Bate (MB): I’ve been in financial services for most of my career starting off in Credit Unions where I worked for 10 years prior to travelling and working overseas and then landing in Melbourne. I’ve been in superannuation industry now for approx. 6 years and have recently moved from industry funds into ANZ Staff Super, one of Australian’s largest corporate funds.

(MA): What does customer experience success look like in the context of superannuation?

(MB): As superannuation is, for most, a low engagement product and people don’t really take a lot of interest until they are close to retirement, it’s important that we ensure that at those ‘key moments’ we provide our members with the best experience possible. It’s also important that we educate members in a way that is relevant to them at their life stage, to help ensure they are set up as best as they possibly can be for a positive retirement.

(MA): What are your biggest challenges and opportunities, and how do you plan to address them?

(MB): My biggest challenge in my new role will be to really uplift the member experience provided. There are some changes in the fund wit a change of Administrator and once that is bedded down, it will be working through to get a better understanding of members, understand the new experience and determine ways in which that can be improved.
(MA): Over your career, what has been the most important lesson you learned about customer experience and how did you learn it?

(MB): The biggest learning for me over the years is the importance of CX and that the function needs to sit at a ‘strategic level’ and begins with understanding the customer, what their needs are, their existing pain points and then assessing the opportunities to uplift. It must be collaborative and a shared ownership is required from right across the business to deliver change.   

(MA): Can you mention a particular initiative or strategy implemented and the impact it had?

(MB): In my last role, we set up a program to better understand our members and the current experience they had with the fund. Out of this came our strategy and over the almost three years, we build the right team to deliver this uplift and I would say now, I’m very proud of what the team and I achieved. That fund is far advanced and can now really leap into whatever is next for them.

(MA): What do you think are the most important trends in CX & Digital Transformation?

(MB): I think personalisation is key. We’ve talked about it for years, but it’s now really starting to take off and you can see with social media advertising, it is all becoming highly targeted, and this is what customers expect. They also expect a seamless transition across channels, so if they need to shift from a digital channel into a face to face or phone channel, that must be a seamless experience. We are all competing with the Amazons and large corporates of the world, which certainly makes for some challenging times in this area and as smaller organisations (mostly in comparison to some of these multi-nationals), we must really be clear on delivering what is most important and therefore I see prioritisation as so important. Gone are the days when each area of the business has their own agendas – successful organisations will be those who can agree and fully commit at an organisational wide level on an agreed set of priorities.  Easier said than done!!

(MA): What advice do you offer others?

(MB): My advice is that whatever you do in the CX space, it must always start and end with the customer in mind. Using customer insights and being informed by key data points is also critical. People can’t argue with that! Ensure your customer feedback channels are set up in a way that they can provide insights which are actionable and enable teams to deliver continuous improvement right across the customer experience will set you up for success.

Monique is a presenter and discussion panelist at the Customer Show Melbourne for Future-Proofing Your CX Teams: Preparing for the Skills, Roles, Culture and Workplace Dynamics of Tomorrow.

Mark Atterby

Mark Atterby has 18 years media, publishing and content marketing experience.