Responsible to our customers
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Without the trust and confidence of our customers we cannot succeed. We look after customers from a variety of backgrounds from the high-net worth to those who are entering the financial services sector for the first time. All of our businesses are expected to excel in one of our five pillars of responsible business, that of being responsible to our customers. We use our financial expertise and knowledge to develop the most suitable products and services for our customers. We listen to their needs and help them make informed decisions that enable them to achieve their financial goals. We regularly look to improve the ways in which we listen and talk to our customers and this year we have implemented a new customer loyalty measure.
Below we have outlined some of the key areas of focus:
Understanding our customers' needs
We conduct regular research into how customers buy and choose financial services, and their levels of satisfaction with the products and services they have bought, in order to help us develop the right products. We use a number of tools, including customer surveys, customer segmentation, focus groups and wider public research to gain a full understanding of our customers' needs.
We recognise that as part of our role in the economies of the future we need to support our current and potential customers in understanding the financial services market. There are so many products and services on offer that to the untrained eye the language and process can be daunting. We are committed to being there to explain and help our stakeholders increase their level of understanding so that they can make the most of their money and enter the market with confidence.
Developing the right products and services
We offer a range of long-term savings, protection and investment products that are suitable for a broad spectrum of customer needs. We have a rigorous process for product pricing and development, using consistent metrics to measure outcomes for shareholders and customers. All new products are developed as a result of close collaboration between our legal, compliance, actuarial, marketing and sales teams with formal sign-off processes to ensure appropriate risk management in the interests of both customers and shareholders.
Committees for Customer Affairs
In both our Emerging Markets and Wealth business we have Committees for Customer Affairs or CCAs. In our Emerging Markets business it is at Board and ExCo level ensuring that issues affecting our customers are discussed and decided at the highest level of our organisation. The CCAs are supported by a new committee at Group level the Group Customer Board. Annually this committee will submit a paper to the plc Board updating them on progress and future plans for our customers.
Matching customers to the right products and services
Working closely with independent financial advisers (IFAs) means we must equip them with the information and support they need to fully understand the products we offer and provide their customers with the best service they can. We do this through online training videos, newsletters and manuals. We also advise them on providing their customers with the most appropriate products and investment strategies.
Tracking progress and sharing best practice
We work with regulators and industry bodies across our markets to track our performance and report the complaints and feedback we receive from customers. In 2010 we adopted a group-wide customer advocacy measure and selected the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as this metric. The NPS is a customer loyalty metric that looks at how likely our customers are to recommend Old Mutual to their family and friends. During 2011 we have been implementing this metric across the Group.
Communicating financial issues that matter
The way to build a long-term relationship with our current and future customers is to communicate with them in an open and honest way. To make sure this happens consistently we have strict processes in place to govern how we talk with them about what we are doing with their money. We also look for new and innovative ways to ensure we are communicating clearly and on issues that matter to them.
- Old Mutual South Africa (OMSA) continued to run bi-annual Savings & Investment Monitor surveys, sharing the results with stakeholders, including the South African Government.
- In 2013, the Group introduced our customer maturity model, ranking each of our businesses on eight key aspects for our delivery to customers.
- Our second annual customer conference was held in South Africa, gathering over 90 of our top executives with customer experience together to share best practice from around the world.
- In Old Mutual Emerging Markets, we created a Centre of Excellence for product solutions, ensuring best practice in product development and management, and the right products for our customers.
- The launch of Nedbank's flagship 'Branch of the Future' in Johannesburg in October 2013 represented the pinnacle of their commitment to truly innovative, customer-centred banking.
- Mutual & Federal have initiated a Weather Alert service to warn customers by text message of any adverse weather conditions before they happen to help protect what's most important to them.
- Old Mutual Wealth's UK Contact Centre was named in the top 25% in Europe according to The Bright Index in 2013.