Responsible to our customers

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Our approach

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.

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.

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.

Recent highlights

  • 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 the US, we continued to hold our 'Consultant Days', bringing affiliate sales teams together with key decision makers from the institutional consultant community to better understand trends and buyers' needs
  • We amended our Group Product Approval Policy to place greater emphasis on the customer outcome and experience when formally signing-off product developments or changes, asking specific questions like "Does this product meet a customer need?" and "Is it clear who this product is for and who it is not for?"
  • Old Mutual South Africa launched South Africa's first disability product, Group Income Protection, enabling companies to provide employees with 100% income replacement cover should they become occupationally disabled
  • Skandia UK was ranked first for client review tools and second for client reporting tools in a survey of over 1100 UK independent financial advisors in the Money Marketing/Investment Trends "The Wrap & Platform Report" for 2011
  • We continued to run our Academy for Financial Planners in South Africa
  • Our Wealth Management team in France and Italy launched an education initiative 'LUCE' (Live a Unique Customer Experience) to encourage all employees to put themselves in the shoes of our customers
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