Many large employers use staff benefit packages as part of their way of rewarding their employees and keeping them motivated. Given the size and diversity of their workforce, employers often choose cafeteria-style benefits, where employees can choose the benefits that are most suited to their lifestyle and support the choices they have made rather than cope with a one-size-fits-all benefit approach. This enables employers to provide a more personal collection of benefits to the employee, thereby strengthening the relationship between employer and employee.
The cost of providing personal financial benefits to employees is essential but thankfully there are many systems that enable the organization to set the parameters at high level and the individuals to choose from the list of products and services they want. For example, employees can choose whether they want to join a life plan group schedule or they can request that they are a member of a certain pension scheme or make additional voluntary contributions. These decisions can be varied at any time in the working life of workers, as their personal circumstances, and therefore their personal goals, change. Examples of changed plans would be that the employee marries or has children.
All employees want higher levels provided by the employer can usually be provided by the employee who chooses to get the extra cost drawn directly from their wages. Allowing direct access to the employee means that employees can review these benefits at home with a partner or family and make the best decision for themselves. One important point, however, is that employees should have a one-stop shop to review their financial position and see the big picture, so that they can make better decisions in the future.
This is far from what is generally available to those who are not fortunate to have employment benefit schemes in place at their workplace. They also need the kind of holistic view of their financial position if they are to make the best decisions. But instead, they are often left to handle their own business on a variety of websites and vendors or they must engage with a broker or agent to do the job for them. Thus, individuals' management of their own financial affairs can be very difficult for those with economic knowledge to do it themselves or expensive for those who do not.
Giving power to the customer
Here portals can be a game switch. Life and pension companies with products targeted to the individual market must be able to offer the same levels of access to their customers as the HR departments to their employees. Customers who like to manage their own financial business need first and foremost digital access to their financial products. Well-designed portals, accessible via desktops and mobile devices, can provide the customer with a holistic view of their financial position that makes it easier to see how their choices work and to make variations to help them achieve their goals.
With this digital first approach, it means that customers can manage their own financial affairs in a time and place that suits them, making it easier for them to stay over their financial affairs by regularly reviewing their goals and their progress towards them. These opportunities are particularly important for future generations of Gen Z and Millennial customers. Majesco's recently published consumer research shows that these generations have high interest in using their mobile devices to manage their insurance policies and are open to purchases from non-traditional sources of strong digital capabilities, including online investment advisors such as Betterment or Personal Capital.
Benefits for Agents, for
Likewise, portals enable agents to provide more comprehensive services to their customers. Having access to the customer's entire range of financial products ensures that the agent has an overall view of the customer's financial position and is much better positioned to advise on changes that are needed to achieve the customer's goals. A digital first approach, instead of replacing, reinforces officials can provide and provide a level of efficiency that ensures that more customers can benefit from their advice. Decisions made can be implemented immediately, which makes it easier for the agent to do business with the supplier and give the customer the level of response that they have come to expect from other industries.
Even for agents who handle the type of HNW (high net worth) customers who require personal service, the availability of a portal can enable them to provide more immediate personal assessments with current figures. Without one, the process can be extremely labor-intensive and take so much time that the information is outdated when the customer receives it.
Comprehensive portals also provide access to the scenario tools and what-if planning that allows people to easily test opportunities and analyze results to see the best combination of grants and products that will fulfill their goals. The combination of these with robo-advice functions can make recommendations for the customer to consider and ultimately help increase sales by providing faster access to information to the customer.
Customer and agent portals can play a key role in helping life and pension companies deliver higher value to their customers and their agents, guaranteeing a satisfied customer base and energy agencies that want to do business with the provider because of the quality and reliability of the services provided.
Life and pension providers that allow customers and agents to engage with them through portals open the gate to providing better, custom, and more responsive services. They make it easier for customers to do business with them, either directly or through agents. This is definitely the key to engaging with Gen Z and millennial generations who want everything personalized for them and cannot understand why it must be any other way.
The suppliers that embrace the idea of making it easier for customers and agents to do business with them will reap the rewards at a time when customers expect everything to focus around them. The suppliers who cannot find themselves outside the ports look in.