Personal contact with pension fund participants is becoming increasingly important, also for Blue Sky Group, a conductor managing the pension funds of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Philips.
That’s why Blue Sky Group now offers pension participants live video calls with a personal advisor. After a successful pilot of 24sessions with 4 different pension funds, the conductor has found that Video Contact makes it easier to truly understand participants’ needs.
This is a translation of an interview with Blue Sky Group's Maarten Leurs, Team Manager pension services, and Marcel van Dorresteijn, pension advisor, who both coordinated the pilot with 24sessions.
What was the reason for you to start with video calling?
Maarten Leurs: “Our team of advisors already felt the need to take participants by the hand longer, to be able to guide them more in making the right choices - more than over the phone. A video call allows you to look each other in the eye, so you get non-verbal feedback on whether a participant can follow the conversation. Plus, during the corona pandemic, video calls proved to be an ideal addition for client meetings that couldn’t take place at our physical offices due to safety restrictions.”
“But the true added value of video calling is being able to look at an overview or form in our Pension Planner portal together with the customer, with the advisor sharing their screen.”
In what situations do customers ask for personal contact with their pension fund?
Marcel van Dorresteijn: “It’s the moments when participants are looking for clear answers - key life events. The main reason is making final decisions. With a shared screen, it’s easy to go through all the options, so we can guide participants the best we can into making the right choice. Situations that require such choices are, for example, going into retirement, getting a divorce, a work disability or early retirement. Thanks to video calling, we minimize the risk of misunderstandings.”
“On top of that, we have pension participants living across the world, so video calling is an ideal solution for them too. Participants identify themselves by showing an ID document on camera, so that we can share private financial info with them during the video call. That wouldn’t be possible over the telephone. The technology we use, 24sessions, guarantees security and offers high-quality audio and video.”
Will video calls replace telephone calls?
Leurs: “No. We receive about 750 phone calls from participants per week on average, so video calling is not going to massively lower the amount of telephone conversations we have. Some conversations are best suitable to have over the phone.”
“Each pension fund determines its own way to offer participants the option to have a video call. Video calling can be mentioned on their website, in a newsletter, or in other communication to participants. It’s important to step into your participant’s shoes and then create a logical flow in the Customer Journey. For example, you can offer a participant a link to schedule a video call in a letter they receive shortly before they retire. Our funds have used video calling at this customer touchpoint many times already.”
“The main criterion is that you can look a participant in the eye and understand their questions and needs even better. Video calling has helped to make that a lot easier.”
What are the funds’ and participants’ reactions to the video call pilot?
Van Dorresteijn: “The average satisfaction score from participants is very high. Participants are asked 3 feedback questions after every video call: would you recommend video calling to a colleague, what did you think of the conversation, and has our advisor provided the support? We receive extremely high scores, usually a 10/10. That score proves how highly video calling is appreciated, and how well our participants’ questions are being answered via video.”
Leurs: “All 4 pension funds have decided to continue offering live video calls. They’re all really enthusiastic, no exceptions. One fund believes video calling is a great new service channel and prefers to only offer video as a contact channel in the future - with no more in-person client meetings. Another fund sees video as a great addition to in-person conversation with participants at a physical office, as soon as those are allowed again.”
Like to learn more about pensions advice via video?
Discover how another Dutch pension conductor, TKP Pensions, helps 5 big funds' participants receive fast yet personal pensions advice - with a 9.4/10 CSAT score as a result. Click here to download the TKP case study >
To read the original interview by Blue Sky Group in Dutch, click here >