Advisers, customers remain top priority for CFS


By Krystine Lumanta

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Colonial First State (CFS) has continued its service-centric approach for advisers and customers by investing in better tools and improving the delivery of service, according to its executive general manager.

Amid the busy period of implementing the Future of Financial Advice reforms and advisers focusing on generating fee disclosure statements for new and existing clients, now was the right time for the wealth management group to assist advisers in the delivery of their value propositions to clients, CFS executive general manager Linda Elkins said.

“We invest heavily in not only supporting end customers, but in supporting advisers with our mutual clients,” Elkins told financialobserver.

“This investment has been in delivering efficient administration, getting the basics right and developing tools and materials to help advisers engage with the end customer.

“We understand and appreciate the extreme importance in the role that a financial adviser plays in the relationship with the end customer [and] we appreciate that customers see an advice and product experience as one experience and that the adviser is at the centre of this relationship.”

She said it was the adviser who the customer trusted first and foremost.

Her comments come after CFS achieved the highest overall member satisfaction levels in the retail superannuation sector in the Investment Trends “2013 Member Sentiment and Communications Report” released earlier this month.

“At CFS, we try to put the customer at the centre of everything we do,” she said.

“In fact, customer-centric solutions is a strategic priority for CFS.

“This means that we are constantly engaging with our frontline staff and our customers to better understand their drivers and motivators, which ensure we deliver products, services and experiences that are focused on meeting their needs and wants.”

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia subsidiary recently engaged directly with customers in the design and process of an online application.

It was now adopting a similar approach for other online tools.

In addition, Elkins said CFS’s call centre was a key touchpoint for customers and held an extremely high benchmark where it aimed to deliver above and beyond every time a customer made an enquiry over the phone.

“A key statistic from our call centre is that our first call resolution rate is 99 per cent, proving our success at providing a response the first time a customer calls,” she said.

The Investment Trends report found CFS to be the highest-rated provider of having a good or very good range of multiple and flexible investment options, in addition to keeping members informed, ease of information access and quality reporting.

The report was based on an online survey of 9600 superannuation fund members and investors.

As part of the survey, respondents were asked to rate their main super fund and fund manager across 19 service elements.

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