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Client knowledge key in ageing population

With Australian demographics changing at an incredible rate, it is more important than ever for risk advisers to know exactly who their customers are, according to Asteron Life.

“We’re seeing an ageing population, more diversity in the workplace, more part-time work and people are less secure in their job stability. Confidence is slowly recovering but it comes after a prolonged dip,” Asteron Life’s Sean Carroll, executive general manager, product and service, told a recent adviser roadshow.

Time and again the industry has been challenged by change and each time advisers have adapted, so how will the industry respond to the current changes? he asked.

“More than ever we need to know who our customers are,” Carroll said. “We need to know who they are, how they respond, what they’re looking for, what they expect, how they want to be communicated with, what makes them loyal. We need to use social media to our own advantage,” he said.

Other industries, including travel, retail and the postal service, have revolutionised how they do business and changed their distribution methods and how they communicate, while others have not read the writing on the wall.

“Our industry is yet to truly modernise,” he said. “We’ve seen some change but it’s been incremental change, not transformational change. Change requires courage and imagination.”

The life insurance industry has been product-focused over a long period of time but it needs to be more customer-centric, he said.


The industry has also been very acquisition-focused, with products, processes and rewards systems focused more on attracting new clients than retaining existing ones.

“We often see keeping those clients as a secondary issue,” Carroll said. “We think if we keep our products and services OK, inertia will do the rest; we can be somewhat complacent about that. But that’s got to change.”