Scottish Widows director of corporate propositions has revealed how he plans to set the provider apart from other pension providers.
In the summer of 2015, Scottish Widows carried out a six-week project looking at the end-to-end journey experienced by advisers, corporate clients and their staff when they opted for one of the provider’s pensions.
As a result of the findings of this project, in January 2016 Scottish Widows decided to ditch launching products, later reviewing their success and launching updated versions of current products.
At the start of last year the Lloyds Banking Group-owned provider launched an innovation hub site in Edinburgh where 150 members of servicing, case management and web developer staff now sit alongside each other.
Since the hub launched, David Holton, director of corporate propositions at Scottish Widows, said when issues with a registration form, for example, are spotted a servicing member of staff can now immediately flag this with a developer.
By sitting alongside each other, Mr Holton said a change can be made to Scottish Widows’ systems and processes within hours rather than weeks.
Mr Holton said as a result of the change to the way Scottish Widows works the focus of the provider has shifted from just adding extra features to products to ensuring a continual top end-to-end experience for all users.
Mr Holton said the results were clear for all to see as the volume of issues dealt with by just one contact in the innovation hub has soared from 40 per cent before the changes were made to 90 per cent today.
Mr Holton, who is the former head of business management for corporate finance at Lloyds Banking Group said: “We are doing things differently. We are getting constant innovation.
“You can no longer just build a product and launch it to market and then leave it. It has to be about an experience and not just a product.”
When asked how would he measures the success of Scottish Widows shifting the way it works, Mr Holton said the five star trophy the provider picked up at Financial Adviser’s Service Awards last year was recognition of the improvements that have taken place.
He said Scottish Widows also regularly surveys advisers to make sure it was delivering what they need now and in the future.
When asked what advisers could expect next from Scottish Widows, Mr Holton said a smartphone App was set to be launched next month that would allow adviser’s corporate clients to see the value of their pension pot.
In terms of the future, Mr Holton said he hoped the provider could work with advisers to deliver data to their corporate clients to show the value of further boosting pension contributions or pushing savings products to more employees.
David Trenner, technical director of Intelligent Pensions, said the days when each provider had a local branch and would come to explain a new product and who it would be suitable for are long gone.