PensionBee takes the sting out of saving for retirement with trailblazing mobile app
You can check your bank balance with the click of an app; but checking your pension pot is a lot more complex and often involves reams of paper. PensionBee is changing all that. “Our mission is to make pensions simple and engaging,” said Jasper Martens, CMO of PensionBee. “We’re helping people take control of their pensions.”
And there’s not a piece of paper in sight.
PensionBee is revolutionising the pensions industry with a modern, mobile-based experience that enables people to combine different pension pots into a single online plan. Using the PensionBee app, which is built on Heroku, part of the Salesforce platform, customers can quickly and easily check their current pot size, projected retirement income, and set up contributions.
“Salesforce is the beating heart of PensionBee,” said Martens. “We can optimise both our business and the customer journey. The more efficient we get, the more customers we can help.” PensionBee has already signed more than 600,000 Registered Customers in just five years.
PensionBee is a hive of innovation with Salesforce.
Digitalisation makes the complex simple.
At least 30 million people in the UK have pensions, many of them sitting in fragmented – and even forgotten – plans. Locating and aggregating these pension pots is core to PensionBee’s success. Lister Parsons has built a Trailblazing pension administration app using Salesforce to simplify this and many other core processes.
Since launching the app, Honeycomb, PensionBee has been able to slash the time spent on administration by 75%. “Pensions are very complicated with money moving in and out of plans on a regular basis,” explained Lister Parsons. “With Honeycomb, we can digitalise the management of our customers’ pension plans and track every financial transaction.”
Pension transfers and trades are bundled together for processing at the end of each day, which can equate to thousands of separate processes that need to run on customer accounts. As PensionBee continues to grow, so will its data processing needs – and Salesforce will be instrumental in supporting Honeycomb to scale with business demand.
Flexible technology enables growth.
PensionBee is currently doubling in size each year and shows no signs of slowing down. Maintaining this kind of momentum requires an agile and inclusive technology foundation in which everyone is empowered to drive continuous improvement.
“Efficiency is vital to sustain our current growth trajectory – we need as many people actively improving our processes, products, and services as possible. The visual nature of tools like Process Builder and Flow Builder have empowered non-technical teams to create huge amounts of value using clicks instead of code,” said Lister Parsons.
Mobile app provides real-time balance updates.
The balance of technology and human-centric services has been critical to PensionBee’s growth strategy. “Automating certain processes has let us scale and grow at our current rate,” explained CEO, Savova. “But it’s the way we integrate those efficiencies with a hands-on approach to customer service that delivers the best outcomes for our customers.”
BeeKeepers – dedicated account managers – oversee the account setup and funds transfer from start to finish for every customer, keeping in touch via live chat, email, or by phone. Customers can then see when their funds have been transferred on the PensionBee app, which is built on Heroku.
“Customers love having their pension in their pocket,” said Martens. “Many of them log in weekly to check their balance and a third make monthly contributions averaging £300 a month.” To ensure balances are displayed in real-time, PensionBee uses Heroku Connect to sync data between Service Cloud and its mobile app.
A true customer-first approach.
With over 600,000 Registered Customers, PensionBee wanted to service everyone in a truly digital way, and across any channel. So, the team chose Service Cloud. Now, teams have one consolidated place to manage and optimise every customer experience, journey, and relationship.
“Service Cloud allows us to take a holistic approach to customer centricity. We can effortlessly monitor and refine macro trends and micro behaviours into clear improvement opportunities. It means we can respond quickly to individual customer needs while also making larger product changes with absolute confidence,” explained Priyal Kanabar, Customer Insights Manager.
For example, PensionBee recently analysed its performance against the Financial Conduct Authority’s guidance on treating customers fairly. “Using Service Cloud, I easily built a dashboard that gave me visibility into our performance,” said Kanabar. “Knowing metrics – like how long it takes a customer to transfer their pension out – is instrumental in supporting our company ethos: giving people freedom over their pensions.”
Faster and simpler website changes.
PensionBee’s website is underpinned by Heroku, which means updates can be applied in record time. “We have a red button in the office that we press every time a change goes live,” revealed Lister Parsons. “Sometimes the button gets pressed five times a day. Heroku has really stepped up our agility.”
Thanks to Heroku’s simple interface and GitHub integration, changes can be executed by PensionBee’s marketing and product teams without involving any developers. “If there’s volatility in the market, we can post a topical blog to keep our customers informed,” added Lister Parsons.
Personalised content enriches customer onboarding.
PensionBee uses personalised content and journeys to better nurture prospects and onboard customers. “With Marketing Cloud, we can carry out personalised on-boarding on a massive scale,” explained Martens. “It enables us to send tailored messages that are more likely to grab people’s attention.”
And the personalised approach is already reaping rewards. In September 2021, around 15% of new customer sign-ups were triggered by emails from Marketing Cloud. PensionBee used Trailhead and Salesforce Accelerators to maximise the potential of Marketing Cloud, which went live in 2018. And that’s not all. PensionBee used Marketing Cloud Connector to bring the platform’s capabilities into Service Cloud. This enables the team to have all customer data in one place, while ensuring every prospect and customer receives relevant, personalised messages, regardless of what stage of the journey they’re in.
Automated push notifications take customer service to a new level.
With pensions such a crucial contributor to our sense of long-term financial security, and relationships with customers potentially spanning decades prior to withdrawal, PensionBee is constantly looking for new ways to connect with and support customers, share information, and assist them to stay informed and in control of their futures.
Although the company had used Salesforce push notifications for occasional contact via customers’ mobile devices, by automating their use these instant messages are now playing an increasingly important role in ensuring great service. Explained Product Manager, Ariane Marie: “We began by automating push notifications to prompt new customers to give us all the information we need to successfully onboard them, and then to keep them updated about their transfer journey, all hosted and precisely recorded within Salesforce.
“This was really successful, and we could see many other applications for push notifications, so in 2021 we began creating automated journeys, identifying every potential interaction with a customer, so that specific push notification events would be triggered and sent via Marketing Cloud.”
As well as helping to ensure that important processes are completed step-by-step and accurate information is captured first time, push notifications draw customers’ attention to positive events on their journey with PensionBee, such as news about the completion of their pension transfers and contributions, helping to cement the relationship and enhance customer satisfaction.
Within four months of the launch of automated push notifications, up to 35% of customers had opted-in to the system.
“This is giving them real-time information about what’s happening on their account,” said Marie. “Previously, we would have shared this information in an email, but today most people are much more connected to their mobile devices, rather than their email inboxes, and, as a result, we can see that they are much more engaged with push messages, than they are with emails.
“And they are acting on these messages too, responding quickly, providing the information we need, which is speeding up the processing of this information too. This is great for customers because things are happening quickly, and great for us too, because it’s faster and more efficient and we can be even more responsive, moving them along on their journey with us. Because response rates to push notifications are better than email, we don’t have to spend as much time following up on emails that go unanswered.”
Another advantage of push notifications over email is that they are succinct and not competing for visibility against hundreds of other email messages, many of no interest or relevance to the recipient. “When a message is short, clear, and positive, people are so much more likely to engage with it and respond to it,” said Business Improvement Manager, Nicolas Charon.
Added Marie: “It’s also empowered our marketing team to action new ideas and topics that we can quickly and efficiently build push notification campaigns around, safe in the knowledge that the technology and the database of events that makes it happen is all contained and maintained within Salesforce. And we’re certain that there are many other processes elsewhere in the business that can benefit from push notifications. Push is showing huge potential for growth and additional customer engagement, and we're looking forward to exploring new use cases for it!”