Michelle Cracknell Pensions Expert Podcast Episode
3 min

Retirement Readiness: Nurturing Customer Engagement in Pensions

Posted by Picture of Paul Holland Paul Holland

We spoke to Michelle Cracknell for episode 11 of the podcast, to explore emerging trends, technologies, and innovations that are reshaping the future of customer engagement in the pensions industry.

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Michelle Cracknell has held senior roles at a number of financial services companies, and was CEO at The Pensions Advisory Service for many years. She is passionate about helping people to make the most of their money and helping providers to connect and engage with consumers.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore the disconnect between public perception and the vital role of pensions in everyone's financial stability.
  • Discover the challenges around technology that looks to revolutionise access to pension information.
  • Learn about the importance of balancing pensions data security with accessibility to foster long-term customer relationships.

Interview Summary

Paul: Welcome, Michelle. Can you start by sharing your perspective on the current state of pension schemes?

Michelle: Certainly, Paul. The current pension landscape is challenging. There's a noticeable gap in how pensions are perceived versus their actual importance for future financial stability. Many people find them complex and are unable to see the long-term benefits.

Paul: What do you think are the key reasons behind this gap in perception and reality?

Michelle: It's largely due to a lack of engagement and understanding. Pensions are often seen as distant, complicated, and not immediately relevant. This perception disconnects people from actively managing their pensions.

Paul: In your view, how can we improve engagement with pension schemes?

Michelle: Engagement can be improved through education and simplification. It's about making pensions relatable and understandable. Personalising and providing clear, concise communications can make a significant difference.

Paul: Do you see technology playing a role in enhancing pension engagement?

Michelle: Absolutely. Technology, especially initiatives like the pension dashboard, offers a great opportunity. It can provide easier access to pension information and help people see their pensions as part of their broader financial picture.

Paul: Moving forward, how do you see the future of pensions evolving?

Michelle: The future of pensions is likely to be more flexible and tailored to individual needs. The boundary between advice and guidance, for financial providers, is becoming increasingly blurred. The industry must adapt to these changes and focus on customer-centric solutions.

Paul: What challenges do you foresee with the implementation of pension dashboards?

Michelle: The primary challenge is data security. Ensuring that individuals' pension data is secure and protected is paramount but with this challenge comes another- the need to make pension dashboards user-friendly, encouraging active engagement with pension data.

Paul: Regarding consumer needs, how should the financial services industry adapt?

Michelle: The industry needs to shift from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach. It's about understanding what consumers actually need and want, and then tailoring services and products to meet those needs without leaning too heavily on consumers.

Paul: How important is maintaining relationships with customers?

Michelle: It's crucial. Long-term relationships foster trust and understanding, which are key to successful financial planning. The industry must focus on consistent and meaningful engagement with customers throughout their life stages.

Paul: Could you share some insights from your career that might be helpful for individuals managing their finances?

Michelle: One key lesson is the importance of starting early with financial planning. It's vital to stay informed and adapt your plans as your life circumstances change and learn behaviours to enforce these within your everyday life.

Paul: And what about for professionals in the financial services sector?

Michelle: For professionals, continuous learning and staying abreast of industry changes is crucial. It's also important to genuinely understand and empathise with your clients' in the vein of Consumer Duty, which can greatly enhance the service you provide.

This insightful interview with Michelle Cracknell, guided by Paul Holland, highlights the crucial need for industry adaptation, focusing on customer-centric approaches, and leveraging technology to enhance engagement. Michelle's expertise sheds light on the importance of early and informed financial planning, while also emphasising the need for the financial services industry to empathise and evolve with consumer needs.

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Reviewed By:

Sam Kendall, 07.06.24

Sabrina McClune, 07.06.24


Originally posted on 15 12 23
Last updated on July 4, 2024

Posted by: Paul Holland

Paul, CEO and Founder of Beyond Encryption, is an expert in digital identity, fintech, cybersecurity, and business. He developed Webline, a leading UK comparison engine, and now drives Mailock, Nigel, and AssureScore to help regulated businesses secure customer data.

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