For over a century, Rolls-Royce has been a hallmark of quality as a world-leading manufacturer. Their pensions team wanted to bring the same level of quality to an online service to complement the expertise provided by their pensions specialists, and enhance the overall service provided to over 80,000 pension scheme members.
Rolls-Royce’s brand promise ‘trusted to deliver excellence’ sets a standard and an expectation. Our brief was to develop a self-service pensions website, which we did with that promise in mind. Understanding the needs of both members and the pensions team was essential to create a solution that would deliver excellence in information, functionality and support.
The result is a high quality, member-centric pensions website, that provides self-service functionality and educational features, while reducing manual administration and enabling the pensions team to focus on applying their expertise to highly technical queries. Initially launching to active members, Rolls-Royce saw 5,500 successful registrations for the site within the first month, with 15,000 online calculations run to date and an increase in the number of death benefit nominations. The project also contributed to the pensions team winning an internal award for meeting Rolls-Royce’s brand promise, ‘trusted to deliver excellence’.
“2016 was an important year for Rolls-Royce pensions as we merged four of our Defined Benefit arrangements into one large £13bn plan. Throughout the merger discussions member engagement with pensions improved substantially. The relaunch of our member website was an important part of the merger not only to retain this member engagement but also to provide easy to use self-service tools that reduced the transaction activity that our specialist pensions team was required to do.”Ian Farnsworth - Pensions Manager
Rolls-Royce has a pensions team of 16 employed to support members with highly technical queries. However, the overall team workload was being dominated by simple administration queries, such as updating a member’s address and bank details. While they had developed processes to deal with the work as efficiently as possible, these basic tasks diverted attention for more complex queries, such as Annual and Lifetime Allowance queries.
Rolls-Royce already had a pensions space on the intranet that allowed active members to run basic calculations, but this wasn’t accessible at home or by deferred or pensioner members. The pensions team set an objective to create a self-service website, accessible by all.
Workshops with the pensions team allowed us to understand needs, objectives and challenges. Key considerations about the members included:
- The range of office-based staff to shift-based engineers in manufacturing environments.
- The age range of membership, with a particular concentration of members around age 40 who will soon be considering retirement planning.
In the workshops, we spent time looking at administration logs of queries to understand where the biggest impact could be made. We also explored the Rolls-Royce brand promise and their values, to ensure that the final solution would feel authentic to all employees, past and present.
"We were geared up for Armageddon but it seems to have gone very smoothly. I honestly can’t think of a single complaint so far, which is great news!”Andy Dickinson – Pensions Specialist
In partnership with the scheme’s administration technology provider, we developed a brand new website that is available to all members. The scope of the website services included the ability to update personal details and run instant estimates from the administration system, through to providing accurate and up-to-date information about the scheme and topics such as taxation. For pensioners, new to an online system, the functionality included electronic payslips; for deferred members (also new), the functionality included a deferred benefits calculator, online case tracking and feedback tools.
Our role was to create a powerful user experience, member-centric designs, content and clear member journeys to ensure that each member type could simply and easily view information they wanted and complete tasks without any assistance, such as updating their details. To help us stay in the shoes of the members throughout the development process, we created personas that captured key member types and their needs and objectives.
Every decision about design, content and functionality was made by referencing the personas to ensure that obstacles were overcome and objectives met. This continual focus elevated the website from a good self-service system to an intuitive self-service solution, accessible anywhere, any time and on desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet devices.
Using our personas, we developed a clear member journey for each process, carefully considering the challenges a member may face during the process (such as finding their member reference number).
To meet the objective of the project to get members managing their pension online, we created a task bar that would draw out key tasks for each member type to complete and establish the behaviour of where to find information, before contacting the pensions team. For example, in order to support the maintenance of good quality data, members were set a task to check their personal details. Using a simple gamification technique of showing a progress bar against tasks brought this to life.
Because of the importance of this website to the pensions team and their workload, we created a training session around the site launch to engage them with the objectives of the project, the approach, and ran interactive sessions to allow them to step into the shoes of each member type through the personas. The session also allowed the team time to explore the functionality and content of the site so that they would be more able to support members over the phone if they had queries.
Finally, to aid members during the launch of the new website, we created a launch postcard and user guide, which highlighted the new features on offer and reminded them of their member reference number required for registration.
The final solution is a high quality, member-centric pensions website, that provides self-service functionality and educational features, while reducing manual administration and enabling the pensions team to focus on applying their expertise to highly technical queries.
Key statistics against our project objectives include:
- Objective: Encourage all members to make use of the online calculators.
- Result: Since launch, there has been a consistent average of over 50% of all website sessions including use of a calculator; at manufacturing locations, over 20% of sessions include use of a calculator.
- Objective: Ensure ease of registration of members across all job environments and locations.
- Result: Once members have started the registration process, there is a 97% success rate.
- Objective: Encourage members to engage with key tasks, based on their member type.
- Result: Since launch, 65% of members have engaged with their tasks, which included running a calculation, reviewing their nominations and verifying their address details. The number of nominations recorded for the total membership has increased.
The project also contributed to the pensions team winning an internal innovation award for meeting Rolls-Royce’s brand promise, ‘trusted to deliver excellence’. In particular, the judges commented on the way in which every aspect of the project was aligned to the Rolls-Royce brand promise.
“The support provided by the team at Gallagher Communication was second to none. They became an extension of the in-house team and also forged an excellent relationship with our systems provider that allowed us to deliver the daunting website redesign with the least disruption. The input and guidance provided by Gallagher Communication contributed substantially in delivering a well-designed, simple to use and engaging website.”Ian Farnsworth - Pensions Manager