The 2014 Superannuation Benchmarking Study, conducted by Engaged Marketing, surveyed more than 3,720 Australians in August and September and found the net promoter score for the super industry overall was -29 per cent, indicating there are 29 per cent more detractors than promoters.
The survey showed SMSFs on the other hand scored a -5 per cent net promoter score.
The results also showed that 52 per cent of respondents set up an SMSF based on their own independent research while 32 per cent of respondents set up an SMSF based on the recommendation of an accountant.
Engaged Marketing managing director Christopher Roberts said the results were a “wake-up call to super funds about the growing appeal of SMSFs”.
“What’s missing with traditional super funds is a perception of value among members,” said Mr Roberts.
“Because of the compulsory nature of super, Australians see super funds as essentially offering the same commodity with very little differentiation and low product involvement.”
Mr Roberts said this makes it hard for members of these funds to gain a sense of value.
The findings from the survey, he said, showed the main issues super funds were grappling with were control, transparency and trust.
Super funds, he said, need to offer a “more engaging super experience and demonstrate their value to members today, not just in the future, to generate more supporters”.
“By having more detractors than promoters, super funds are failing to capitalise on their most valuable marketing tool: their customers."