How OPB’s Client Service Advisors are helping members during the pandemic
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a great personal, professional and, for many, financial toll. Our Client Service Advisors, our in-house team of Certified Financial Planners (CFP®), have stepped up their efforts to deliver the highest level of service to members, helping them navigate how their pension and retirement plans fit within their shifting life and financial circumstances.
We asked our Advisors how they’ve assisted members during the pandemic and here’s what they shared.
Providing timely, continuous service
“Since transitioning to work-from-home, we’ve been able to support our members by effectively transitioning our services to accommodate our members. We’ve instituted one-on-one video meetings to replace face-to-face meetings, increased our flexibility on meeting times, and launched a secure document upload tool so members can provide us with key forms, elections, and records from the safety of their home. As a result, there has been minimal impact in our service delivery.” — GEOFF V.
Being even more empathetic
“Everyone is dealing with the challenges of COVID-19, such as having multiple generations working and learning from home, family members losing their jobs or being ill, and young parents helping with their children’s schooling. Going through this pandemic has raised my awareness around the importance of empathy for everyone’s unique circumstances and I focus on having a positive impact in my interactions with members.” — ANTHONY D.
“The level of trust that members have when speaking with us about their personal situations has struck me. We’re essentially a voice on a phone, but because we’re with OPB and we are reaching out to help them with their pension and financial issues, it often immediately creates a “trust connection” and I can hear their tone immediately become warmer. The “hello” is guarded, but once I introduce myself, their whole manner is open and wanting to engage in discussion.” — RENÉE V.
Being flexible in delivering exceptional service
With work-from-home, I have more flexibility in scheduling phone meetings. I find that members are grateful for our increased flexibility as they’re busy during the day and can find it challenging to find time to talk. Members trust us not only with their pension as one piece of their puzzle, but they also rely on us to help them understand how all the pieces fit together to form their whole financial picture.” — KASIA S.
Helping members navigate career and life events
"Our conversations with members need to be about the person first, and pension second. I realized very quickly the importance of establishing myself and OPB as a valuable, objective source of retirement and financial help. Because we can help inform decision making during critical points in a member’s career or when faced with life events that have financial impacts, we can make a real difference for the member and their retirement security.” — LAURIE A.
Creating deeper bonds with members
“I find sharing similar experiences on challenges during the pandemic with members, especially those with young children at home, helps everyone feel more comfortable about the circumstances we are facing. Everyone is really understanding about the interruptions that can occur even if we are having a serious discussion about pension matters and financial decision making.” — EVELYN L.
“During work-from-home, our calls with members have felt more like a chat with a trusted friend, which has allowed the Advisors to help members get to a good place with their pension and retirement planning. Members are showing a greater willingness to share their personal story and turning to us even more as their trustworthy, accessible Advisor.” — DAVID L.