Suncorp’s new Customer Advocate lists affordability and financial abuse among top priorities
Suncorp Group’s new Customer Advocate, Bernadette Norrie, is here to make sure our customers’ voices are heard.
Appointed to the role last month, Bernadette advocates for customers to ensure they are understood and treated fairly, and ensures our processes and products are suitable and fit customers’ needs.
“My job is to make sure our customers’ voices are heard at the decision-making table,” she said.
She says one of her favourite parts of the role is sitting with the dispute resolution officers that make up part of her team and learning from them.
“I thought I really understood our business, but it’s not until you have a front row seat to how our decisions impact customers that you start to truly understand how all of the pieces come together.
“It’s important we keep listening and learning and run our business with an eye, always, on what can be improved.”
Bernadette’s breadth of understanding comes from a 17-year tenure at Suncorp, which includes roles across both the insurance and banking divisions in areas of Marketing, Customer Interactions, Digital and Policy & Portfolio. She previously filled in the Customer Advocate role for a few months early last year so, when the opportunity arose to step into the role permanently, welcomed the chance to continue working on the customer priorities she felt she still wanted to address.
She hopes to be a strong voice for customers and the role of insurance in making a difference in their lives.
“When we sell a motor vehicle policy, it’s not just a policy. A motor vehicle is someone’s independence, a way to get to work, a way of looking after their family.
“That’s why we exist – to help people protect the things that give them their independence, their livelihood. To give them the security to build their futures. That's why I want to do this job and it’s why anyone should want to work in this business in the first place.”
#What is a Customer Advocate?
Our Office of the Customer Advocate is here to be the voice of our customers within Suncorp. We provide input and challenge to ensure the fairness and integrity of our customer processes, decisions and practices.
With an Office separate from the business, the Customer Advocate focuses on:
~ Advocating and making things easier for our customers, especially those in vulnerable, challenging or complex circumstances.
~ Helping to drive fairer dispute resolution outcomes across the Suncorp Group.
~ Identifying opportunities to improve our products, services, systems and processes for our customers.
~ Using data, insights and perspectives to help us drive fair customer outcomes in alignment with community expectations.
Just weeks into the role, Bernadette said one of her early focus areas will be looking at how we can help customers have a better understanding of insurance and what to expect at claims time.
Other focus areas for 2024 include addressing financial abuse, the affordability of insurance, and accessibility and inclusion to ensure everyone has access to essential financial products and services.
Work is underway on a “pathway to zero tolerance” to ensure our financial products cannot be weaponised against victims of financial abuse or family and domestic violence.
“This is the right role for me that has come at the right time and it has fundamentally changed my perspective. I’m looking forward to listening, learning and challenging, where I need to, to ensure our business continues to adapt to our customers’ current challenges.”