This applied study draws upon the Arizona State Retirement System’s (ASRS) diverse member population, rich in Hispanic and Native American members, to inform SSA best practices for customer service delivery. ASRS customer satisfaction positive ratings regularly range from 88% to 97%, dependent on member characteristics. ASRS members (most of whom also receive SSA benefits) offer a laboratory that will reveal how SSA service delivery compares with ASRS’ consistently high member service assessment scores. This study will crosswalk common ASRS/SSA customer service objectives and draw from three ASRS surveys (Active Members, Retirees, and Transactions) to suggest ways in which the SSA could attain the higher customer satisfaction objectives outlined in its aspirational Vision 2025 strategic plan. Interviews with ASRS personnel will explore differences in member satisfaction rates pre- and post-pandemic, and address challenges common to both agencies. Seidman’s investigation will explore how ASRS members interact with both ASRS and SSA, their perceptions of those interactions, and how the interactions and perceptions have changed pre- and post-pandemic. In particular, the study will: (a) measure ASRS member attitudes towards the SSA using previously validated consumer satisfaction questions, compare with ASRS ratings, and explore the reasons for any differences; (b) examine self-reported information gathering behaviors before and during the pandemic to understand how ASRS members attempt to engage with SSA; and (c) explore, via in-depth interviews of ASRS senior management and staff, strategies and experiences pre- and post-pandemic addressing challenges common to the SSA and ASRS.
WI23-15: Analyzing SSA Communication, Outreach and Service Delivery in a Laboratory of State Pension Fund Members: Comparisons of Best Practices for ASRS and SSA, Pre- and Post-Pandemic