Consulta has released its South African Consumer Satisfaction Index for South African banking products, showing which local banking groups have the most satisfied customers.
The report found that the core banking products of current accounts, credit cards, home loans, personal loans, savings accounts and vehicle finance are largely undifferentiated across the sector.
This is leading to consumers becoming increasingly ‘multi-banked’ and less brand loyal as they struggle to find a bank that satisfies all their functional and service requirements across diverse product and servicing needs, it said.
“With the exception of Absa’s excellent customer satisfaction results on personal loans and Capitec’s continued market leadership by a big margin on transactional (current account) banking, all banks are struggling to differentiate their product offerings, which is evident in almost all banks using fees and costs related to their offerings as the key drivers of customer satisfaction levels,” said professor Adré Schreuder, SA-csi founder and chairperson.
“The reality is that as soon as price becomes the key driver of customer satisfaction, banks have lost the ability to differentiate on product benefits. Customer experience and outstanding service then become critical.”
One of the primary focuses of the report is customer rewards, with South Africans surveyed on their overall satisfaction regarding Absa Rewards, eBucks (FNB), Greenbacks (Nedbank), uCount (Standard Bank).
The report showed that eBucks leads – with a slight margin above the industry average – while Absa Rewards and Greenbacks are on par, while uCount is below par.
“In the market of rewards, banks need to fully understand customer behaviours in order to reward them accordingly,” SAcsi said.
“Banks should be innovative with their reward programs. They should also always keep their customer up to date with the latest benefits and create general awareness around the rewards program.”
“Customers currently view rewards programmes as ‘vanilla’ or generic, while layers of complexity are being added.
“Rewards need to be approached as a strategic focus of the business rather than as a ‘bolt-on’ that stand outside the entire product offering.”
The report found that no bank deals with customer complaints in a constructive manner. This also has a big impact on overall satisfaction.
Banks should be wary what their rewards programs promise, the researchers said.
“Customers are highly sensitive to under delivering on these promises. Overall the rewards program index is the lowest of all the bank products, indicating that respondents are not totally satisfied with this product.
“This finding is almost ironic since the essence of a rewards programme is to show appreciation to the customer.”
A poll run by BusinessTech also showed that eBucks was the clear favourite among customers.
The poll – which ran in the first week of April – had more than 5,000 respondents and focused on all of South Africa’s major rewards programmes not only those in the banking sector.
uCount was the second highest rated banking rewards programme (7%) followed by Absa Rewards (6%) and Nedbank Greenbacks (3%)
You can find the full poll results detailed below.