South African businesses will have to fight hard to retain and grow their customer base in 2020 as they face a looming recession, abysmal economic growth figures, political uncertainty and a disastrous return of load shedding.
This is according to data from the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SA-csi) conducted by Consulta during 2018/2019 which polled almost 35,000 consumers across nine different sectors to obtain highly scientific insights into the overall level of satisfaction of their customers.
“These exacerbating socio-economic factors comes at a time when businesses and in fact entire industries are grappling with immense disruption, and how to integrate technology, artificial intelligence and data analytics into existing business processes as enablers towards the ultimate customer experience while achieving crucial operational efficiencies,” said Ineke Prinsloo, client consultant advisory at Consulta.
“Many long-established brands are fast realising that new disruptor competitors come with the distinct benefit and agility of a new slate – they simply don’t have the outdated legacy systems, processes and mindsets to integrate into truly customer-centric ways of doing business.”
The below snapshot of the SA-csi conducted by Consulta across nine industry sectors shows the top performers with the most satisfied customers, based on industry par (average) scores:
- South Africa’s banking sector has the most satisfied customers of all nine industry sectors polled with an industry par score of 78.80. The leader in the banking sector with the most satisfied customers across all banks is Capitec (84.9) while the bank with the least satisfied customers is Absa (76.3).
- Clothing retailers rank second with an industry par of 77.93 with the leader being Pep Stores (79.8), while Edgars comes in with the lowest satisfaction score of 74.7.
- The Short-Term Insurance (STI) sector finds itself midway, ranked fourth of all sectors polled with an industry par of 76.6. Here Virseker leads (80.7) with the most satisfied customers, while Discovery (72,3) has the least satisfied customers in the STI sector.
- Supermarkets rank fifth with an industry par of 76.7. Woolworths has the most satisfied customers, albeit with only a small margin ahead of closest rivals Spar and Checkers. The differentiation is increasingly eroded between the top-performing brands.
- Airlines ranked sixth across the nine industry sectors (74.17), with FlySafair leading with 78.18, and SAA trailing with the least satisfied customers (68.8).
- Mobile Telecommunications Operators have all dropped the call in terms of overall customer satisfaction stakes with an industry par of 73.3. Vodacom (74.8), MTN (71.8) and Cell C (71.4) all showed a decline in overall customer satisfaction scores in 2018, and this in turn has seen a sharp decline in customer loyalty. Customer satisfaction is at its lowest ebb since inception of the index, and with one in three customers prepared to move to another network.
- Medical schemes ranked eighth with an industry par of 72.9 – no outright leader was identified in the latest index, with Bonitas and Discovery obtaining a joint leadership position and GEMS (68.3) lagging in last place.
- Municipalities ranked ninth with the lowest par score for customer (citizen) satisfaction (54) across all sectors, and more than 15 index points lower than the worst-performing industry sector. Cape Town is the leader with the most satisfied Citizens (64.1) and well ahead all other metros polled – it has a definitive 10.1 index point score above the average satisfaction score of 54 and leading well ahead of all other Metros.