Customer experience is crucial for business success
Consumers with an emotional connection to a brand are less likely to switch to another product, study finds
To attract and retain customers, as well as for overall impact, the experience of a business’s customers matters.
Andrea Rademeyer, founder and CEO of Ask Afrika, says it’s no surprise that a growing number of organisations are making significant investments in customer experience (CX). This is because companies that focus on CX — enabled by service standards — typically exhibit increased revenue, are more profitable and have more engaged employees. They also have customers who are willing to pay up to 18% more for products, she says.
The Ask Afrika Orange Index® is the broadest CX benchmark in South Africa. It measures customer satisfaction, emotional satisfaction and loyalty. The index, which has been tracking CX and trends and expectations related to it since 2001, recognises companies that show exceptional performance across client experience metrics such as servicing and problem resolution, and provides a benchmark against which organisations can measure themselves.
This year, companies in the financial services industry account for half the top 10 companies overall in the index. In first position is RMB Private Bank. It is also the company that is most highly rated overall across all industries when it comes to delivering consistent CX.
Customers are willing to wait no more than 24 hours for complete resolution of their query before they become dissatisfied
Mariette Erasmus, commercial executive at Ask Afrika, reports that the emotional connection with clients is RMB Private Bank’s differentiating factor and was rated more highly than the service experience.
Winning brands, Erasmus says, have closed the gap between being seen to be a good brand and having emotionally connected customers. Consumers with an emotional connection to a brand are less likely to switch to another brand. Despite fairly large fee increases they will remain a client of the brand, she says.
Organisations that exhibit traits such as empathy, assurance, responsiveness, reliability, communication and other tangibles are all key catalysts setting winning brands apart, Erasmus adds.
The survey reveals that customers who have to make a lot of effort when dealing with a company give it a significantly lower rating for responsiveness. On average, across industries and query type, customers are willing to wait no more than 24 hours for complete resolution of their query before they become dissatisfied.
Investec is in second place, followed by Discovery Private Banking, Zando, Standard Bank Private Banking, GetSavvi Health, Discovery Bank, NetcarePlus Medical Insurance, African Bank and Cashbuild.
The index measured 232 brands in 32 industries across 154 variables, 21 channels and 31 core metrics with available benchmarks. A total of 48,000 customers completed the interview detailing their service experience with a brand.
The full list of 2023 Ask Afrika Orange Index® industry winners include:
Private Banking — Rand Merchant Bank (RMB)
Petrol Stations/Forecourt — Sasol
Building retail — Cashbuild
Banking — Discovery Bank
Medical Insurance — GetSavvi
Petrol Stations/Convenience Store — Engen
Online shopping — Zando
Funeral/burial services — Martins Funerals
Home and décor — Woolworths Home
Pharmacies — Alpha Pharmacy
Mass retail — Checkers Hyper
Franchise restaurants — Mugg & Bean
Clothing stores — Sportscene Clothing
Liquor stores — Checkers LiquorShop
Automotive companies — BMW
Sport retail — Nike
Fast food/takeaways — Nando’s
Food retail stores — Woolworths
Long-Term Funeral Insurance — Outsurance
Shoes — Sportscene Shoes
Car tracker - Netstar
Long-Term Life Insurance — Metropolitan
Medical aid companies — Medihelp
Short-Term Insurance — Liberty
Jewellery and watches — Sterns Jewellery
Vehicle consumables — Hi-Q
Home Internet — Afrihost
Internet on the go — Afrihost
Furniture shops — OK Furniture
Mobile operators — Vodacom
Butcheries — Spar
The big take-out:
Companies that focus on CX typically exhibit increased revenue, are more profitable, have more engaged employees and have customers who are willing to pay up to 18% more for products.
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