SA banking sector has the most satisfied customers - poll

SA banking sector has the most satisfied customers - poll

DURBAN - 2020 looks set to be an epic fight for survival as numerous socio-economic factors come into play that will further challenge businesses and their ability to achieve greater levels of customer satisfaction.

This is the takeout from a wrap up of the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SA-csi) conducted by Consultaduring 2018/2019 which polled almost 35000 consumers across nine different sectors to obtain highly scientific insights into the overall level of satisfaction of their customers.

The nine sectors Airlines, Banks, Clothing retailers, Mobile Telcos, Medical Schemes, Municipalities, Life Insurers and Short-term insurers.

"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. 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that new disruptor competitors come with the distinct benefit and agility of a new slate – they simply don’t have the outdated legacy systems, processes and mindsets to integrate into truly customer-centric ways of doing business.  They have a distinct advantage of being able to take the true value of data, analytics, AI and map that back to consumer behaviour in the business context, and then implement strategies to build their businesses from the outside in to be responsive from the customer’s perspective. Customers will go where their needs and wants are best met with the minimum of effort from their side," said Ineke Prinsloo, Client Consultant Advisory at Consulta.  

She added, "One only has to look at the meteoric rise of the likes of Capitec and TymeBank’s achievement of 1 million account holders in less than 8 months, as well as the continued decline of some iconic brands to realise that competitor gaps and market leadership positions are being eroded much faster than ever expected.  The ones who are winning are those who put true customer centricity at the absolute core of every process and function within the business, rather than simply paying lip-service to it. It is well and truly a fight for survival in 2020, and we can expect to see some game-changing shifts in the SA’s business landscape in the short to medium term". 

Growth is not just about numbers and historical data

While the statistics and math needed to forecast market share potential may seem straightforward as a purely financial exercise, they are lacking the customer satisfaction information that plays a key role in the sustainability and future financial performance of a business.  

"They are fallible in the sense that no consideration is given to just how vulnerable a customer segment is to new market entrants, competitor activity and substitute products based on their satisfaction and loyalty levels. History is littered with case studies of companies and in fact entire industries that made fundamental strategic errors based on flawed forecasts. These failures were not the result of a lack of forecasting techniques, sales reporting or actuarial analysis, but rather the result of a mistaken, fundamental assumption:  that the current customer satisfaction and loyalty driving demand would continue unaltered and regardless.  This is why tracking customer satisfaction and loyalty along with financial forecasting is so fundamentally linked," said Prinsloo. 

A snapshot of the SA-csi (2018) conducted by Consulta across nine industry sectors shows the top performers with the most satisfied customers, based on industry par (average) scores:

1. Banking Industry:

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 brand 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).

2. Life Insurers:

Life Insurers rank second for having the most satisfied customers with industry par of 78.3 – here FNB Life takes leader position with 83,7 and well above the industry par.  Momentum trails far behind with the least satisfied customers, more than 10 index points behind the leader with 72,9 and well below industry par.

3. Clothing Retailers:  

Clothing retailers rank third 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. 

4. Supermarkets

Supermarkets rank 4th 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.    

5. Short-term Insurance

The Short-Term Insurance (STI) sector finds itself midway, ranked fifth 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.  

6. Mobile Telcos

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 provide.

7. Medical Schemes

Medical schemes ranked 7th 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.  

8. Airlines

Airlines ranked 8th across the nine industry sectors (72.4), with FlySafair leading with 78,18 and SAA trailing with the least satisfied customers (68,8).

9. Municipalities

Municipalities ranked 9th 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.