Since the Mayans got it wrong, and 2013 is eagerly awaiting businesses to come alive, we are faced with a new opportunity to inspire positive change in the lives of our customers. South African businesses have a new year to show their customers that they understand their ever-changing needs and are clever enough to respond appropriately. The Ask Afrika Orange Index® measures customer service excellence on a national scale with 15,430 interviews with customers across 18 industries, ranking 111 brands.
BizRadio’s Grant Jansen in conversation with Ask Afrika’s Client Services Director, Dr Amelia Richards.
Podcast | Click HERE to listen
The outcome of the Ask Afrika Orange Index®, a survey that has tracked customer service trends for more than a decade, illustrates that:
Service levels have decreased with 5.24% in 2012, the lowest level in the last decade and the 2nd biggest drop ever.
- Dissatisfaction levels have increased because of inconsistent service delivery
- Customers feel entitled and are aware of social platforms and will use it when they feel brands do not respond positively to service demands.
- When service levels between private and the government sector is compared satisfaction with the private sector stands on 50% compared to a low 11% in the government sector. Many customers expect business to fulfil the role of government and the church where the appeal to address social capital is concerned, hence seeing more and more ‘Hope campaigns’ from Kentucky Fried Chicken, or traffic regulators sponsored by Outsurance.
Getting stuck in the traditional models of service, will ensure a satisfactory experience, but will not buy the strong commitment that companies need in order to survive in a sustainable fashion. Although service levels dropped across17 of the 18 industries measured the automotive industry was the exception. The winner of the Ask Afrika Orange Index® award in 2012, Woolworths Food, is an excellent example of a company that does not only provide an excellent transactional service experience through smiling staff and shorter queue times, but also provides their customers with a sense of comfort that they are investing in the future through responsible trading and community service.
The 2012 survey makes available diagnostic trends that are already being implemented by astute companies across industries who aim to differentiate themselves on a service level. Besides the social imperative, other key trends highlight the disconnect between business and Generation Y, a lack of effective response to social media conversations and the importance of integrating humanness into service strategies going forward. Industry input and collaboration has increased over the years to ensure the information provided by the Ask Afrika Orange Index® represents the commercial need and can be practically applied to inspire and lead change.