SA customer experience levels continued their decline during Covid

By our News Team | 2021

The Ask Afrika Orange Index released last week shows digital channels now rate higher than human channels for satisfaction.

Over the past five years, customer experience service levels continued to decline in South Africa, as did customer loyalty towards brands. 

This is according to the 2021 Ask Afrika Orange Index, a benchmark that tracks customer experience and the changing trends and expectations of customers. It provides customer experience and service scores across 31 industries and 200 individual brands. 

A total of 19 986 South Africans were interviewed during May to July 2021 to establish which companies provide the best customer experience in the country.

The decline in customer experience is on both the emotional and service-related components of the experience, the researchers found. Customers’ emotional satisfaction decreased by two points, while service satisfaction decreased by a single point. 

Customers are looking for emotional connections with brands. The results show that emotional satisfaction has double the impact on customer loyalty that service satisfaction has. According to Ask Africa, this is unsurprising since consumers across the globe, including

Customer satisfaction index

Photo by Icons-8 team @ Unsplash

African citizens, live in a constantly changing society on a macro- and micro-level. Citizens experienced lack of trust, fear of the unknown and loneliness on higher levels during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Digital channels rated higher than human channels 

Trust is the top customer loyalty driver in South Africa, followed by reputation and relationship. On the flipside, the biggest detractors from customer loyalty are a lack of value for money, first-call resolution and high customer effort.

The impact of lockdown gave businesses no choice but to increase their digital interaction, engagement and service, says the report. The results showed that the experiences when engaging with digital channels – such as apps and websites – are better than when customers engaged with human interaction channels (call centre, branch or store). The exception is when customers have a complaint to lodge.


Source: Ask Afrika