SA’s customer service levels the “best ever”

The results of the 2017/18 Ask Afrika Orange Index Awards are out and show that of the 32 industries surveyed, 29 showed an increase in service levels and only three showed a drop. The survey says service levels in South Africa are at their best ever.

The scientific research for the survey was done through 15 959 interviews across 32 industries and 165 independently audited companies and provides a reliable yardstick for service measurement in the country.

Ask Afrika managing director, Sarina de Beer says the big question now is how to build on the current success to build the next tier of success. She notes for example that in the private sector service delivery there is still work that needs to be done to connect and build real relationships and real connections with customers.

Stuart Clarkson, managing executive of Fidelity ADT, and the winner in the Security and Armed Response category agrees saying there is still a very strong argument for emotional connections between an organisation and its customers. “In our security category for example connections and trust are key and that comes from the various touch points customers have with our business. It is a given that our visibility, response times and technology need to be in place but it is the value adds and the human connections that act as differentiators. It is the daily connections our reaction officers have with customers or the interactions our customers have with our monitoring centres and call centres that impact significantly on customer service ratings.”

“In our business our product is defined by the quality of our people, so a lot of attention is centred around both theoretical and practical training. We work in a highly regulated industry with stringent control mechanisms,” he says.

“This is the second successive time Fidelity ADT has come out tops in the security category. We are definitely not resting on our laurels though and will continue to look at ways to continually enhance our survey offering. With crime patterns shifting constantly, operating in isolation is not an option. Information sharing has become a necessity between residents, the SAPS, community associations and other relevant parties enhancing the need for more robust personal connections and a highly proactive approach to crime,” concludes Clarkson.