The South African banking and insurance industries are both extremely competitive and it is vital that they are in tune with their customers' feedback if they want to retain their existing customers and continue to attract new clientele. It is also important for customers to know what level of customer service they are likely to receive before they choose a bank or insurance company. Once you've chosen a bank or insurance company, it's not that easy to change so its important to make the right choice at the outset.
getclosure! has recently published a list of industry leaders in terms of customer service, based on feedback gathered from people using its online complaints management portal. It is interesting to see how these statistics overlap with the top rated companies in the annual Sunday Times/ IPSOS Markinor Top Brands Survey which was published last month.
The Top Brand survey measures three things: spontaneous brand awareness, trust and confidence in the brand, and how much people would care if the brand suddenly ceased to exist. While huge amounts of marketing spend can certainly raise awareness, it's the second two factors that really impact on the customer's experience with the brand.
There are some definite correlations between the two sets of statistics in the banking industry. According to the Top Brand survey, ABSA is the number one ranked bank in South Africa. It also turns up at number eight in terms of the brands perceived to have done the most for community upliftment in SA. The bank performs well on the customer service side too: according to getclosure! it's the second highest performer in the banking sector, scoring a 100% satisfaction rate with the outcome of complaints. In addition, it scored 80% satisfaction with the way complainants were dealt with.
Number three banking brand, FNB, also performs well on the customer service front, and has responded to 100% of complaints delivered via getclosure! Further getclosure! customer feedback indicates that the leading bank in terms of customer service is African Bank, scoring 100% for customer satisfaction, and responding to all complaints. In fact - for all companies that have responded to complaints sent via getclosure!, African Bank comes out on top. This could contribute to its relatively high placing - sixth - in the national brand survey.
In the long-term insurance industry, Sanlam is leading the way in terms of customer service with a 100% customer satisfaction rate for the outcome of complaints and the way complaints are handled. Out of a maximum rating of 4, their average customer rating was 3 out of 4 for the way complaints were handled and an impressive 4 out of 4 for the outcome of complaints! Old Mutual and Liberty Life also have consistently high ratings on getclosure!, with a 100% satisfaction rate for both the way complaints were handled and the outcome of complaints and an average customer rating of 2 out of 4 for both companies. This correlates to the Top Brands Survey where Old Mutual came out tops, followed by Sanlam.
The high correlation between the two sets of data demonstrates just how important customer service is. A comparison of the two surveys shows how often brands that offer great service are also highly rated by the general population. Food for thought when you are next choosing a supplier in this space.
Article by getclosure!, an online complaints management, compliments and consumer affairs portal.