Customers satisfied with local airlines

By Staff Writer
The latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) has revealed that South Africa’s domestic airlines have maintained customer satisfaction. In the latest survey, customers scored the airlines 69.7 out of 100, which is “not statistically different from last year’s score,” noted SAcsi.
 
There are a number of factors that contribute to determining the results. These include customer expectations, perceived quality and perceived value, as well as customer complaints and customer loyalty.
 
The results
 
The scores for the big three local airlines were as follows:
  • Kulula – 72.8
  • Mango – 71.3
  • South African Airways (SAA) – 66.8
 
SAcsi explained: “Kulula’s score increased slightly on last year’s measure and the airline held its leadership position for the second year in a row. Mango’s score was on par with the industry average and SAA score was below par for the second year in a row.”
 
Professor Adré Schreuder, founder of SAcsi and CEO of Consulta, noted: “The number of complaints has risen since last year. Although there were more complaints from both Kulula and Mango customers, the complaints level is low, with less than 10% of the respondents indicating that they had any complaints (Kulula 6.6% and Mango 7.3%). While it is highly unlikely that any brand will have zero complaints, we advise our customers that the level they should be aiming at is less than 10%. So although the number of complaints with SAA was lower than last year, the level is higher than 10% of respondents at 11.4%.”
 
Among the biggest complaints that customers had were delayed and cancelled flights. “Kulula customers also listed baggage damage and loss as issues, while Mango customers mentioned system and app errors as well as boarding gates closing early. SAA customers complained about hidden charges, bad attitudes by SAA staff and dirty toilets,” revealed the SAcsi.
 
The survey
 
There were 1 275 people who took part in the survey between May and July 2015, with the interviews being conducted telephonically and online. The survey looks at three drivers of customer satisfaction. These are customer expectations, perceived quality and perceived value.
 
The results of the satisfaction index are calculated based on two outcomes, customer complaints and customer loyalty.
 
“Customer expectations and perceived quality were on par with the previous study, with customers expecting more from Mango than last year. While the overall average for perceived value increased this year to 71.2 out of 100, SAA’s score (65.5) is significantly lower than the overall industry score. Both Kulula and Mango were given higher scores this year for perceived value,” highlighted SAcsi.
 
Schreuder added that airline customers are not very loyal to a particular carrier, though, Kulula is the leader in loyalty. However, loyalty and retention scores are lower across all brands surveyed.  “This drop in loyalty could be due to increased economic pressure on consumers, which drives them towards greater price sensitivity,” said Schreuder.

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