South African consumers’ satisfaction with mobile network service providers has remained unchanged in the past year, although their happiness with their retail stores has fallen by 4% over the same period.
The findings are contained in the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi), which was released on Tuesday.
In the 2014 survey, consumers have given the mobile networks a satisfaction score of 76,7%, with the figure for mobile telecoms retail stores falling to 71,6%.
This year’s results indicate no clear industry leaders. MTN, which was last year’s industry leader, Telkom Mobile and Vodacom have all scored on par with the industry average. Cell C is below industry par by 6,4%, the survey shows. There have been no significant changes in any of the company scores from last year to this year.
“The fact that there is no clear industry leader and that there has been little to no change in both industry and company satisfaction scores indicates that there is no differentiator in the market,” says SAcsi founder and chairman Adré Schreuder in a statement.
“Without clear differentiation and lower levels of customer loyalty, it will contribute to the ease of switching to another service provider and the network service providers need to consider the possible implications of this.”
The SAcsi surveyed 2 288 randomly selected customers of Altech Autopage Cellular, Cell C, MTN and Vodacom. The sample also included customers of other retail stores (Nashua Mobile and Telkom Direct). “Although the industry satisfaction score (71,6%) dropped by 3,2 index points (4%) from last year, Altech Autopage improved its score by 7% and moved from below industry par to being on par with the industry.”
Vodacom has maintained its industry leader position with a satisfaction score 2,1% above the industry average, although its satisfaction score dropped 6% since last year.
Cell C is on par with the industry and recorded no significant change in its satisfaction score from last year. Satisfaction among MTN’s customers is also on par with the industry, but the score has dropped 6% since last year. The other mobile telecoms retail stores scored below the industry average by 4,7%.
“The decrease in overall satisfaction among the mobile telecoms retailers can be attributed to the fact that customer expectations of the quality of service are high and have increased since last year. Telecoms retailers have been unable to meet these expectations, let alone exceed them,” says Schreuder in the statement.
He adds that customers expect knowledgeable and friendly staff at outlets and want to receive feedback when raising issues at the stores. The failure of mobile telecoms stores to meet these expectations affects customer satisfaction levels. “Vodacom exceeds customer expectations and boasts the highest customer retention and customer loyalty scores in the industry, contributing to its high overall satisfaction score.”
SAcsi is an independent index that is governed by the University of Pretoria. The research is not sponsored. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media