SA leads world in mobile network customer satisfaction

South Africa’s mobile network industry is a global leader in terms of customer satisfaction, according to this year’s South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi).

The SAcsi survey for 2014 asked a cross-section of consumers on all four of the mobile networks operating in South Africa to give their mobile network provider a satisfaction score, with the industry average revealed as 76.7 points out of 100.

In comparative terms, this places the South African mobile network market at the forefront of customer satisfaction worldwide, with the industry average in Portugal at 74.7 points, the United Kingdom (UK) and Turkey weighing in with an average score of 74 points, South Korea’s average at 73 points, customers in the United States (US) giving mobile operators an average of 72 points, and the Kuwaiti, Singaporean and Brazilian markets averaging 71, 67 and 65 points respectively.

A breakdown of the South African results saw market leading operator Vodacom, second operator MTN and smallest – and part-state owned – operator Telkom Mobile score on par with the industry average.

However, third provider Cell C scored 6.4 per cent below the industry average.

While in 2013, MTN was the clear industry leader in customer satisfaction terms, this year’s results showed no leader, nor were there any significant changes to scores as compared to last year’s survey.

“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, and that the mobile network service providers will find it increasingly difficult to find sustainable competitive advantage to compete with,” said Professor Adré Schreuder, founder and chair of SAcsi.

“Without clear differentiation and lower levels of customers 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,” Schreuder said.

SAcsi also surveyed customer satisfaction regarding mobile retail stores, with the industry average dropping four per cent on last year to 71.6 points.

Vodacom led customer satisfaction with retail outlets this year, scoring 2.1 per cent above the industry average, although decreasing six per cent compared from 2013.

Cell C and MTN recorded industry average scores, although MTN’s score fell six per cent as compared to its 2013 score.

Altech Autopage Cellular was included in the retail store index, scoring industry average points, while Nashua Mobile and Telkom Direct stores came in at 4.7 per cent below the industry average.

“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,” Schreuder said.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.



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