The secret behind Afrihost’s success

Afrihost director Greg Payne said a conscious decision to focus on excellent service levels helped them build a strong brand and create exceptional customer loyalty.

The latest research from Analytico revealed that Afrihost has a dominant position in South Africa’s Internet service provider market when it comes to consumer perceptions.

66% of tech-savvy South Africans associate Afrihost with the best service quality, and 47% think they offer the best value for money.

Although their support declined slightly among less informed consumers, it still had the strongest brand among this group.

It raises the question of how Afrihost has created such a dominant ISP brand with a much smaller marketing budget than rivals like Telkom.

It is well-known that Afrihost has an excellent digital marketing strategy to ensure its marketing budget produces strong results.

Instead of spending millions on expensive television and radio advertisements, it focuses its marketing on digital channels, which produce better results than other mediums.

However, marketing only introduces a company to potential clients and helps to sign up new subscribers. Good products and great service are needed to keep clients.

This is where Afrihost excels. With nearly a million customers, it has created a company its subscribers love.

Payne told MyBroadband that there are numerous reasons for its strong performance, but the most important is customer service.

“We made a conscious decision many years ago to go out of our way to delight our clients,” Payne said.

“From our internal surveys, we get this right about 95% of the time. Getting it wrong 5% of the time still means we will have a lot of unhappy clients.”

He said it is important for them to make up for any mistakes and fix the core problem to ensure improvement over time.

“This seems like a simple idea, but in practice, it is very hard to do when you have close to a million clients,” Payne said.

“If just 5% are unhappy, that is still a big number. You need a team to make this work, not an individual.”

To ensure the Afrihost team is happy, they invest heavily in creating a great working environment.

Afrihost’s investment in its staff aligns with Virgin founder Richard Branson’s views that employees are a company’s greatest asset and worth the long-term investment.

Branson famously said, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”. This is what Afrihost is doing.

“If the Afrihost team is happy, that will have a positive impact when dealing with our clients,” Payne said.

“We have a brilliant, smart, hardworking team at Afrihost that we are immensely proud of.”

Payne added that the only way they can be successful is for the Afrihost team to delight their clients over the very long term.

“We will most likely never get to 100%, but we have made it our mission to keep improving over time,” he said.

ISP survey among tech-savvy users

The charts below show Afrihost’s dominant brand awareness and consumer perception among South Africa’s tech-savvy users.

Most of these users are IT decision-makers for their households, families, and companies. This bodes well for Afrihost’s future.

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The secret behind Afrihost’s success