Best telecoms, ISP customer service in South Africa

MTN, Vodacom, and Ster-Kinekor performed well in the 2014 Ask Afrika Orange Index, placing in the top 20 companies in South Africa in terms of their customer service levels.

The Orange Index survey, which Ask Afrika said it has conducted since 2001, provides a customer service benchmark for companies which lets them compare their service levels within their own industry, and across other industries.

In 2014, 155 brands across 32 industry sectors were surveyed according to a number of different benchmarks.

This year the automotive industry topped the charts with Volkswagen taking first place from Truworths, while Toyota held on to its second place.

Representing the best of customer service to be had in the telecommunications sector, MTN came in eighth (slipping from seventh), while Vodacom placed tenth – also one spot weaker than in 2013. Mweb won the Internet service provider (ISP) category, but did not make it into the top 20.

The following table summarises the top 20 companies in the 2014 Ask Afrika Orange Index.

Ask Afrika Orange Index: top 20 overall winners

Ask Afrika index 2014
Ask Afrika index 2014
Rank Company Sector
1 Volkswagen Automotive
2 Toyota Automotive
3 Capitec Industrial financial institution
4 Woolworths clothing Food retail stores
5 Suncoast Casino Casinos
6 Foschini Clothing retail
7 Woolworths Food retail stores
8 MTN Telecommunications
9 Truworths Clothing retail
10 Vodacom mobile Telecommunications
11 KFC Fast food outlets
12 Mr Price Clothing Clothing retail
13 Ster-Kinekor Entertainment
14 McDonalds Fast food outlets
15 Shoprite Food retail stores
16 Liberty Life LT Insurance Long-term insurance companies
17 Checkers Food retail stores
18 Edgars Clothing retail
19 Pick ‘n Pay Clothing retail
20 OUTsurance Short-term insurance companies

Ask Afrika bases its index on the following criteria:

  • Customer effort: how much effort is transparent in service delivery
  • Net promoter score: reflects consumer loyalty and the likelihood of consumers recommending the brand to others
  • Treating customers fairly: this applies to new legislation, such as ensuring the customer understands the terms and conditions of a contract
  • First-call resolution: whether a problem is resolved with the first call
  • Overall service
  • Corporate reputation
  • Trust
  • Emotional experience: a barometer of what consumers felt
  • Call centre satisfaction
  • Corporate social responsibility: linked to perceptions of ethics

Call centre satisfaction

In addition to the top 20 companies overall, Ask Afrika also released its rankings of companies with the best call centres.

Here the information and communication technology sectors dominated, holding seven of the top ten positions. Financial institutions made up the other three.

The table below summarises Ask Afrika’s call centre standings for 2014.

Rank Company Sector
1 MTN mobile Telecommunications
2 Vodacom mobile Telecommunications
3 Capitec Financial institution
4 Telkom mobile Internet service providers
5 MTN internet Internet service providers
6 Cell C mobile Telecommunications
7 Vodacom internet Internet service providers
8 Standard Bank Financial institution
9 Cell C internet Internet service providers
10 FNB Financial institution

Best telecoms companies

In statements released following the announcement of the 2014 Ask Afrika Index, Mweb and MTN punted the fact that they had won their respective categories.

“Excellent customer service is one of our main focus areas at Mweb and to win this award proves that our customers recognise our efforts to treat them well,” said Ettiene Cloete, general manager of operations at Mweb Connect.

Mweb said it competed against six other ISPs to win its category.

“We are very proud of this achievement as the telecommunications sector is traditionally one of the hardest fought areas reflecting its importance in the connected world of today,” said Eddie Moyce, chief customer experience officer at MTN South Africa.

“By being recognised by these prestigious awards reflects our commitment to ensure that the customer is at the heart of everything we do,” Moyce said. “I wish to thank our staff for being good ambassadors of the brand, without them we would not have achieved this milestone.”

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Best telecoms, ISP customer service in South Africa