Customer satisfaction down to 64 percent

Source: Customer satisfaction down to 64 percent | Sunday Mail (Business)

Tawanda Musarurwa
Zimbabwe’s customer satisfaction index ranking for 2018 has declined by 11,8 percentage points to 63,7 percent, an indication that customers are generally not happy with the quality of goods and services local firms offer.

This is according to the latest National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI), which is carried out by the Chartered Institute of Customer Management (CICM) in collaboration with Select Research (Pvt) Limited.

The inaugural NCSI, which was launched last year, indicated a ranking of 75,5 percent.

The index is a national indicator on how companies are performing in terms of customer satisfaction at sectoral level.

The NCSI essentially measures the quality of economic output as a complement to traditional measures of the quantity of economic output.

It is the country’s scientific standard of customer satisfaction. Zimbabwe’s top-rated companies in 16 key economic sectors in terms of customer satisfaction in the following sectors were showcased and honoured at an event earlier this month.

These included airlines, banks, courier services, electronic payment platforms, food outlets, funeral policy organisations and Government parastatals.

Other sectors included hospitality, internet service, long-term insurance, medical aid, retail, retail clothing, short-term insurance and telecommunications.

The top performing sector, according to the 2018 NCSI, is the food outlet sector, with a ranking of 68,6 percent, which is above the average ranking.

Of late, people have been taking to social media to express their frustrations on the deteriorating quality of food items produced locally.

Schweppes Zimbabwe, producers of Mazoe, was recently humbled by a massive consumer backlash after altering the drink’s ingredients without prior consultation. According to the 2018 NCSI, the courier services sector came in second at 67,6 percent, just below the average ranking, followed by the hospitality and the long-term insurance sectors at 67,3 percent and 65,7 percent respectively.

The energy sector rounded off the top 5 sectors with a ranking of 65,5 percent.

The NCSI concept worldwide is based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) model, a multi-equation econometric model developed by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

The retail sector came in sixth position with a ranking of 65,2 percent, followed by the internet service sector with a ranking of 65,1 percent. The short-term insurance and medical aid sectors came in eighth and ninth positions, with rankings of 64,8 percent and 64,3 percent respectively.

The funeral policy sector closed off the top 10 performing sectors in terms of customer satisfaction with a ranking of 64,3 percent.

CICM chief executive, Dr Ricky Harris said customer satisfaction is now recognised as the single most important factor affecting a company’s profitability.

She said the NCSI, an independent national benchmark of customer satisfaction of the quality of products and services is therefore, critical in both the public and private sectors within the local economy, as well as for foreign investors eyeing the country’s markets.

“Local firms can use the NCSI as a tool to optimise customer satisfaction, which in turn drives customer loyalty and thereby corporate profitability. The Index is also used for competitive and cross-industry benchmarking. It’s also critical for foreign investors who need to understand the relationship between a company’s current condition and its future capacity to produce wealth. In capitalistic free markets, sellers that do well by their customers are rewarded by more business from buyers and more capital from investors,” said Dr Harris.

NCSI is the only cross-industry benchmark measure of customer satisfaction in Zimbabwe, and CICM is planning to carry out an Africa-wide customer satisfaction index survey.

“We are currently working to set up CSI for Africa,” said Dr Harris.