The 2011 South African Service Awards are now open for voting by the South African public. The competition will put companies and brands against each other in the first such competition that goes directly to consumers to highlight the providers of superior service.
Customer satisfaction is recognised as the only measure of the quality of economic output. Research shows customer satisfaction to be a leading economic indicator and a predictor of a company’s financial performance, according to the University of Michigan’s Business School. Retaining customers is key to competing in this tough economic environment. Marketers recognise that it costs five to eight times as much to get new customers than to hold on to existing ones.
Companies will be rated by their customers - not judges - on a standardised survey that will be accessible on the Internet and Facebook. Consumers will be motivated to participate by having a chance to win iPads and other lucky draw prizes. The competition will run from 1 September 2011 until 30 November 2011. Voter registration is currently open. The votes will be counted and audited with the Awards Gala being held in late January 2012.
In a survey completed by 2514 consumers, 96% of respondents said they would rate companies in the South African Service Awards. Additionally, the top 5 industries that South African consumers would like to rate are Banks (91%), Mobile Operators (85%), Retailers (73%), Airlines (69%), and Accommodation and Fast Food (tied at 63%).
Andrew Cook, CEO of Smoke Customer Care Solutions, is spearheading the competition. “In many industries there are low levels of rivalry, so companies often don’t invest in customer service. On the other hand, many put the systems and processes in place to offer great service. They should be recognised for their efforts,” he stated. The company has committed to give away one iPod Touch per week and one iPad 2 each month for the duration of the competition.
The four categories are Tiny Giants, Small Companies, Medium Companies, and Large Companies. More information can be found at www.saservice.co.za or www.facebook.com/SAServiceAwards.