As it appeared in the Daily Nation on Sept 14th 2016
Often times when facilitating customer service training sessions, I pose this question – Who has the Best Service in Kenya? The answers are often as varied as the number of participants in the room. Often times we fail to reach a consensus on who really has the best service in Kenya. However, there are companies that are frequently top of the mind. In the just released Institute of Customer Service (ICS) Kenya Service Excellence Survey Report, a number of companies made it to the top of the list. It was interesting to note that most companies that participants suggest during the training sessions showed up on the ICS-Kenya survey report.
The survey report released on Thursday last week had targeted any Kenyan customer as a potential respondent. The only major requirement was for a customer to have access to a mobile phone. Customers responded via a mobile survey platform in February, April and August of this year. The survey was based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) which assesses customer loyalty. NPS methodology asks customers to rate a particular organization on a scale of 0 to 10 based on a single question “How likely is it that you would recommend the company to a friend or colleague?” The scores are then analysed by categorizing customers as either detractors (0-6), passives (7-8) or promoters (9-10). The final NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters without taking into consideration the passives. The highest possible score is positive 100 when none of the customers is a detractor while lowest possible is negative 100 when none of the customer is a promoter. A score of 50 and above is considered good enough.
Five sectors participated in the survey namely the Banks, Insurance Companies, Supermarkets, Mobile Services providers and the Public Sector. The report had some interesting findings. First, it was obvious that the supermarkets had the highest average NPS of 60. Across the globe, the retail sector has over the years led in the service excellence. This is so because the sector has the most customer interactions; it is highly competitive and not very differentiated. Out of the five sectors, surprisingly the banks had the lowest average NPS behind even the public sector and only one of the five banks rated had a NPS of above 50. This indicates that the sector as a whole needs to drive customer loyalty. Another interesting observation was that the companies reporting the highest NPS per sector this year namely KCB Bank, Jubilee Insurance, Naivas Supermarkets, Safaricom and Huduma Centres have been featuring on the ICS-K list for third year running.
As we applaud all those who featured top of the list in every sector, we must remember that none of these organizations is without detractors or is without customer pain points. In addition, all passives customers present a great opportunity for conversion to promoters. If not converted, they fall back into being detractors. Looking back 20 years ago, the list would have been very different. To remain best in customer service companies have to be deliberate about continuously improving their end-to-end customer experience. The best news is that through a focus on the customer experience, smart companies can further transform their service from good to great.
Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org/old or via twitter @kiruthulucy