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Benchmark of customer satisfaction shows TCF is key

What is the SA-csi?

The South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SA-csi) is an independent national benchmark of customer satisfaction of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in South Africa.

The SA-csi for Short-Term Insurance is the most comprehensive survey of customer satisfaction, and is a causal model that links customer expectations, perceived quality, and perceived value to customer satisfaction (the SA-csi score), which in turn is linked to customer complaints (and recovery), and customer loyalty intentions. It provides insights into the overall level of satisfaction of customers of South Africa’s short terms insurers – Auto & General, Discovery Insure, Hollard, OUTsurance, Old Mutual Insure, Santam and Virseker.

TCF reflected in customer satisfaction

FSPs should at all times, strive to meet the 6 TCF outcomes. The Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) outcomes set out the conduct which FSPs must display during the financial planning process and in every facet of the business. However, the latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SA-csi) for Short-Term Insurance shows that customer satisfaction is declining and smaller niche players are making big inroads into traditional markets.

According to Professor Adré Schreuder, SA-csi Founder and Chairperson, the strongest predictors of satisfaction in the insurance sector industry is the degree to which customers feel that their cover provides peace of mind and their provider keeps the promises made.

“It all boils down to trust and this is a significant factor when you consider that the nature of insurance is to protect your most valuable assets in your time of need, returning your financial stability after a mishap. It is very important that customers understand exactly what they are covered for during the sales and annual review process as this is where their expectations are born. The best way to achieve this is to drive simplicity in communication, remove jargon and provide sound advice. Customers want a provider that listens to them and responds to their individual needs. Insurers will go a long way to offer solutions that take into consideration individual client risks ratings where they are treated like individuals rather than policy numbers,” Prof Schreuder summarised.

Schreuder added that the industry is overrun with jargon and regulation, whereas simplicity is key for the consumer. “When customers have a clear understanding of what they are signing up for, there is a much lower chance that they will be disappointed at claims stage. Don’t expect clients to jump through hoops and expend a great deal of effort to get the cover they need. This year’s index was also telling in the impact that complaints handling and speedy claims resolution has on overall customer satisfaction, and are areas that warrant focused attention from insurers,” he further remarked.

TCF score

The make-up of the overall TCF score looks at seven key aspects including:

  • Fair treatment of customers
  • Products and services that address customer needs
  • Transparent and easy to understand information
  • Advice that is suitable for the customer’s circumstances
  • Products and services deliver as expected
  • It is easy for customers to claim, change provides, complain or consider other providers
  • Customers are treated with respect and there is an open relationship

The degree to which customers feel they are being treated fairly by their insurer is highest with Virseker (86.1), Santam (82.4), Old Mutual Insure (80.3) and Outsurance (79.8) – all above industry par of 78.8. All other brands in this index score below the TCF par score.

TCF is about putting ourselves in your customer’s shoes. Insights create a benchmark, but ultimately customers who are treated fairly are more likely to remain loyal to you and in turn reward your business.

Click here download key take-outs from the SA-csi for Short-Term Insurance 2018.

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