It may sound simple enough to amend with a bit of training of the service delivery team. In principle this is correct, however, it is imperative to keep up to date with the latest service delivery trends to understand what customers require from these interactions. There needs to be insight into what it takes to satisfy customers and create a positive perception of the brand, and this requires market research. Transactional efficiency is no-longer enough, real emotional engagement is required that is based on knowledge and understanding.

To complete the circle of exemplary brand reputation management, it is vital that company leaders are in the know when it comes to current customer expectations and requirements of service delivery encounters. This insight must then filter down to staff on the ground, the people who are the direct interface between the brand and the public. Service delivery is becoming an increasingly important part of client acquisition and retention. With consumers becoming more and more perceptive, there is an even bigger need to safeguard one's reputation through excellent service delivery.

The Ask Afrika Orange Index Service Diagnostics and Social Trends Conference

An opportunity for top business executives to increase their knowledge base is the Ask Afrika Orange Index Service Diagnostics and Social Trends Conference that is happening at The Gordon Institute of Business (GIBS) in Illovo, Johannesburg on the morning of Thursday, 9 February. Guest speakers include José dos Santos, CEO of Cell C (Overall Call Centre Winner) and Geoffrey Collier, customer experience director at Volkswagen (Overall Winner).

Ask Afrika’s Orange Index celebrated its fifteenth year as South Africa’s most widely referenced service excellence benchmark, which provides the foundation for in-depth discussions on service trends and diagnostics in the South African corporate and consumer landscape. 

Companies across 33 industry sectors that excelled in service delivery, were recognised in the Ask Afrika’s Orange Index awards ceremony held at The Wanderers Club in November 2016. The top two trends that emerged were that “customer satisfaction depended on the overall level of interest shown by the employees in you as an individual and the professionalism of employees in dealing with you”.

What you can expect

This conference unpacks the data behind this annual benchmark and takes an in-depth look at the latest trends in service delivery in South Africa with a focus on various industry sectors ranging from automotive to casinos to retail, and identifying what is now required for customer satisfaction in an increasingly demanding market.

“Customers don't make industry specific differentiations,” says Sarina de Beer, managing director at Ask Afrika. “They compare best-in-class regardless of industry. That's why we started this ranking, so it doesn’t just reflect service levels within a particular industry, but actually compares across sectors.”

The conference includes the presentation of the three special awards: Most Consistent Achiever, Biggest Improvement and Best Municipality. Ask Afrika CEO and founder, Andrea Gevers will conduct the opening address and Sarina de Beer, MD of Ask Afrika will unpack the Orange Index Diagnostics and Service Trends.  Janine Hills, CEO of Vuma Reputation Management will speak as BrandSA’s representative about why service delivery matters to South Africa. Ntombifuthi Nala, Director of Research and Knowledge Management at GCIS, will speak on service delivery within Government. After lunch, there will be a methodology workshop and Q&A.

Attendees of the conference will include CEOs, marketing managers, heads of channels, customer service executives and researchers who want a holistic framework from which to devise and control service strategies, as well as organisations that are interested in benchmarking themselves against their peers and best practice in other industries. It is a great place to network and make connections.

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