FNB Connect outpaces telcos in satisfaction survey

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First National Bank’s mobile virtual network operator FNB Connect came out tops in a customer satisfaction survey for mobile telecoms services, scoring higher than MTN and Vodacom on quality of service.

According to the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SA-csi), conducted by Centurion-based research firm Consulta, mobile telco providers struggled to keep customers with higher expectations satisfied.

Consulta says to reach its conclusions it uses data collected through customer interviews and feeds this into a statistically-sound model developed for the American Customer Satisfaction Index at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

For the current survey, it says over 2 200 customers who use voice and data solutions from Cell C, MTN, Vodacom and FNB Connect participated.

They were asked to evaluate satisfaction in service, quality and value of the telco providers.

On overall customer satisfaction score, FNB Connect came out first with a score of 79.2, Cell C followed with 77.1, while Vodacom had 74.4 and MTN 73.2.

On perceived quality − the measure of what customers expect versus what they experience in terms of delivery – FNB again led with a score of 81.5; all other brands were on par, scoring 78.

Ineke Prinsloo, head of customer insights at Consulta, comments: “A consistent decline in customer satisfaction and loyalty left the industry vulnerable to new entrants and substitutes, as consumers increasingly look for alternatives, and especially simplicity, a streamlining of service providers and service channels, and value for money.

“This has certainly played out in the latest SA-csi for mobile telcos, with a banking brand, FNB Connect, taking the top spot in customer satisfaction, and not one of the large traditional providers.

“In reality, FNB Connect’s lead in customer satisfaction in mobile telcos suggests customers are choosing to turn to trusted providers they already have a deep relationship with – in this case, their banking provider – allowing them to streamline the number of service providers they use, simplify their billing, payment and instant top-ups by using their existing banking app, integrate their banking rewards, and get preferential mobile deals and prices.”

According to Prinsloo: “When you consider the depth of data and analytics that banks have on their customers, the opportunity to offer value-added products – like data and airtime – that are uniquely tailored to customer needs is significant.

“In the same way as bancassurance (the provision of insurance products through trusted banking channels) is consistently challenging the traditional distribution models in the SA-csi for insurance, FNB Connect’s foray into the mobile telco service provider space is a trend to watch.”

Commenting on the survey finding, Raj Makanjee, FNB Retail CEO, says this affirms FNB’s successful efforts in providing an integrated customer experience where telco services are available on the bank’s digital platform.

Bradwin Roper, FNB Connect CEO, says: “We believe that access to affordable pricing plans for devices is one of the largest impediments to South Africans getting connected for social, employment, health and educational needs. In response to this and staying close to our customers’ needs, we recently launched our popular smart devices offering on the FNB App, with contracts of up to 24 months.

“Being recognised as an industry leader in a highly-competitive sector is an honour and testament to the growing appeal of FNB Connect as the telco provider of choice to customers in our financial services group.”

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