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How South Africa’s Favourite Brands Elevate Customer Experience

How South Africa’s favourite brands elevate customer experience
Enhancing brand loyalty in South Africa through seamless customer experiences and satisfaction [Chaay_tee /Adobe Stock]

This blog explores key findings from the State of the Connected Customer report. Showing how SA’s favourite brands can upgrade CX through data privacy, customer-centricity, and visibility.

The findings from our State of the Connected Customer report for South Africa show that customers with favourite brands need more data privacy, customer-centricity, and visibility to remain loyal over other brands.

Picture this: you’re buying groceries, or taking out your first mortgage, or browsing for new sneakers. There’s a strong chance you had a specific brand in mind when imagining these moments.

Despite this instant connection, the love for iconic brands in South Africa is undergoing a subtle shift. 

The findings from our sixth State of the Connected Customer report for South Africa show that while many customers have their go-to brands, these favourites need to up the ante to hold onto their loyalists.

In this article, we’ll show you the path preferred brands need to take to do this: first, by understanding what they do better than most brands; then, where they’re going wrong; and finally, how to fix these issues.

If you want the full breakdown of the State of the Connected Customer, read the report here.

What do favourite brands do better than most?

It’s undeniable there’s something special about our favourite brands. 

Getting a clear understanding of that special ingredient is the first thing these brands need to take to keep hold of their customers’ loyalty.

Our survey shows that preferred brands typically outshine their peers in three key areas:

1. Data privacy and transparency

The majority of loyal customers feel their brands of choice shine when it comes to respecting data privacy, with 49% believing their chosen brands always handle their data with care. Only 35% say the same for others. 

The transparency in communication is another commendable trait: 37% of customers in South Africa credit their top brands with being straightforward, compared to 26% for the competition.

2. Customer-centricity

There’s also a palpable sense that these preferred brands are more customer-focused. Around 44% believe that their favourites always prioritise their needs.

3. Visibility

The ease of accessing information is another feather in their cap, with the same percentage (44%) acknowledging their preferred brand’s efforts in this regard – a stark contrast to the 30% for other brands.

But while these brands are ahead, they aren’t miles apart from the competition. With just a 15% lead in some areas, there’s a pressing question: What’s stopping them from pulling further ahead?

Where are favourite brands missing the customer experience mark?

Loyalty isn’t just about doing things right. It’s about consistently avoiding mistakes. Our report shines a light on some of the negative actions favourite brands are still taking when it comes to data privacy and transparency, customer-centricity, and visibility.

  • Over-communication: 55% feel their preferred brands contact them too frequently, and 20% believe these brands overstep their boundaries.
  • Lack of engagement: Despite the clamour for more involvement, only 24% report that brands request customer feedback, with the same percentage asserting that feedback is acted upon.
  • Inconsistency and misinformation: Alarmingly, 48% of customers point out that messaging from their favourite brands varies across platforms, while 22% have encountered misleading claims.

So, where should our beloved brands go from here?

Three ways favourite brands can increase their customer experience advantage

If these favoured brands wish to widen the gap and fortify their CX fortresses, the latest State of the Connected Customer report points towards three pivotal avenues to improve data privacy, customer-centricity, and visibility:

1. Fortify data security

With 17% of customers switching brands because of a brand’s actions on data privacy, you can’t afford to be lax.

Leaders in the South African region are solving this by migrating CRM data to the cloud. It not only ensures default end-to-end encryption but also provides robust and transparent data privacy controls. To delve deeper into this, see how Data Cloud can unify all of your company data in a secure way.

2. Amplify personalisation

65% of customers expect companies to adapt to their changing needs and preferences. Effective, timely, and relevant personalisation is the key to keeping up with this trend.

To do this, you need a unified CRM that provides you with a connected view of all your customers, and the AI capabilities to turn those insights into actionable, personalised experiences.

For example, Salesforce Einstein brings together your CRM data and data from across your company, and adds baked-in AI capabilities – so you have access to smarter personalisation and higher security.

3. Consistent communication

Seamless interaction across platforms – be it email, phone, or the web – is non-negotiable.

Tools like Sales Cloud Sales Engagement make this feasible by employing connected communication, letting you meet buyers where they are. But there’s more to it. 

Building a culture that values customer feedback and acts on it is paramount. Employing smart feedback management tools can streamline this process, ensuring timely surveys and subsequent actions.

South Africa’s favourite brands need to focus on security, personalisation, and visibility to elevate CX

It’s clear: to distance themselves from the pack, South African brands must up their game in data privacy, customer-centricity, and visibility. 

And while our research offers invaluable insights specific to South Africa, the 6th edition of the State of the Connected Customer unveils broader trends from around the world. From evolving customer expectations in a dynamic world to the widening AI trust gap, there’s a treasure trove of insights to explore.

If you want the full breakdown of the State of the Connected Customer, read the report here.

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