One would think that, with food inflation set to average 6.9% this year, down from 10.8% from last year (according to Standard Bank economists’ Consumer Trends: SA Consumer Chart Book Q4:16 – Q1:17) and with purse strings stretch to the maximum, consumers would be unhappy with what supermarkets have to offer.
But, according to the latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) conducted by Consulta for supermarkets, customers were largely satisfied with their favourite supermarket – with the happiest being Woolworths customers.
According to Consulta’s Professor Adré Schreuder,”Woolworths has the most satisfied customers with a score of 82.1 on the index and is the only supermarket with a marked increase compared to its 2015 average of 80.7. Checkers, with a score of 77.2, and Pick n Pay at 76.5 both remained above average while Shoprite and Spar had scores of 75.5 and 75.2 respectively.”
The study benchmarks customer satisfaction using an internationally recognised model, which looks at expectations and perceived quality and value. It provides a weighted statistical index score of various aspects of a customer’s experience with the brand, the degree to which the product or service has met – fallen short of, or exceeded their expectations – and how well it compares to the respondents’ anticipation of their experience.
“Scores for customer loyalty declined across all supermarket brands analysed in 2016 compared to scores in 2015 – from 76.4 in 2015 to 74.2 in 201.
“In tough economic times, the price of goods is likely to influence consumers’ loyalty even though they are satisfied customers,” says chief executive of Consulta, Professor Adré Schreuder. “But price-motivated ‘loyalty’ is not permanent so while customers may display less brand loyalty now, supermarkets cannot afford to stop investing in positive shopping experiences.”