How Are South African Brands Prioritising Customers?

As brands continue to adapt to changing consumer preferences and behaviours, those that prioritise customer experience are poised to thrive in the dynamic market. A look at six brands doing it right.

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  • It’s a big deal when a brand pulls the plug on a product to enhance customer experience. It’s an indication that anything can be a positive change if it ultimately helps the customers.

    South Africa’s First National Bank’s (FNB) recent decision to discontinue its tap-to-pay feature illustrates the bank’s dedication to simplify customer journeys and embrace emerging digital wallet solutions.

    The most valuable South African brands have a total combined value of $31.6 billion, according to Kantar. The region’s brands understand the importance of enhancing customer experience to stay competitive in an evolving market landscape. This shift reflects a broader trend where consumers are increasingly turning to ecommerce for their shopping needs, seeking safety, convenience, and seamless experiences.

    As South African consumers become more comfortable with online shopping and digital experiences, their expectations for brand solutions are growing. A significant number of consumers today search for products or services online, highlighting the importance of having a strong online store presence.

    Well, as brands continue to adapt to changing consumer preferences and behaviours, those that prioritise customer experience are poised to thrive in the dynamic South African market; and can pride themselves with customer trust and loyalty as their green flags.

    Here are six South African brands across different industries that impressed the business world with their customer experience achievements.

    The CX Win: Unified customer-centricity

    With a selection of over 40,000 products from 300+ leading brands, Bash has solidified its position as a premier e-tailer for fashion and lifestyle, dominating web and app traffic. The key to Bash’s success lies in its customer-centric approach, enabling users to shop seamlessly across multiple brands and categories on a single platform. The platform’s emphasis on customer experience is evident, with a 73% increase in multi-brand orders since launch and over 80% of app customers being first-time online buyers. Bash prioritises customer control, with 40% of users opting for the Bash Collect service, allowing convenient order pickup at 800+ TFG stores. Additionally, the stock locator feature has attracted over 160,000 users, enhancing their “phygital” shopping experience.

    The CX Win: AI capabilities and cloud-native solutions

    MTN, Africa’s telecommunications service provider, enhanced customer experience through a strategic partnership with Accenture and Genesys. By leveraging AI capabilities and cloud-native solutions, MTN aims to redefine customer care, offering personalised service and driving operational excellence. The Genesys Cloud CX platform empowers agents with real-time insights and analytics, enabling them to understand and meet individual customer needs effectively. The transformation had demonstrated significant improvements, including a 40% reduction in call volume in South Africa, highlighting the immediate impact on operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. 

    The CX Win: The ‘New Ways of Banking’ branch

    In September 2023, Nedbank unveiled its innovative ‘New Ways of Banking’ branch in Somerset West, Western Cape, as part of its Project Imagine initiative aimed at enhancing customer experience. This new branch integrates digital self-service options with personalised in-person assistance, providing customers with convenient and flexible banking solutions. Nedbank plans to refine and enhance the branch experience based on valuable insights gathered during the pilot phase, aligning with its commitment to deliver distinctive, value-adding banking experiences that empower clients to bank the way they want.

    The CX Win: Self-service checkout

    In March 2023, the retail group introduced self-service checkout at its UNIQ stores in South Africa, marking a significant step towards enhancing customer experience. With the implementation of smart tags and RFID technology, customers can now conveniently scan and pay for items, reducing wait times and improving efficiency. This innovation allows staff to focus on delivering exceptional service, while real-time product tracking ensures accurate stock levels, minimising instances of out-of-stock items. Furthermore, the integration of machine learning and AI-driven analytics enables the Group to predict trends, optimise inventory, and reduce waste, ultimately contributing to an enhanced overall customer experience.

    The CX Win: Enhancements to the custody and securities settlement operations

    Last year, Standard Bank Group expanded its partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to enhance customer experience in custody and securities settlement operations across 15 markets in Africa. By deploying the TCS BaNCS™ Global Securities Processing Platform, SBG aims to offer unified, reliable, and efficient services to its customers. With a focus on enhancing digital products and services, SBG leverages the platform’s modern tech stack and ecosystem enablers to refine its offerings while ensuring superior operational efficiencies and digital adoption. 

    The CX Win: AI travel assistant

    Travelstart launches Africa’s first AI travel assistant that helps enhance customer satisfaction and convenience. By understanding individual preferences and budgets, it crafts personalised itineraries for unforgettable adventures. Serving as a knowledgeable travel advisor, it offers insights into global destinations, including tourist attractions, local culture, and essential travel tips. Furthermore, the assistant provides budget-friendly recommendations for flights, accommodations, and activities, leveraging data analysis to uncover unbeatable deals. This innovative tool empowers travellers with informed choices, ensuring seamless and happy journeys.



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