The Ask Afrika awards ceremony took place in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, and revealed winners in the hospitality catergories, naming Protea Hotels by Marriott as the winner in service excellence.
This was measured by the 2017/2018 Ask Africa Orange Index benchmark.
Sun International came in second place, and City Lodge was in third place.
The award reflects the drive towards enhanced visitor experiences within hospitality as well as technological advancements that have allowed for increased personalisation within the processes that drive sales campaigns, booking and the stay itself.
Danny Bryer, area director of sales, marketing and revenue management of Protea Hotels by Marriott, says: “This award highlights that the focus on the customer has always been prioritised, across all platforms and stages of the customer journey. From marketing campaigns to bookings and the hotel stays. Hotel groups must walk the talk and provide service excellence. This is evidenced in everything from welcoming customers by name to listening to the customer to hear their expectations and experiences.”
“Our customer base across South Africa is loyal to the brand, a reality that reflects a culture of great customer service,” Bryer adds.
The Ask Afrika Orange Index is the largest and most widely-referenced service excellence benchmark in South Africa. It was launched in 2001, and has a tracking history of service in South Africa for the past 16 years based on robust sample sizes.
Rod Jones, reputable customer service excellence expert, says: “Customer service and the journey to establishing service excellence has always been a key focus of organisations over the past two decades. However, in a changed landscape where consumer power has become a force that can no longer be ignored, many companies are grappling with their inability to effectively deliver on consumers’ expectations.”
“Where customer service has become the differentiator and customer expectations are evolving, it’s essential to stay ahead of trends and reach your customers in ways that speak to them. Ours is a diverse market that expects, and deserves, world-class service, our challenge to ourselves is to ensure that this is what we deliver at all times,” Bryer concludes.