The South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SA-csi), an independent international benchmark of customer satisfaction conducted by Consulta, measured Bestmed alongside five other large medical schemes using a multi-variate model. Weighted indices include perceived quality and value, customer expectations and satisfaction, customer complaint incidence and handling, and customer loyalty. Bestmed’s results for 2020 placed the Scheme at the forefront of customer experience in the South African medical scheme industry.
The research included existing Bestmed beneficiaries. Participants were sourced via a combination method data collection that included telephonic interviews randomly selected from contact lists provided by subscribing members and utilising Consulta’s survey community (ConsultaPanel). The telephonic (CATI) and online survey (WEB) ratio is kept constant for all brands measured to prevent differences in scores.
The perceived quality index measures a customer’s experience of the Scheme’s quality of service and products, while the perceived value index measures quality relative to the price paid. Bestmed is top of the industry with overall scores of 84.2 for perceived quality (industry average is 83.0) and 78.0 for perceived value (industry average is 72.2).
The customer expectations index measures a customer’s anticipation of the Scheme’s products and services. Bestmed scored second highest by a mere 0.4 difference in overall score to a larger medical scheme. Bestmed received a score of 85.4, the industry averaging at 85.0.
Customer satisfaction is a weighted average of overall satisfaction with a product or service; the degree to which a product or service has met, fallen short of or exceeded expectations, and how a product or service compares to a customer’s idea of the ideal product or service. Bestmed once again exceeded the industry average (76.1) with an overall score of 77.4, which is also the highest customer satisfaction score in the industry.
The score given in this section of the survey includes the percentage of customers who placed a complaint in the last six months and a rating of how effectively the Scheme dealt with their complaint. Bestmed received the lowest number of complaints in the industry with a score of 12.4% (industry average is 16%).
This index measures a customer’s likelihood to repurchase a product or service in the future, as well as price tolerance. Bestmed’s overall loyalty index is top of the industry, with a 70.6% score (industry average is 68.8%), with 82% of customers likely to repurchase.
According to Ineke Prinsloo, Head of Customer Insights at Consulta, “2020 and COVID-19 brought about a renewed awareness for consumers on the accessibility and affordability of quality healthcare. Medical schemes offer consumers the ability to purchase cover for the healthcare that they expect and demand. Consulta’s COVID-19 tracking studies indicated that, while pressured consumers are looking towards cutting back on discretionary expenses, they are reluctant to do so on their medical scheme premiums. Value for money, what consumers consider as worth it, is the strongest predictor of future consumption, and Bestmed leads the way on value for money in the industry for the second year in a row.”
Prinsloo further states, “Members of medical schemes consider keeping promises, a scheme that listens and responds, and competitive products as the top three customer experience pillars of schemes. Bestmed has done exceptionally well in all three of these measures that underscore the rating as one of the index’s two best schemes.”