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Effect of the August General Election on customer experience in Kenya

New Ajua Customer Loyalty Benchmark Report finds effects of 2022 elections on 2 leading industries

Kenyans in Mombasa, Kakamega, and 6 constituencies across the country lined up to vote during the by-elections held on Monday, August 29, 2022.

The effects of the recently concluded August elections in Kenya have been significant across many different industries.

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Surprisingly, a few industries benefited from the season and have seen a rise in their Customer Satisfaction, as measured by their Net Promoter Score according to Ajua’s Quarter 3 2022, Customer Loyalty Benchmark Report.

The report found that the following two industries increased their NPS scores the most during this period:

  1. Food & Beverage
  2. Retail and Modern Trade

These industries leveraged the season to fast-track their innovation. They also listened to their customers and made changes to their service delivery, which significantly improved customer satisfaction.

Contrary to what would be the common belief based on the season, the Food and Beverage industry emerged as the most improved industry.

This industry improved its Customer Experience by 9 points from a score of 25 in Q2 2022, up to an NPS of 34.

This season had a low business turn-out for some but an increase in customers for those that adopted home and office deliveries.

It is however notable that regardless of business owners looking forward to a bounce back, this may be tough as most Kenyans' disposable incomes are constantly reducing fueled by the unending rise in the cost of living.

Most Kenyans noted that it is becoming tough by the day to put food on the table, let alone eat out. 7.9% of the respondents, however, reported that they ate out more frequently.

The major reasons given for this include; socialising with friends during the campaign periods, breaks provided by employers during the election period hence boredom, peaceful elections, and also that it provided spaces to discuss politics with friends.

However, due to the electioneering period, consumer behaviour was characterised by impulse buying and increased online shopping with both variety and amount being higher than usual.

Customer service, proximity, product variety, price and quality of goods continue to be the main determinants of which outlets customers choose.

“Affordability, proximity to my home, good reviews from others, the freshness of goods sold, availability of goods, and quality of goods will determine where I will shop,” one respondent explained.

The general consensus, however, is that the increase in prices of commodities in Kenya continues to greatly affect what and where Kenyans buy as they try to stretch their last shilling.

On the other hand, Mobile Money Lenders recorded the largest drop in NPS this quarter. This is particularly due to the fact that the industry is going through a shift as new data privacy and security regulations take effect in the country.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) issued a directive earlier on in the year for mobile money lenders to apply for an operation licence by September 17, 2022.

The Ajua survey respondents are hopeful that this crackdown on these lenders will reduce predatory lending behaviours, and debt shaming creating a space where consumer privacy is protected.

Research shows a great shift in the borrowing habits of most Kenyans between Q1 and Q2 2022 with 45.3% of the survey respondents reporting that they borrowed less in the third quarter of 2022.

Customers shared their grievances on issues such as harassment with regard to repayments, high-interest rates, unprofessional customer service, short repayment periods and inconsistencies.

Sample verbatims were: “Inconsistency. They gave me the first loan of Sh1,000 with zero interest. The second loan had a huge interest, after paying the second loan they told me I am no longer eligible for another loan whilst I paid expecting a higher loan to repay the source of the money.”

In conclusion, predicting consumers’ constantly shifting needs will also continue to be crucial in driving business growth.

To see a full list of companies and get more information, you can download Ajua’s Customer Loyalty Benchmark Report for Q3 2022 HERE.

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