Small and medium sized local commercial businesses play a vital role in the South African economy and a new survey tried to establish exactly what makes consumers big fans of the local enterprises they love.
Commissioned by Santam, the research was done by World Wide Worx.
The results were compiled using a combination of digital analysis tools on social media as well as traditional research. The report looked into which business categories were being searched for most and then it was followed up with a trend analysis.
Thereafter, a poll was conducted among 2 489 respondents to find out what made them love a local business - or not. The sample was nationally representative and aligned to the economically active population per province.
Service was the key factor that could turn a consumer from a mere client into a fan. Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx, says it seems South Africans will forgive a multitude of "sins" if they are treated well.
"Good service was the number one factor that makes 40% of those surveyed support a local business. This was followed by quality products at 18%. Third place went to value for money at 10%, proving the old adage that competing on price alone is not a sound business strategy," says Goldstuck.
Younger clients are mostly swayed by quality, while older ones are impressed by service.
Another key finding was that people are more likely to recommend a business if there is a good deal or excellent value for money.
For Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, chief marketing officer at Santam, this is an interesting finding.
"It is worth ensuring that, in addition to service and quality, your clients feel like they are getting value for the money they spend with you. That way, they are more likely to tell family and friends the good news," says Dilotsotlhe.
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The businesses that came tops across 12 categories:
Place to Stay: Chapmans Peak Hotel (Cape Town) - "the one with the perfect calamari";Eatery: Marble (Johannesburg) - "the one with the celebrity chef in the kitchen";Butcher: The Butcher Man (Cape Town) - "the one that people cross town for";Bakery: Fournos (Johannesburg) - "the one that is way more than a bakery";Spa: Rouge Day Spa (Cape Town) - "the one run by a dynamic mother-daughter team";Entertainment Spot: Gold Reef City (Johannesburg) - "the one with the heart of gold";Gym: Dream Body Fitness (Johannesburg) - "the one that is completely unintimidating to work out at";Interior Designer: By Dezign Interiors (Johannesburg) - "the one that really, really gets its clients' style";Market: Bryanston Organic & Natural Market (Johannesburg) - "the one that was an organic market before it was trendy to be an organic market";Laundromat: Exclusive Dry Cleaners (Johannesburg) - "the one that treats every single client like family";Car Wash: Tubbs's Car Wash (Johannesburg) - "the one that cleans your car while you have a haircut";Construction company: Radon Projects (Pretoria) - "the one that is ready all day and all night".