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Medihelp: SA’s overall best in client service

13 November 2008 Medihelp

Medihelp renders the best client service in South Africa, both as an organisation and as a medical scheme, according to the prestigious 2008 Ask Afrika Orange Index Service Excellence Benchmark released this week.

With a service excellence score of 75.33% Medihelp moved up from second place last year to emerge the overall winner this year. Miladys in the Mr Price Group made the second place and Woolworths Food came third. In the category for medicals schemes, Medihelp achieved the number one position for the third year running.

According to Anton Rijnen, Executive Principal Officer of Medihelp, 2008 has really been a year of excellence for the Scheme. “The double achievement of overall winner and category winner is the most recent in a stream of achievements since the beginning of the year,” says Rijnen. “We started off with excellent year-end results for 2007 and mid-year results for 2008 which played a part in enabling us to announce the lowest average premium increase in the industry for 2009. Later in the year the Global Credit Rating Company upgraded its rating for our claims paying ability to an AA- after we received an A+ for the previous ten consecutive years. And now, towards the end of the year, Medihelp has been named South Africa’s eighth best medium-sized company to work for in Deloitte’s Best Company to Work For survey for 2008. In addition, the 2008 Sunday Times/Markinor Top Brands Survey rated Medihelp the third most recognised brand in the medical schemes’ industry in South Africa,” he says.

This year’s Index is the most comprehensive, reliable long-term South African benchmark with 15 737 interviews conducted and around 500 000 telephone calls made from Ask Afrika’s call centre. According to Maria Petousis, Head of Business Development, Ask Afrika, 65 companies in 12 different industries were included in the survey. “The Index is more than 99% accurate which makes it an extremely reliable benchmark,” she says.

Medihelp has been setting the trend as the best medical scheme in the country when it comes to client service since 2005. “Sustainability is especially important,” says Rijnen. “Clients soon become accustomed to a certain level of service and that’s why the delivery of service must consistently be of a high quality. To be the best at a certain time is no longer good enough, that’s why Medihelp strives to become great and improve consistently in everything we do.”

Rijnen says client service has also become an aspect of key importance in a successful business. “It has become a distinguishing factor, especially in the healthcare industry where the product ranges of different schemes are becoming increasingly generic.

A person starts looking for something else to base his or her decision on when choosing a scheme. It is for this reason that client service has been included in Medihelp’s three main strategic objectives, the other two being financial management and membership growth,” says Rijnen.

Dedicated and happy staff members are the last and one of the most important components in achieving service excellence Rijnen believes. “Without its staff, an organisation can only go so far. However, loyal and dedicated staff members alone are not enough. They should also be informed and in tune with the vision of the board of trustees and the executive. This enables them to know exactly what the goals of the organisation are, and how to achieve them. And they must be happy in what they are doing. Happy employees walk the extra mile for the organisation, every time,” he says.

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