Astron Energy, which operates the network of Caltex service stations across South Africa and Botswana, has been ranked number one for customer service in the Petrol Stations Industry in the prestigious Ask Afrika Orange Index survey.

The winners in the 2021/2022 Ask Afrika Orange Index were announced this week and the Caltex retail network emerged top in the petrochemical sector in terms of customer experience measurement.

Astron Energy is South Africa’s second largest petroleum network with over 850 Caltex-branded service stations in SA and Botswana.

The Ask Afrika Orange Index is a consumer survey to establish which companies provide the best customer experience in South Africa.

The Index comes following a year in which consumers were severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, a fact acknowledged by Ask Afrika which said: “Lockdowns during the past 18 months mean that we are once again living in a time where businesses have been at the forefront of designing ways to continue providing services to customers, while prioritising employee needs.”

Astron Energy GM: Retail Tebogo Mekoa said: “We strive to always deliver great customer service and experiences at our forecourts and this award is a great recognition of all the hard work by everyone involved in helping us deliver on this objective, especially during what has been a tremendously challenging period for all.

“A special thank you to our Retailers and CSAs (Customer Service Agents) across the country, who work very hard to deliver this superior service as our brand ambassadors.”

Mekoa said the pandemic meant that consumers faced enormous daily pressures and increasing living costs, including fuel, which added to the burden of health, wellbeing, job and income security concerns. “It is our hope that when you pull into one of our forecourts, your experience will be a refreshing one and that our range of products and convenience offerings will provide you with the fuel to make the most of your day,” he added.

Astron Energy recently announced that all Caltex service stations in South Africa and Botswana will be renamed to Astron Energy and rebranded in a phased manner over the next few years. The new brand is set to be revealed in the coming months and is the most significant and exciting change in the South African oil industry in three decades.

Astron Energy GM: Marketing Cambridge Mokanyane said the rebrand would provide the platform to build out the customer experience even further and to build on the success of the latest Ask Afrika Orange Index win.

Astron Energy has existing strategic partnerships with the FreshStop convenience store offering and the Standard Bank UCount loyalty programme as part of the overall customer forecourt experience.

The Ask Afrika Orange Index benchmark study is in its 20th year and has grown from measuring seven industries and 26 companies in 2001 to over 31 industries and over 200 companies.

Ask Afrika founder and CEO, Andrea Rademeyer, concluded: “After measuring customer experience for the last 20 years through the Ask Afrika Orange Index, what has become very apparent is that customer experience continues to differentiate businesses.”