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Mon 28 Oct 2019 11:12 AM

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Staff need more praise to raise customer service standards - industry expert

Faten Abu-Ghazaleh, president of Service Hero, said leaders need to engage with their teams

Staff need more praise to raise customer service standards - industry expert

Faten Abu-Ghazaleh, president of Service Hero.

If business leaders engage more with their employees and give them positive feedback, it can help to improve their company’s customer service levels by up to 40 percent, directly helping to boost their financial performance, an industry expert told the Arabian Business SUCCESS 2020 forum in Dubai on Monday.

“This is my pet project. Most organisations don’t do enough of that,” Faten Abu-Ghazaleh, president of Service Hero, a firm which independently measures customer service levels in Kuwait and the UAE, told delegates.

“Most CEOs are finance guys or engineers and more comfortable with numbers, they are not comfortable telling people they did a good job. They are not comfortable going out encouraging their team or patting them on the back or going to orientation to meet new employees.

“Winning hearts is the driver to push the [customer service] pendulum upwards. There are more studies that prove that. There are many academic studies that prove there is a 40 percent impact on a happy team working with passion,” she added.

Abu-Ghazaleh emphasised that if CEOs and business leaders in the UAE can convey to their team that their “job is helping people” then it will have a huge positive impact on their company’s performance.

Another key element to improving customer service is loyalty and satisfaction levels. Service Hero’s latest index found that mobile operators and Islamic banks are only doing the bare minimum to meet the expectations of their customers.

The mid-year results for the UAE reported an overall satisfaction score of 77.6 points between January and June – down compared to 79.2 points recorded in the same period last year.

Mobile operators and Islamic banks were rated ‘Unheroic’ in the rankings with customer satisfaction falling by more than 17 points compared to the overall index average.

More than 350 brands were assessed, measuring each industry category across up to eight service dimensions: reliability, speed, product quality, staff attitude, value for money, location, call centre, and website quality.

Nine out of 14 industry categories in the country scored above 80 points offering a desirable level of service.

Arab airlines were the only category to have shown continued growth in customer satisfaction scores since 2016.