By Andy Sambidge
Performance rating rises 9% in latest research as banks focus on customer retention.
Customers in the UAE are happier with services offered by their banks now than they were during the boom period, it was reported on Sunday.
Service quality performance went up 9.3 percent to 78.2 percent this year compared to 68.9 percent last year, according to the Bank Benchmarking Study undertaken by Ethos Consultancy.
The economic crisis has led to a "pragmatic shift" in banks' attitude and customer retention was now the key focus, said the study of 27 banks based in the UAE, Emirates Business reported.
However, the research, which showed improvement in performance of call centres, attending to customers at branches and through websites, also said that banks needed to effectively cross-sell and collect customer data and these were the top two challenges they continue to face.
"Customer service has become quite important now and banks are focusing a lot on improving their relationship with the existing customers and retaining them by measures such as providing them with more and improved services," Halima Anderson, Director of Operations with Ethos Consultancy, told the paper.
"In 2008, a booming UAE economy meant banks could afford to ignore service quality, they focused on customer acquisition. However, 2009's crisis has created a paradigm shift."
The study also found many banks lagging in various areas, including the time taken in answering customer calls, waiting time, the way employees greeted customers, whether the customers received correct and sufficient information and follow-ups from banks.
Wish all the banks in the UAE train their staff to greet their clients politely. I recently visited a bank based in Jebel Ali and was rudely greeted to the extent that I felt that I was being done a favor for being in the bank. It was like what do you want, go there, don't bother me or I am busy... and from the content of the conversation that I overheard, it was obvious the the person was busy on the phone with personal chit-chat. Hope the banks understand the need to train staff and assist all their clients irrespective of the clients color and dress code when clients meet them and have systems in place to take care of rude & non performing staff and an easy customer feedback system. Good Luck to All towards that customer friendly banking environment!!