By Joanna Hartley
Customer satisfaction levels at publicly run facilities must reach a mimumum of 70%.
A unified and centralised customer complaints and suggestion system is to be set up by the UAE government, in a bid to improve the performance of publicly run organisations.
The announcement was made at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Sheikh Mohammad has instructed ministers and employees at federal institutions to enhance customer service and provide necessary facilities, considering customer satisfaction as the true measurement of services provided, the UAE daily Gulf News reported.
The Cabinet discussed a number of other issues relating to national affairs and providing world-class services to customers at various government institutions, especially service-related organisations.
A minimum customer satisfaction of 70% must be achieved and stepped up to reach the maximum by 2015, Sheikh Mohammad said.
The Cabinet also approved the 2009 budget of the National Media Council and the closing accounts of a number of federal bodies and establishments.
Just wonder whether there is also government authorities or bodies that could look after the 'customer service systems' provided by the privately run organisations? Example, just recently we bought a set of bedroom furniture from a well known home furnishing company here in UAE, but we were not happy after they have installed them in our place. We have gone through their customer service system but unfortunately their response was so slow and just gave us promises but have delayed so much time on 'actually' responding to rectify their works. We even reached to a point that we wanted to return the whole bedroom set, which is suppose to give as a good smile in welcoming the New Year 2009 but instead they made us frown and swear never to buy from them anymore nor recommend their products to others. I guess even they are from a privately run companies they too have to at least be better or equally have a good customer service just like the public run organisations of the UAE.
I have to Applaud Sheikh Mohammad for this move. It is all too often that you hear and see more and more people annoyed with the absolute lack of customer service. One good example is from the recent ID card crisis. However, the government institutions is not where it should end. This is a move that needs to be implemented on all public service levels from shops, to airlines... and one of the most important ones: the banks in the UAE. Banks here seem to ignore the fact that they normally need customers to have money. Granted it is slightly different here because till now banks haven't needed to put in any effort to have clients due to the rush and the quick rise in the economy... but with the global slowdown they may actually notice that customers are valuable, and that customer service... is paramount. Good luck to the UAE government on implementing the new Customer Satisfaction service. I think the complaints and suggestion system will be flooded for the first few months untill some of the suggestions and complaints are acted on. But let's hope that once the ball starts rolling, the dominos will fall and the effect can be felt throughout the UAE economy!