UAE bank ser­vices im­prove ac­cord­ing to 2015 in­dex

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

DUBAI: Banks in the UAE have re­ported an 18 per­cent­age point rise in im­proved cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences, over the last 10 years, ac­cord­ing to the 2015 Retail Bank­ing Cus­tomer Ex­pe­ri­ence Bench­mark In­dex de­vel­oped by Ethos In­te­grated So­lu­tions. The In­dex recog­nised the ef­forts of 12 GCC banks out of a to­tal of 65 fol­low­ing a six months' mys­tery shop­ping mea­sure­ment ex­er­cise of branch ex­pe­ri­ences, web­site in­ter­ac­tions and call cen­tre re­sponses with 40 con­tacts made with each bank across all three de­liv­ery chan­nels. Of the 65 GCC banks stud­ied, 22 were in the UAE, 10 were in Saudi Ara­bia, nine each in Bahrain and Qatar, eight in Kuwait, and seven in Oman. They were eval­u­ated on re­li­a­bil­ity, as­sur­ance, re­spon­sive­ness and em­pa­thy, in line with Ethos' ' Value Mo­ments' cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence cri­te­ria.

"In essence the In­dex re­veals that banks in the GCC are get­ting bet­ter though the trend is not ex­actly uni­form across the re­gion," ex­plained Robert Keay, founder and co-owner of Dubai-based Ethos In­te­grated So­lu­tions. The In­dex also named Abu Dhabi Is­lamic Bank as the ' Best Bank in the GCC' for the se­cond year run­ning, while iden­ti­fy­ing a con­tin­u­ous shift to­wards al­ter­na­tive de­liv­ery chan­nels. "To­day the over­all on­line ex­pe­ri­ence con­sti­tutes 15 per cent of the over­all bank­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in­dex, as com­pared to our ini­tial weight­ing of five per cent," said Keay. "In 2015, cus­tomers re­garded their branch ex­pe­ri­ence as the high­est out of the three en­gage­ment chan­nels of the study, and the data sug­gests that banks should fo­cus and pri­ori­tise en­hanc­ing their on­line chan­nels and ca­pa­bil­i­ties."

"The trend in the UAE over the past 11 years, since we started pro­duc­ing the Bank Bench­mark­ing In­dex, is clearly pos­i­tive and cus­tomer ser­vice per­for­mance has con­sis­tently shown im­prove­ment," Keay told Khaleej Times. "On the other side, cus­tomers have be­come more ed­u­cated, more ser­vice ori­ented and in light of the in­tense com­pe­ti­tion in the UAE bank­ing sec­tor, they are only sat­is­fied with the best ser­vice qual­ity. Cus­tomers are now more em­pow­ered and more de­mand­ing, and the dif­fer­ence in per­for­mance from last year is mi­nor but il­lus­tra­tive of this cus­tomer em­pow­er­ment."

Other In­dex UAE win­ners in­cluded Mashreq Bank which won for ' Best Branch Ex­pe­ri­ence'; Abu Dhabi Is­lamic Bank for ' Best Call Cen­tre Ex­pe­ri­ence'; Dubai Is­lamic Bank for 'Best On­line Ex­pe­ri­ence'; Aj­man Bank for 'Most Im­proved Bank'; Com­mer­cial Bank In­ter­na­tional for ' Most Im­proved Branch Ex­pe­ri­ence'; Stan­dard Char­tered Bank for 'Most Im­proved Call Cen­tre Ex­pe­ri­ence'; and Shar­jah Is­lamic Bank for ' Most Im­proved On­line Ex­pe­ri­ence'.

In re­gional re­sults, the Na­tional Bank of Kuwait was named the coun­try's 'Over­all Best Bank', while in Qatar the ti­tle went to QNB. In Oman the 'Best Bank' hon­our went to Bank So­har; in Bahrain it went to HSBC Bahrain; and to Al Ra­jhi Bank for the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia. "Look­ing at the last three years, the UAE has per­formed con­sis­tently with a dif­fer­ence of one or two per cent in the over­all score. How­ever, this be­ing the se­cond year of mea­sur­ing the GCC per­for­mance, Kuwait and Qatar have shown mea­sure­able im­prove­ment.

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