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Bank Benchmarking Index

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New product Lunch

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Oman Customer Service week 2012

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03 The innovative employees within Ethos Consultancy have helped provide the Middle East Market place with more forward thinking solutions, which were formally launch at Customer Service Week this month. This e-newsletter aims to update all of the employees on all of the latest news of recent times, and what to expect in the coming months. Along with a few funny stories as well.

Assessment of the current attitudes to customer service from the private and public sector businesses and the reasons for lack of good customer service in the region


As it stands, what is your assessment of the current What are the reasons for lack of good customer attitudes to customer service from the private and service in the region? public sector businesses? The answer is very sector specific and indeed, there are various factors which affect the level of customer service to which an organisation operates. Training, employee engagement, bureaucracy, ICT, integration with marketing and many other variables illustrate that a customer service policy is not just a feedback form at the till.

Historically, organisations in the UAE can define and understand what customer service is but not how it can be used to transform a reputation for better or worse. This lack of prioritisation means that customer service is often the responsibility of middle management and it is ignored in annual budgets or worse, at an executive level. Consequently, customer service becomes reactionary to a complaint and the process to deal with such feedback is not ingrained into the That said, if there is one generic answer – it is the economy and the recession has forced organisations to focus on the acquisition culture of an organisation. of new customers rather than retaining and keeping happy current The trend is changing and since Ethos Consultancy began operating customers. in 2004, increased competition has forced companies to focus its attention on customer service as poor word-of-mouth between customers takes a toll on the brand equity of a company. This is especially true with the economic situation, whereby customers are becoming loyal to fewer brands but staying true to those companies for a longer period of time. Government Relations and Initiatives

With this, what are the recurring attitudes of the public in the region about customer service feedback from businesses and public bodies? The UAE is very unique because with such a large expatriate population, the public is looking for international standards of customer service similar to what that they might experience back in their home country. Naturally those standards fluctuate, especially if a company has a similarly diverse work force implementing customer service policies. This is then pitted against the expectations of what an organisation in the UAE can deliver – so there is very strange dynamic at play whereby customers expect a level of customer service but at the same time appreciate that this is still a developing economy and are not surprised when expectations are not met. This is why there is such a great opportunity for organisations to carve out a very positive reputation for themselves, because the element of surprise will delight customers when customer service exceeds expectations and inspires brand loyalty.

What are the sectors showing particular strength with customer service satisfaction in the region?

The UAE Government Strategy 2011-2013 strives to ensure that all Government work is conducted according to a set of guiding principles that put the citizens first and promotes an accountable, lean, innovative, and forward-looking Government. UAE Government Strategy 2011-2013 details its obligations in the field of e-Government under strategic enabler, customer–centric service. A Knowledge-based government requires having learning solutions which will help Ethos by using Learning Moments to introduce e-learning. The TISSE2012 certification also will be able to offer its expertise in the certifications. Ethos can be engaged with this and assist the Government to meet its demand with highly transparent and accountable customer service solutions. In order to achieve a transparency and strong knowledge base in the government one should look at the way the communication with such entities takes place and Ethos can provide the feedback management systems and the necessary training in order to achieve that. It is important thus to have a system and feedback from the public in order to have an efficient delivery of the services in a professional manner.

The public sector is one such field in which customer service is improving and it is being considered at an executive level, but this is a recent shift and to ensure that change is inherent and lasting, it will take time until change is noticed. The aviation and hospitality sectors are two perfect examples in which increased competition has forced the improvement of customer service in the UAE. Furthermore, the advent of social media and review-based websites has meant that the hospitality sector is listening to its customers and acting upon any concerns or negative feedback.

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Ethos consultancy’s Annual Customer Service Week wrapped up last week. The Annual event which was held at the Rocco forte Hotel in Abu Dhabi featured prominent speakers from organizations from different sectors and was by far the biggest Customer Service Week till date. A total of 250 delegates were present at the 4 day event which had a 2 day conference and 4 half day workshops. Customer service has always been a topic of contention in the Middle East. However this year the UAE has taken extra efforts to improve on customer service and have decided to take this initiative to the next level. This year saw the introduction of the Customer Service Charter in the Ministry of Interior. The main aim of the charter is to provide excellent customer service in the UAE thereby aiming to increase customer’s trust and satisfaction within the region. All of this translates into practice the UAE Vision 2021 and its focus on providing outstanding public service for clients.


Held under the patronage of H.H. Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Interior, the event saw around $225,000 of potential business changing hands with 220 referrals being made to various organisations in total. Robert Keay, Managing Director of Ethos Consultancy, the consultancy firm that is responsible for the research and development of the event, states “Bringing together industry experts from around the world and from different organizations is important as it is their experience and knowledge that will help the region in improving service quality.

We will get to learn from them and create clear cut plans for the future. Customer Service Week is about bringing challenging topics to the surface and discussing them. Customer and citizen-centered service quality has never been more fundamental. As well as learning, sharing and collaborating, Customer Service Week is also about honoring the people who work on the frontlines serving and supporting their customers and citizens. By positioning excellence in customer service as a competitive differentiator and sustained value driver, businesses can intensify the customer experience, reinforce ongoing customer loyalty and maintain healthy profitable growth.�

However one of the more prominent factors at Customer Service Week is the STAR Awards. STAR is an acronym for Skills & Knowledge, Teamwork, Awareness and Responsiveness has been developed and is endorsed by The International Customer Service Institute (TICSI) to reward and recognize private organizations, government departments and individuals delivering service excellence across the United Arab Emirates.

Facts Why customers quit: 1% die 3% move away 68% quit because of an attitude of indifference towards the customer by the staff 14 % are dissatisfied with the product 9% leave because of competitive reasons

UAE Customer Service Week is endorsed by The International Customer Service Institute and under the Patronage of H.H. Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Interior.

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Analysis of the research showed no discernible change in results during Ramadan.

Ethos Consultancy has revealed the findings of its 8th Annual Bank Benchmarking Index for service excellence. This year’s study indicates that 7 of last year’s top 10 are also in this year’s top 10 positions overall out of the 22 banks in the research. Although there are some interesting changes at the top, overall the research does seem to suggest that many of the UAE’s banks are still not focusing enough attention on customer service.

the weighting was revised to reflect the growth in the use of alternative delivery channels based on a survey conducted in the retail banking sector hence this year we’ve kept the same weighting. The customer experience is evaluated to determine whether the service delivery meets the five key variables of service provision (i.e. reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and a well equipped service environment).

Background of the Study

Same as last year this year also the focus of the research was on the key areas that customers “value the most” and that surround the processes and people aspect of service performance. The Ethos revolutionary concept Value Moments was used to determine the questionnaires and the weighting applied to each of the Value Moments questions thereby giving more focus on the really important elements of customer service as determined by UAE banking customers. The research was conducted during a 3 month window June – August 2011, during which time Ethos researchers made 440 branch visits, 264 call centre calls and 176 website interactions. Thereby totaling 880 research interactions, with each bank receiving 20 branch visits, 12 call centre calls and 8 website interactions, so in summary each bank was contacted a total of 40 times across their 3 core delivery channels. This year’s study covered a total of 22 UAE retail banks, comprising 18 local and 4 International banks and focused on three geographical areas of operation, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. In total we covered 57 questions across the three delivery channels namely branches, call center and Website.

Prior to implementing this year’s study, Ethos contacted all of the banks to request their input and requirements from the study and if necessary to recommend any amendments to the questions we have used for the past 7 years. From this feedback and from the work Ethos has delivered throughout the past 8 years, a decision was taken to focus the research on the aspects of service that have most impact as determined from the customer expectations research we have completed across the 3 delivery channels of Branches, Call Centre and website. Every year the retail banking study is carried out by trained and experienced researchers who focus on real scenarios a prospective customer would face when using either traditional channels i.e. visiting a branch or using alternative delivery channels such as the Call Centre or website. Last year to determine the overall performance levels,

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Launched during the 3rd Annual Customer Service Week, Survey Moments is one of those unique online survey tools that understands that we live in a world where people are always on the move. Through its broad range of features, Survey Moments streamlines our clients’ research projects and creates an experience that is functional across all forms of technology. This means that you can create, participate or even send out a survey using your mobile or you’re Ipad on the go and not waste valuable time and money. All of this is complemented with our vast experience across all sectors and provides our clients with an array of survey templates to better help them in designing a survey that is just right for them thus enabling them to better understand the market and gain a competitive edge. Through 3 simple steps, which is designing a survey, collecting responses and analyzing the results, organizations can now deliver surveys through a structured and professional manner to all their customers and create a unique survey experience.

Survey Moments compliments every organizations business needs and allows organizations to choose from a portfolio of questions types ranging from Multiple Choice, Matrix of Choices, Rating Scale, Text Boxes, and Demographic and also customize the survey to have the same look and feel as that of your organization by including your company name, logo and color scheme to make it an official questionnaire. Collecting responses has never easier as Survey Moments allows you to send out unlimited surveys to unlimited number of people which can be accessed through all sorts of multi-media channels. This is complimented with our revolutionary reporting structure that allows you to create a variety of reports based on an infinite number of variables such as reports based on certain questions, reports based on a certain type of response or just an overall executive report.


THE E-LEARNING REVOLUTION IS A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH IN PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND EDUCATION. Many public and private organizations worldwide have incorporated E-Learning solutions in their day-today workings; saving both time and money. Today’s tools are making it easier than ever to build E-Learning courses. Ethos Consultancy aims to provide your organization with the tools for designing E-Learning strategies that engage your employees that will help and meet your department needs through the revolutionary E-Learning portal; Learning Moments. Learning Moments is a Multi-Lingual portal which offers its clients an easy way to manage its training/educational content and deliver it to a wide audience. Learning moments can not only customize the portal to look and feel like your brand but can also deliver your content through all multimedia channels which can be accessed anytime and anywhere. This is complimented with an array of reports to provide your organization with a detailed analysis on how employees perform at each course. All of this is available at a competitive and affordable price that is just right.

An engaging learning portal

Classroom management

Provides an engaging portal from which learners can access instructor led training, self-paced E-Learning and virtual classroom sessions. With Learning Moments you can load content that you create such as e-learning power points, PDFs, videos and question banks quickly and easily.

Create and manage classroom events, allow users to book courses directly

Individual development plans Managers and staff can create IDPs collaboratively, review progress.

Dashboard Quick overview reports ideal for Management Information reporting Reporting Detailed drill down by competency, course or staff member.

Team management Managers can review progress of their staff and allocate additional learning. Visit http://www.ethos.ae/solutions/learningmoments/ for more information.


TICSI Academy is an E-Learning suite that offers FREE courses related purely to customer service. The courses are relative to all industries and can be accessed anytime and anywhere at the student's convenience. It is also the first of its kind e-learning portal which specializes in individual training and certification in customer service. Courses will be delivered through a variety of multimedia channels such as traditional e-learning, streaming video, simulations, etc. and engage the student with rich content and interactive interface. All of this is complimented with the ability to save and track your progress to create a learning media that suits your needs.

BENEFITS OF TICSI ACADEMY Completion of a course will provide students with an Internationally recognised certificate, as all courses are accredited by The International Customer Service Institute The TICSI Academy Portal accommodates your preferences and needs - it's student-centric Courses are accessible based around your schedule Learning is self-paced (not too slow, not too fast) Courses are available 24/7 Study at home, work, or on the move Choose from a wide range of customer service courses to meet your needs The TICSI Academy portal through forums makes collaboration among students much easier User friendly interface engrosses the student rather than intimidates the user


How essential is business communication? Good business communication is essential for building a team that will make a business a success. Communication is especially important if members of a company are to work as a team towards the same goal. There are many reasons why good communication skills are vital when it comes to running a successful company, here are some of them. Interaction amongst employees of the company builds an efficient team. In order to have a good team, a good leader is essential. The leader must be able to communicate well with every member that is involved in the business in order to convey to each employee their jobs and expectations. He or she must be a motivating person who encourages people to work hard and to have a mindset of achieving various goals. A leader that communicates well creates a team that performs well in all departments. Good communication also prevents misunderstandings among people in the workplace. When employees are able to converse efficiently with each other, misunderstandings will be resolved in an amicable manner. Furthermore, unnecessary friction is avoided. This means that employees will be able to concentrate better on their work. You will also find that good communication skills enhance the business process as a whole. A company has various departments that need to work together as a unit in order to come up with a finished product. The process of coming up with that finished product requires occasional interactional meetings where issues are discussed. You will also see an improvement in the service quality. This is in terms of the relationship between the company and the customers. If the company interacts well with the clients and attends to their needs promptly, the customers are bound to continue doing business with the company. The company will also be in a position to provide better service. This is because as you communicate with the clients, you will be able to figure out exactly what they want from you. This way, you can make the necessary improvements to products or services that the customers require. Customer surveys and feedback help improve market sales. There are various hierarchies in companies. A company that has good communication between the top management and the junior employees creates an inclusive atmosphere. The junior employees will feel included in the company, and as a result, will be encouraged to work harder. It is not easy to work in an environment that you might feel out of place in. When members of a company communicate efficiently, a positive atmosphere is created. If there is a positive atmosphere in the workplace, internal problems are sorted out easily and quickly. People who run successful businesses know that the customer always comes first. It is the customer who brings in the profits. That is why it is important for the company to interact well with each other and the customers in order to reach business goals. If you are lacking somewhere, you will find out directly from the client. Good business communication is vital if you want your company to be a success.

Oman Customer Service Week 2012

ETHOS CONSULTANCY WILL BE FEATURED AT THIS YEAR’S OMAN CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK Oman Customer Service Week 2012, which is held between the 1st till the 4th of December, will bring together regional and international human resources and customer service professionals from cross-industry organizations to share informative insights and exchange best practices and solutions to successfully implement a customer service culture within the public and private sector while improving customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty through efficient service delivery. The three-day conference will serve as an interactive platform for all stakeholders to address the existing challenges and discuss key strategies to develop and implement a successful customer service programme to meet the changing and growing expectations of customers. Bilal Omari, Director of consultancy services at Ethos Consultancy, will be conducting a half day workshop based on Value Moments: Aligning and focusing organisations efforts in the areas contributing the most to a “perfect� customer experience

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Natasha

for being complimented on her professionalism, attitude and dedication to ensuring the voice over for our e-learning courses were completed accurately and on time

Sudhina

for being complimented by ADIB for her great work , efforts and prompt client communication

George

for the way and manner he has delivered CSE3 project for Abu Dhabi Police

Jenny Smith

for her continuous work on social media channels and ensuring ethos consultancy gets recognized worldwide.

Katie Smith

for her continuous work on social media channels and ensuring ethos consultancy gets recognized worldwide.

Nitesh Devnani

for his contribution to Ethos Consultancy’s Annual Customer Service Week.

Tip of the Month When it comes to business, take time to learn all you can about the countries and cultures of your clients. Research about cultural difference goes a long way in doing business. It is important to understand the different ways of doing business in different countries. (Note: maybe can include a funny story that happened about miscommunication about diff cultures etc.)

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