Service Hero, which surveyed more than 8,700 individuals to establish the country’s first Customer Satisfaction Index (SHCSI), also revealed that resident non-Kuwaiti Arab women have the highest expectations when it comes to service, and interestingly enough, their actual experiences are rated very close to their expectations more often than not.
Both the survey and index are based on eight major service dimensions that include staff behavior, quality of the products, speed, reliability, location, value for money, website, and call center. The dimensions were measured by customers across 15 different industry categories, and they are: cafes, casual dining, fine dining, clothes retail, home furniture, local airlines, retail banks, new car dealers, Islamic banks, fast food, electronics, hospitals, internet service providers (ISPs), car service, and mobile phone operators.
Service Hero is overseen by an independent advisory council that includes the American University of Kuwait as its academic sponsor, and other prominent businessmen from leading organizations, including the Boston Consulting Group and GulfMerger. None of the organizations represented by the council members were neither directly nor indirectly included in the survey. As a neutral panel of experts, their function is to supervise the assessment to ensure fair and empirical findings. Members include: Abdulmajeed Al Shatti, ex-Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Dr. Carol Ross, Dean of Student Affairs, American University of Kuwait, Dr. Reinhold Leichtfuss, Senior Partner and Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group, Nauman Sehgal, COO at Noor Financial Investment, and Yann Pavie, CEO of GulfMerger.
Service Hero also adheres to international standards of market research and follows the research protocols the European Society for Opinion and Market Research (ESOMAR)
The survey asked customers to first note their expected experience level for a product or service and then rate their actual experience in the same product or service. The results were then analyzed on that basis, in-line with international best practices and based on a proprietary methodology.
Service Hero President Ms. Faten Abu-Ghazaleh said: “We found that customer expectations in Kuwait are not being met when it came down to the fundamental and complex dimensions that require constant attention to detail and efficiency by companies. However, out of all types of customers, the Kuwaiti male in his forties is by far the most critical type of customer in Kuwait. Not only is he consistently dissatisfied by the services he is getting, he is also most likely to speak negatively about the product or service to his friends, family, or colleagues when compared to members of other demographics.”
“The Kuwait-level data included in the Service Hero report is available for free and presents pretty revealing results. In general, men tend to have lower expectations on service when walking into a store, opening a bank account, buying an airline ticket, or ordering a fine restaurant than women. Furthermore, what also caught our attention was that men’s actual satisfaction level (i.e. after engaging with the service provider) is even lower than their already low expectation. This is especially true among Kuwaiti men between the ages 40 and 49. Whereas women—especially non-Kuwaiti Arab women—between the ages 20 and 29, walk-in with higher expectations about the service they are about to receive and walk out more satisfied than men. The results show this dynamic across all 15 measured industry categories.”
The survey that segmented votes based on whether the voter is a Kuwaiti national, an Arab resident, and a non-Arab resident, found that Kuwaitis and non-Arab customers are most critical of the service offered to them, compared to non-Kuwaiti Arab customers.
When it comes to age, the index shows that customers between the ages 40 and 49 tend to be the least satisfied with the service they receive across all industries. This age group scored 7.56 out of ten in the expectation index and 7.46 out of ten in the actual index, compared to the most satisfied customers that are at 60 plus with rankings of 7.84 out of ten expected reading and 8.41 out of ten actual reading.
“This point has two plausible conclusions, one might be that older, senior, customers are better served out of respect, or that they tend to expect lower, and therefore they are easily satisfied. This finding was particularly interesting for us and does warrant an in-depth look to uncover why customers over 60 are most satisfied. However, this is also found in customer satisfaction indices in the US and the UK,” said Abu-Ghazaleh.
ISPs, car service, and mobile operators were ranked as the worst service providers in Kuwait, each scoring 7.19 out of ten, 6.85 out of ten, and 6.75 out of ten respectively. On the other hand, the dine-in sector, clothes sector, and furniture stores were ranked as the best service providers in Kuwait by customers, with cafes ranking the highest at 8.38.
Overall, Kuwait’s customers are more satisfied with the service offered by cafes and airlines in Kuwait than American customers in the US regarding the same sectors.
However, businesses across all industries failed to impress their customers when it comes to reliability, value for money, and speed, but do impress when it comes to staff, location, and website quality.
“Most industries scored more or less the same between their expected and actual indices. However, the airline industry received positively opposite results, which showed that they continue to impress customers despite a consistent low customer expectation,” said Abu-Ghazaleh.
Following the launch of the customer satisfaction survey and the SHCSI, Service Hero will be unveiling on December 13, 2010 the company-specific set of results and rankings of Kuwait’s market leaders, as seen by customers.
Service Hero licensee and operator, Khayal Consultants, initially targeted a threshold of 6,000 submissions in order to establish data integrity and quality, as well as a sound scientific base for the research. The survey ran from October 1, 2010 to October 31, 2010 attracting more than 10,000 votes, however about 1320 votes were discounted as they did not meet the criteria for data validation that had been set by Service Hero.
Tuesday, November 30- 2010 @ 15:28 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.