Islamic banks scored an overall service quality performance score of 81.5% during the study carried out during the entire month of October, 2009. Non-Islamic banks were 3.8% behind, totaling an overall score of 77.7%.
Customer experience amongst the UAE banking sector is definitely improving with customer satisfaction up almost 10% since October 2008, however Islamic banks are setting the standards and excelling throughout all key customer contact methods. Islamic bank's face-to-face customer service performance at branches has increased from 71% in 2008 to 82.9% in 2009, an 11.9% improvement on last year. Non-Islamic banks have also improved their branch service quality by 9.1% since last year. Both Islamic and Non-Islamic banks have made positive progress within their call centers, managing to increase their overall call center customer service scores by 11.1% and 10.2% consecutively.
Online website enquiries have always been the weakest customer contact channel since Ethos introduced this measure into their UAE Service Quality Bank Benchmarking Study in 2006.
Non-Islamic banking has outperformed Islamic banking consistently in this area until this year. Islamic banks have altered this trend considerably with website enquiry performance increasing from 43.8% in 2008 to 50.4% this year, a healthy 6.6% increase indicating positive measures have been taken by Islamic banks to improve their customer's online banking experience. Unfortunately, Non-Islamic banks have little to celebrate when it comes to website enquiry performance scoring a total of 46.8% which is 1.9% less than last year.
This year's Bank Benchmarking Study has definitely revealed measurable evidence indicating Islamic banks are placing high importance on their customer's satisfaction and continual service quality improvements. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank has improved their overall score by 13.2% as a direct result of consistent service quality measurement, staff training and awareness activities over the last 12 months. Dubai Bank have achieved second place overall as well as being named this year's 'Most Improved Bank' and 'Best Shari'a Compliant Bank'. Since 2008, Dubai bank has moved up 19 places from 22nd place, a fantastic achievement.
Speaking about the survey, Salaam Al Shaksy, chief executive officer of Dubai Bank, said:
"The dramatic improvement accomplished by the bank in just 12 months clearly indicates our team's dedication, commitment and hard work. Every member of the team has worked together to strike the right balance between the twin challenges of business growth and service delivery."
Robert Keay, Managing Director of Ethos Consultancy also comments, "There is no mistaking Islamic banks are improving their service quality in leaps and bounds. Shari'a compliant banks are extremely competitive within the UAE and great customer service is a must. All Islamic banks included in this year's study should be pleased with their result."
Islamic Banks included in the 2009 Bank Benchmarking Study:
* Dubai Bank
* Dubai Islamic Bank
* Emirates Islamic Bank
* Noor Islamic Bank
* Al Hilal Bank
* Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
* Al Masraf Bank
2009 Bank Benchmarking Study winners:
* Best Bank-Overall: RAKBank
* Best Bank- Visits: RAKBank
* Best Bank- Call Center : First Gulf Bank
* Best Bank- Websites: First Gulf Bank
* Best Shari'a Compliant Bank: Dubai Bank
* Best international Bank: Lloyds TSB
* Most improved Bank: Dubai Bank