Service Hero President Ms. Faten Abu-Ghazaleh said: "Overall the preliminary level data on industry categories reveals positive results for Kuwait. Companies have impressed their customers more than last year as they were more satisfied by the services they're getting across the categories, which has caused a rise in overall customer satisfaction in Kuwait.
"We have also witnessed strong customer satisfaction results for hospitals and Islamic banks, while furniture and clothes categories also saw an evident rise. Though there was a drop in cafes, they still remain leaders in customer satisfaction for consumers in Kuwait. ISPs and airlines also dropped this year."
- Hospitals were the biggest gainer at 7.75 points, an increase of 0.44 from last year's score
- ISPs, mobile operators, and car service ranked the lowest service providers in Kuwait
- Only 4 out of 15 industries scored higher in customer loyalty since last year and results show that customers are most loyal to home furniture, casual dining, and cafés
- Customers are most vocal about regional airlines, fast food, and mobile operators receiving the highest number of assessments
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 17 different industry categories, and they are: cafes, casual dining, fine dining, fast food, clothes retail, home furniture, regional Arab airlines, retail banks, Islamic banks, new car dealers, car service electronics, hospitals, mobile phone operators, internet service providers (ISPs), as well as supermarkets and private polyclinics which have been added to the industry categories for the first time this year.
For the second year in a row, ISPs, mobile operators, and car service were ranked the worst service providers in Kuwait, each scoring 6.87, 6.88, and 7.04 out of ten consecutively. On the other hand, both fine and casual dine-in sectors, clothes, and furniture stores are still ranked the best in service by customers again this year, with casual dining taking the highest rank from cafes.
This year's expected versus actual results:
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.
Although the actual customer satisfaction scores rose this year, the expected scores dropped for industry categories. The overall expected customer satisfaction in 2010 was 7.81 compared to a 7.66 score this year.
Abu-Ghazaleh said: "The drop in expected scores means that customers are expecting less this year than they were last year, which resulted in a slightly higher satisfaction score that exceeded their expectations.
"This could mean consumers are more realistic about their expectations and more aware of the level of services that they get. In other words, they are possibly expecting average service, but find that they are getting slightly better services than they expected."
Quality monitoring and assessment:
Service Hero, which launched the first customer service satisfaction index SHCSI in Kuwait in 2010,measures customer satisfaction based on assessments by customers themselves. This year more than 13,000 real customers ranked the customer services they were receiving for around 400 companies across 17 industries category. Assessments were vetted out to over 10,000 after data quality checks were conducted.
Service Hero has put security measures to ensure authenticity and data integrity with a 95% confidence level and an error margin of only plus or minus five, allocating a minimum number of votes per category based on Kuwait's population and category population. The index follows international standards of market research and implements the research protocols of the European Society for Opinion and Market Research (ESOMAR).
Service Hero, licensed and operated by Khayal Consultants, has recruited an Advisory Council comprising of three academic institutions as well as leading business professionals. As a neutral panel of experts, their function is to supervise the assessment and results to ensure fair and empirical findings. The Advisory Council of academic sponsors and independent members this year includes: Dr. Carol Ross of the American University of Kuwait, Saad Al-Sharhan of the Australian College of Kuwait, Dr. Hassan El-Sady of the Gulf Institute of Science and Technology, Abdulmajeed Al Shatti, ex- Chairman of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Dr. Reinhold Leichtfuss Senior Partner and Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group, Nauman Sehgal, Chief Operating Officer of Noor Investment Company, and Yann Pavie, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of GulfMerger.
Service Hero will be announcing the top performing companies as ranked by customers in an awards ceremony next month. During the event, Kuwait's best companies in customer service as voted by customers will be revealed and awarded.