x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Poor customer service costs UAE firms millions of dirhams, expert says

Poor levels of customer service could be costing firms in the UAE millions of dirhams in lost business.

DUBAI // Poor levels of customer service cost UAE companies millions of dirhams in lost sales and business each year.

Suhail bin Tarraf, chief executive of Tanfeeth - a company that aims to improve the quality of customer care - said a cultural change was needed over how the private and public sectors deal with customers.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 11th GCC Government Shared Services Centres and eServices Quality Excellence Conference yesterday, he claimed that many organisations had to rethink their approach.

"If a customer has a bad experience once then they will constantly talk about it," Mr Tarraf said.

"But no one ever talks about good service because that is something you expect to receive.

"It's difficult to put an exact figure on how much businesses are losing out, but it would be fair to say they are missing out on millions of dirhams if people take their custom elsewhere because of poor service."

Tanfeeth was set up a year ago by Emirates NBD to improve its call centre service by reducing waiting times and speeding up its complaints procedure.

It has been so successful that other organisations as well as government departments are in talks with Tanfeeth to improve their services.

"A lot of organisations see training staff as a cost rather than an investment," Mr Tarraf said.

Better trained staff in call centres can help to resolve customer complaints and problems quickly, he added.

"Customers expect better and better service every year and as a business you don't have a choice if you want to be successful, you have to be flexible and put the customer first."

The conference, at the Ritz-Carlton in DIFC, concludes today.

nhanif@thenational.ae