x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Some advice on how to satisfy customers

To improve customer service in the UAE, organisations should recruit the right people and regularly ask consumers to tell them where they are going wrong,

To improve customer service in the UAE, organisations should not only recruit the right people and invest in their training, but also regularly ask consumers to tell them where they are going wrong, according to a consultant in the field. Developing a culture of customer service takes time, especially in a country growing at breakneck speed, says Benjamin Brodrick, a client relationship manager at the Dubai-based customer service consulting firm Ethos Consultancy.

"It's being built overnight and a lot of these things are being put in place very quickly," he said. "Banking systems in other countries have taken over a hundred years to become the bank that they are. Whereas what happens here is HSBC isn't HSBC. Someone has just bought the brand." UAE companies and bodies are trying to change. Mr Brodrick said it was important to bring in the right staff from the start. "They have to be trained and incentivised as well. "Even things such as employees of the month. Something as simple as the manager coming in and congratulating them. The amount of managers that don't do that is amazing, in every industry."

Once the right employees were in place, they needed to be trained, regularly. And organisations - whether banks or municipal service centres or ice-cream shops - needed to ask their customers how their experience had been. According to Mr Brodrick, this can be sending out customer satisfaction surveys, or asking them at the end of their visit. "You can train the staff all you want, but you don't actually know if the customer is satisfied unless they tell you," he said. "Now most customers, if they are dissatisfied, they'll walk out and never tell you."

When complaints did arise, he said, companies should respond within 24 hours and let the customer know they were working on a resolution. * The National