Apple, Emirates and Cheesecake Factory lead the way in UAE consumer satisfaction

The country’s cafes topped the list of most satisfying service, with new cars sales and electronics in second and third position, respectively.

The Apple Store in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall. Apple was named one of the best companies in the country for customer satisfaction. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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Apple, Emirates and Cheesecake Factory are the top three service providers in the UAE, according to a new consumer satisfaction index.

The top three were chosen from a list of 14 categories with more than 18,500 respondents’ views sampled. Service Hero, the company that compiled the index, found that the country’s cafes topped the list of most satisfying service with new cars sales and electronics in second and third position, respectively.

The worst categories for service were car servicing, retail banks and, in last position, mob­ile operators. Other irritations that came high on the survey were call centres, unnecessarily long queues and websites that were ill equipped for the job in hand.

“Residents of the UAE are used to receiving excellent customer service,” said Faten Abu-Ghazaleh, the president and founder of Service Hero. She said good customer service was increasingly a public demand from businesses nowadays. “It seems the people of the UAE are very happy with their new cars but feel the dealers do not then provide an equal level of satisfaction. It is the reason for customers deciding on another service provider if their needs are not met.”

Ms Abu-Ghazaleh said the results of the survey could illustrate failures in business strategy and should be borne in mind by service providers.

“Businesses will start losing customers if they do not take these warning signs seriously and act upon them. Their business growth depends on this,” she said.

The index found that women are generally more satisfied with levels of customer service than men, with a correlation between those with a higher standard of education demanding a higher standard of service. While most UAE respondents were happy with the location of the various service outlets, that had little to do with customer satisfaction, with people willing to travel for good service rather than ease of location. The 14 categories surveyed were cafes, casual dining, car service, new car sales, clothes, electronics, fast food, home, furniture, Islamic banks, retail banks, mob­ile operators, new car sales, private hospitals, airlines and supermarkets.

“Our findings suggest that a service provider should focus on reliability and product quality,” said Ms Abu-Ghazaleh. “The winners from within each category spell this out. Starbucks in cafes, Ikea in furniture, Subway in fast food. However it wasn’t all international brands, local brands stood out in airlines with Emirates, retail banks with ADCB and Islamic banking with EIB showing how UAE companies are focusing on service.” ​

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