The companies that best satisfy customers in Kuwait were unveiled and honored today in a red carpet awards ceremony held at the prestigious Arraya Ballroom by Service Hero, the creators of Kuwait’s first-ever customer satisfaction index.
Among the country-wide winners were Peacock Restaurant, Mais Alghanim Restaurant, and Wataniya Airways, that secured first, second, and third places respectively. These companies received the highest Service Hero Customer Satisfaction Index (SHCSI) scores among 400 companies in 15 different private sectors.
The awards were based on a month-long drive collecting 8700 direct customer votes, which rated companies out of 10 in eight service dimensions for service expectation before, and the actual score after receiving the service. The eight dimensions included reliability, speed, product quality, value for money, location of offering, staff quality, call center and website.
The winners from each industry were:
Cafes: Caribou Cafe
Fast food: McDonald’s
Casual dining: Mais Alghanim
Fine dining: Peacock
Retail clothes: Massimo Dutti
Home furniture: IKEA
Local airlines: Wataniya Airways
Retail banks: National Bank of Kuwait
Islamic banks: Boubyan Bank
Hospitals: Royale Hayat
Mobile operators: Wataniya Telecom
Car sales: Mercedes-Benz
Car service center: Lexus
1st place: Peacock Restaurant
2nd place: Mais Alghanim Restaurant
3rd place: Wataniya Airways
Service Hero President, Ms. Faten Abu-Ghazaleh, said: “We would like to congratulate the heroes of the first-ever customer satisfaction index in Kuwait, and in the region. Customers have finally spoken, and Service Hero is honored to award the leading companies in customer service on behalf of every customer that has voted in October.”
Results have shown that international and local companies were neck-to-neck in providing quality service, with 7 international and regional brands and 8 local concepts scoring the highest in their industry categories.
Abu-Ghazaleh said: “Similar results between local and international brands have shown that customers remain critical no matter where they are receiving the service. This also shows that the most important element in service for companies is customers: get to know them, and get to know what they want.”
Cafes, casual dining and fine dining received the highest rankings overall, scoring over eight out of ten. These sectors were followed by retail clothes and home furniture sectors, both scoring 7.88 out of ten. The three sectors who received the lowest scores for customer satisfaction were ISPs, car service, and mobile operators.
Service Hero provides detailed industry reports, available for companies starting today. Each report presents detailed company and industry findings as well as customer feedback for companies to review.
Service Hero found that overall, most loyal customers are Arabs, females, and people aged 50 plus, while the most critical customers are Kuwaitis, males, and people aged between 40 and 49. These results show that the ideal loyalty ambassador for a brand is an Arab female over 50 years, while the most critical customer is a Kuwaiti male between the age of 40 and 49.
Abu-Ghazaleh said: “Ideally, it is not enough for customers to be satisfied by the product and service they are getting, customers should be able to promote it as well. Companies must introduce loyalty programs that can entice customers to recommend and promote their product and service.”
Specific details and findings on net promoter results are also found in the industry reports available for companies to obtain. This score breaks customers into three groups based on their likelihood to promote a brand: promoters, detractors and passive customers. The figure enables companies to identify the portion of their customers who are “ambassadors” of their brand, or likely to recommend it to other people.
The overall country score for Kuwait is 7.7, Kuwait scored higher than its international U.S. and U.K. counterparts, especially in the banking and airline industries.
However, results have shown that companies in Kuwait are focusing on appearances with dimensions like website, staff and location scoring highest while value for money, call center and speed of the service scored the lowest out of all dimensions. These same dimensions are pulling and dragging scores for the overall country service ranking.
Abu-Ghazaleh added: “Most companies are turning a blind eye on dimensions important to the satisfaction of their customers. For better scores, companies need to focus on all eight different dimensions and track customer service indices annually to know what really works for their customers.”
The Service Hero online survey, used strict security protocols to ensure the authenticity of voters. Service Hero also employed a rigorous sampling and data quality methodology that is in line with the European Society of Opinion and Market Research (ESOMAR).
The SHCSI was overseen by an independent Advisory Council comprising the American University of Kuwait as its academic sponsor, and other prominent businessmen from leading organizations, including the Boston Consulting Group and GulfMerger. None of the organizations represented by the council members were either directly or indirectly included in the survey. As a neutral panel of experts, their function is to supervise the assessment to ensure fair and empirical findings. Members include: Mr. Abdelmajeed Al Shatti, former Chairman and Managing Director of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Dr. Carol Ross, Dean of Student Affairs, American University of Kuwait, Dr. Reinhold Leichtfuss, Senior Partner and Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group, Nauman Sehgal, COO at Noor Financial Investment, and Yann Pavie, CEO of GulfMerger.
Service Hero was operated by Khayal Consultants a leading design, web development and marketing consulting company. Khayal was responsible for branding and communication, website development, the survey engine and reporting mechanism, search engine optimization, and security platforms for the online survey.
The 2010 Customer Satisfaction Index for Kuwait data report is available for free. Academic institutions, research institutions, and governmental and non-governmental organizations may obtain their free PDF copy of the 50-page in-depth report on Servicehero.com .