Service Hero President, Faten Abu-Ghazaleh, tells us more about the concept that is revolutionizing customer satisfaction throughout the Middle East.
What does the Service Hero CSI ideally mean, and what does it measure?
The Service Hero Customer Satisfaction Index was designed to resolve two issues: one for consumers and one for companies. For consumers the problem is “how can I get better service from the companies I deal with in Kuwait”? For companies the challenge is “where do we stand on creating customer satisfaction and loyalty compared to companies that we compete with, and compared to the overall country index?” By solving these two problems, the economy of the country will begin to improve overtime as we see improvements in the performance of industries within it.
The index measures 10 key service attributes on a 10 point rating scale on a before and after basis. The key attributes are: staff attitude, speed, location, value, reliability, product quality, call center, website, comparison to an ideal, and likelihood to recommend. Based on this 100% customer derived input, the index computes overall scores for each company based on all the attributes. It measures them across 17 key industry categories including communication, banking, healthcare, automotive, restaurants, airlines and specialty stores.
How is a typical Service Hero assessment carried out?
The survey is open throughout the year on www.servicehero.com as well as the Service Hero page on Facebook and on android applications. It takes customers less than 4 minutes to assess a brand and leave comments. SH then compiles a quarterly index as well as an annual one. Consumers can vote for the same brand only once per quarter, but can vote on as many other brands as they want. Each assessment period has a minimum target of 3000 assessments with the year-end target being over 10,000 assessments that are vetted for quality and authenticity.
What is the role of the Independent Advisory Council?
Since our early beginnings, we were determined to have an Independent Advisory Council in order to have an independent entity oversee our work and ensure that findings are fair and impartial. The council is composed of two distinct groups – academic institutions and professionals from companies not evaluated in the index. They’ve all been handpicked for their experience in marketing, research and business best practices. Members include: Dr. Carol Ross of the American University of Kuwait, Abdulwahab Al Ghanim of the Australian College of Kuwait, Dr. Hassan El-Sady of the Gulf Institute of Science and Technology, Dr. Nabil El-Hilali of Kuwait Maastricht Business School, 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.
How does the Advisory Council at Service Hero ensure that results from various assessments are accurate, objective and justified?
Service Hero works on the principle of full transparency. In following that tenet, The Advisory Council is exposed to all information on collected data, statistical results, and validation rules that have been applied. They’re also asked for advice on some aspects of the index whenever such an occasion merits it. By having this independent entity part of the reporting process, Service Hero ensures that its assessments are objective and accurate.
Are members of the Advisory Council actively involved in the Service Hero assessment process?
Advisory Council members meet with the executive team of Service Hero at the kickoff of a new assessment period to discuss any changes or improvements to the data collection process. This may include adding new tools or applications – such as smartphone optimization of the survey, or the use of QR codes – as well as new categories that may be added. Council members, especially those in colleges, also invite their student bodies to be active promoters of the index as the promise is “this is good for the economy of Kuwait and consumers”.
Is the Advisory Council set to expand, will we be seeing new members joining the current board?
We are always looking to add members whom add experience and insight to the team. As Service Hero plans to expand outside Kuwait, the Advisory Council will also expand to reflect independent professionals and experts in marketing and service excellence. We have already got confirmations from three universities in the UAE to join the index and will be announcing their identities as we roll out the index in that country.
How does the level of customer satisfaction in Kuwait compare to other Customer Service Indices in the United States and United Kingdom in the year 2012?
On the face of it, Kuwait’s customer satisfaction levels seem to be comparable and even higher than those in the US and the UK where they also run a similar national customer satisfaction index. The Kuwait index for 2012 scored 7.86 versus 7.59 for the US ACSI and 7.53 for the UK CSI. However, it must be noted that customer expectations and attitudes to service in Kuwait, a developing nation, will be different, and perhaps lower than how customers expect and perceive service in developed and mature economies. Having said that, some industries in Kuwait are higher than those in both other countries while some are lower. For example we are lower for new car sales and fast food but we are higher for airlines, retail and cafes.
What are some of Service Hero’s latest developments for the year 2013?
The chief change this year is that the index is now open year-round. In the first three years since the index started, it was only open during the last quarter of the year. However, due to requests from both consumers and companies, we have now opened it so that it is a 365-day assessment. We’re constantly reviewing the total customer experience when they are conducting the survey. That meant enhancing the sign-in and registration process to allow consumers to login via their Facebook account to make the process easier. Finally, we improved on the ease of a consumer selecting and identifying brands by including a text search function upon their entering the brand name.
For more information, log on to www.servicehero.com