Bahrain customers are the happiest says global index

Bahrain is also among the ‘gold standard’ level which comprises the top five countries in the index

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Bahrainis shop in a mall February 9, 2003 in Manama, Bahrain. Malls are extremely popular in Bahrain, one of the few Arab countries that has a semblance of democracy, with a relatively free press, a vibrant economy and equal rights for women.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Bahrainis shop in a mall February 9, 2003 in Manama, Bahrain. Malls are extremely popular in Bahrain, one of the few Arab countries that has a semblance of democracy, with a relatively free press, a vibrant economy and equal rights for women.

Getty Images/Spencer Platt

MANAMA: Customers in Bahrain are the happiest in the world as measured by a leading global index.

With a score of 71.3, the kingdom has topped a list of 16 countries across the world in the latest edition of the Avaya Global Happiness Index.

Bahrain is also among the ‘gold standard’ level which comprises the top five countries in the index.

Avaya, a software and services provider for contact centres and unified communications, commissioned Davies Hickman Partners to research customer happiness across the world.

Artificial intelligence, mathematical modelling and statistical analysis were applied to data from 16,200 global consumers to build the index to gauge customer happiness across seven industry verticals.

Bahrain topped the index in six of the verticals – banking, telecoms, online retail, in-store retail, utilities and airlines – and came second in the hotels vertical.

The study found that a majority of customers in the kingdom across the seven sectors were happy with their service provider, well above the global average.

Avaya’s regional sales leader Faten Halabi said the firm has seen dedication particularly from banks in Bahrain to improve their customers’ overall satisfaction which directly impacts their general happiness.

However, she added that with almost half of the customers in the country (47 per cent) claiming they’d be happier if banks make it easier to find and get what they want, digital transformation is still a key requirement.

“Throughout Covid-19, all of us, whether customers or service providers, have realised the value and the importance of digital channels through which businesses can guide us, answer our queries, serve us and assure us.”

Ms Halabi said for customers, the channel through which they interact with the bank is unimportant.

“What matters to them is that they experience a consistent level of service across multiple touchpoints. As a result, we are seeing banks invest in projects that aim to create true omni-channel customer experiences.”

She added: “We are working closely with a number of financial institutions on a range of projects; for example, helping a bank develop a mobile app with an artificially intelligent chatbot that can deal with customers’ queries, help them find the services they need and assist them with transactions.”

Avaya said it is also working with a bank in Bahrain that wants to create a consistent, end-to-end experience for customers and accommodate fintechs through open APIs. Another key ICT trend is a greatly accelerated adoption of cloud computing in Bahrain during the last 18 months, noted Mr Halabi.

“Our own cloud offering was launched in Bahrain, in partnership with Batelco, around 18 months ago and we have seen a lot of interest in that solution in the last year, especially from the financial sector, in which there are strict regulations around the storage of customer and financial data in the cloud.”

The official also believes the Central Bank of Bahrain is one of the most forward-thinking regulators in the region and is expected to accommodate the cloud in its regulatory framework in the near future.

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