According to the latest NPS survey by, UAE’s #1 financial comparison website, 34 percent of UAE respondents would actively recommend their bank to friends or colleagues.

But when compared to the results from polls conducted in previous years, consumer satisfaction is visibly on the rise. The percentage of respondents in the UAE who would actively recommend their bank has gone up from 27 percent in 2014, and is significantly higher than the 15 percent in 2013.

What exactly is the NPS survey all about?

The NPS Survey is the most comprehensive one of its kind conducted by It assesses the consumer’s overall banking experience based on customer service, product offering, banking channels and financial education.The survey also helps reveal what’s bothering bank customers the most, and which are the main customer concerns that banks need to address in a bid to retain existing customers and attract new ones.

The results of the NPS survey have been used to conceptualize and launch the Souqalmal Bank Satisfaction Index – an all-inclusive assessment of the level of satisfaction amongst bank customers in the UAE.

[Related: Three in 10 UAE customers would recommend their bank]

Customer service pointed out as main area for improvement

Customers are looking for a seamless banking experience across all channels and customer touchpoints – branches, ATM’s, call centers, online banking and mobile banking. And 36 percent of respondents in the UAE would like to see an improvement in customer service.

So what improvements are bank customers actually looking for? An in-depth look at the survey results reveals a need for better branch and call-center experience, transparent product information and prompt complaint resolution amongst top customer priorities.

It’s essential for banks to understand what is important to their customers and what improves their level of satisfaction and drives their loyalty, because only a happy customer is likely to stick around and recommend their bank to others.

Over one fourth of respondents want better product offering

Moving away from the ‘one-size-fits-all’ product strategy, banks are launching newer products and promotions, targeted at specific customer segments – fitness app-linked accounts for the fitness enthusiast, credit cards for the frequent traveler, cashback seeker or those looking for a good deal on supermarket spend, loans for paying the rent and more.

But there’s definitely room for improvement here, according to over 25 percent of the respondents in the UAE, who want better product offering from banks. This calls for an even greater focus by banks on sophisticated customer segmentation, smarter product-bundling, along with cross-selling and up-selling based on comprehensive customer insights.

Customers also want to see more physical bank channels

As per data from the UAE Central Bank, there are over 960 bank branches and 5,100 ATM’s in the UAE (as of December 2015). However, many bank customers feel that’s not enough. Over 12 percent of survey respondents in the UAE would like banks to have a wider branch network, along with better ATM coverage.

Some of the other areas where UAE residents want to see improvements include more transparent and competitive rates on loans, a more efficient online banking channel and better phone banking assistance among others.

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