Islamic Banks in UAE: Service Quality and Customers Satisfaction

Abstract

Within the UAE as a whole, the financial sector was estimated to have contributed approximately 7.0 percent of real GDP in 2011, according to preliminary estimates published by the National Bureau of Statistics. This finding was way above most of the other financial contributors to the economy of GDP. 51 licensed commercial banks comprised 23 local banks with 800 branches and 28 licensed foreign banks with 83 branches) at 31 million at the end of 2010. Therefore, the UAE could serve a population estimated to be in the region of 8.3 million at the end of 2010, the UAE could be viewed as an over-banked market, even by regional standards. In this project, the research will measure the degree of customer satisfaction with the current services provided by Islamic banks in the United Arab Emirates, adopting and modifying SERVQUAL scales (Parasuraman et al., 1988).

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After the preparation of research questions, the researcher will move to the field, collect data, and repyze it on a seven-point rating scale. The research will be conducted in the United Arab Emirates, specifically in the banking sector. The setting of this locale is easily accessible to the researcher; hence the collection of data and relating the data with the questionnaires will be easy. The research locale will further narrow down to DIB and ADIB banks. This restriction will enable the research to obtain a good and representative sample. No similar study has been conducted in this region on the same subject. The results of the research from this locale will, therefore, be useful to the financial investors in the region.

Executive Summary

Islamic finance is one of the most rapidly growing segments of the global finance industry. According to researches done about Service quality in the Islamic Banking industry in the UAE, the assessment of the quality of service delivery in banking industry is crucial, as it allows consumers to make informed decisions. When customers have information about an organisation and its products, they are likely to make informed choices on investment. Information also broadens the spectrum of understanding hence boosting the level of trust. With information and customer education, the level of conflicts between the organisation and the stakeholders is also minimised. It also helps the organisation to respond appropriately to improve its services.

In the past, service quality has been defined as “the extent to which a service meets customers’ needs or expectations” (Asubonteng et al., 65). The aim of every investor is to meet the needs of his or her customers, retain, and acquire more of them. Such expectations must therefore be followed by a close contact between the investment and customers. The business must seek to learn the characteristics of the customers, their likes, preferences, and work towards satisfying such needs. A common definition is, “Service quality is the difference between customers’ expectations of service and perceived service” (Fitzsimmons & Mona 2004, p. 25). In order for this to be achieved, an analysis of the organisation using the SERVQUAL methodology is necessary. SERVQUAL methodology evaluates five dimensions of quality service delivery. They include reliability, assurance, empathy, tangibles, and responsiveness (Fitzsimmons and Mona 26).

A gap analysis in service delivery is also important as it allows the identification of “causes of service quality shortfalls in each or all of the dimensions” (Fitzsimmons & Mona 2004, p. 28). The research project began by doing an investigation on Islamic Banking in the world and UAE specifically. The research will therefore narrow down to the banking sector in the United Arabs Emirates. Collection of data, analysis, and interpretations will therefore be done in consideration of this banking sector. The research will address the service quality issues that have an impact on the service industry especially the Islamic Banking industry locally. The research searches more about the organisation that fits this industry to explore the real impact of the above issue.

Research Questions

In my research, I will examine the possibility to use SERVQUAL to analyse the service quality in Islamic banks within the UAE, So based on that the study problem would be expressed by the following questions:

  1. Which dimensions of service quality have been demonstrated by UAE Islamic banks?
  2. What is the relationship between the dimensions of service quality and the overall customer satisfaction?
  3. What are the dimensions that have affected the level of service quality the most in UAE Islamic banks?
  4. What is the implication of various dimensions on customer satisfaction and reliability of the banks in the United Arabs Emirates?

Research Methodology

This chapter deals with research methodology that will be employed in conducting the study. It therefore covers the research locale, research design, target population, sample selection, research instruments, piloting, reliability of research instruments, validity of the research instruments, data collection procedures, data analysis, and reporting.

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Research Design

The study will adopt a descriptive survey design to investigate the factors that influence service quality delivery in United Arabs Emirates. The design involves collecting data from a given population to determine the status of the population concerning one or more variables. This type of research design attempts to describe qualities such as behaviour, attitude, values, and characteristics. This effort thus implies that this research design is best suited for this study. The rationale behind the choice of the design is that it studies individuals or objects as whole units and not in parts. This kind of research design also investigates a particular phenomenon in depth with a view of understanding it more broadly. Descriptive survey designs are used in the preliminary and explorative studies that allow researchers to gather, summarise, present, and interpret information for clarification.

Target Population

The study will be conducted on the customers from the banking industry in the United Arabs Emirates. This target population will be able to elicit the information required for analysis and prediction of behaviour of the clients.

Study Sampling and Sampling Procedure

Sampling is a technique used by researchers to gather information. It involves selecting individuals or objects from a population or a group for study. The selected group must contain elements representative of the characteristics found in the entire group. The research is informed by the fact that, if a sample is well selected, the research findings based on this sample can be generalised to the whole group population. It is thus fundamental to select a small but adequately representative sample since it will save considerable effort, time and finances. Selection will be randomly made. This means that the sample of people who will be selected is representative of the actual number of people receiving services from the Islamic Banks. A representative sample of 100 customers will be sampled randomly from DIB, with another representative sample of 50 customers being sampled from ADIB.

Research Instruments

The service delivery will be analysed using data that will be obtained by from questionnaires and interviews with the employees. The questionnaire that will be prepared will constitute two parts, which evaluated customers’ expectations and opinions about Islamic Banks against their perceptions of service delivery at DIB and ADIB. Confidentiality is guaranteed in the questionnaire by ensuring that there is no place for the respondents to fill in their personal details. The questionnaire will have both open- ended and closed-ended questions. According to Kombo and Tromp (2006, p 8), the closed form of the questionnaire is easy to administer and fill in enabling the researcher to cover a relatively wide range of information in a short period.

They also state that, anonymity of the respondents elicits more and candid responses. Thus, their answers are anonymous. A score of 1 to 7 will be assigned to the responses with 1 representing those who strongly disagreed with the quality and 7 representing those who strongly agreed with it. The five dimensions of SERVQUAL methodology, which evaluated the quality of service delivery, will be assessed. These included reliability, assurance, empathy, tangibles, and responsiveness. The questionnaire will be issued to clients who received services from the major branches of the DIB and ADIB.

Validity of the Research Instruments

Validity is the accuracy and meaningfulness of inferences that are based on the research results. It is the degree to which the results obtained from the analysis of the data represents the phenomena under study. It can also be regarded as the degree to which a test measures what it purports to measure. The validity of an instrument is improved through an expert judgment. Therefore, the researcher will seek assistance from the supervisor in order to improve the content and instruments validity.

Reliability of the Research Instruments

When dealing with matters of finance, reliability is a key issue to consider. Reliability of the research instruments is the level of internal consistency or suitability over time. A reliable instrument is therefore one that constantly produces the expected results when used more than once to collect data from two samples randomly drawn from the same population. The dependability of a standard test is usually expressed as a correlation that measures the strength of association between variables. Such coefficients vary between 0.00 and 1.00, with the former showing that there is no reliability whereas the latter shows perfect consistency, which is very difficult to achieve in practice.

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Reliability coefficient shows the extent to which an instrument is free off error variance. The researcher therefore intends to test the research instruments in order to assess their reliability. To achieve this goal, test-retest method will be used whereby two banks will be selected. The questionnaire will be given to the respondents to fill in and will later be scored. After one week, the same questionnaire will be given to the same group and then scored. The researcher will accept the instruments as reliable at a correlation coefficient of 0.7, which is the standard coefficient measure.

Data Collection Procedure

The researcher will visit each of the sampled banks and book an appointment with the management. This move will help the researcher in administering the questionnaires to the clients. On the day of appointment, the researcher will seek assistance of supervisors to carry out sampling. The researcher will then administer the questionnaires to the sampled customers.

Data Analysis

After data collection, the researcher will code all the data and enter it in the computer for analysis using the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS). The data will be analysed using both descriptive and statistical analysis procedures. The descriptive analysis procedures to be employed include frequencies, percentages and means. The results will be reported in summary form using frequencies tables and bar graphs.

Literature Review

Introduction

The SERVQUAL has been used widely to evaluate customer service in the banking industry. It evaluates whether banks possess certain qualities such as reliability and empathy. These dimensions have been linked to quality customer service. Researchers have conducted studies that have utilised the SERVQUAL instrument to measure customer service in the UAE banks.

Service Quality Gaps

The service quality concept constitutes about seven major gaps with three (Gap 1, Gap 5, and Gap 6) being important “since they have a direct relationship with customers” (Luk & Layton 2002, p. 113). Gap 1, which deals with customers’ expectations against management perception (Luk & Layton 2002, p. 114), was partially evaluated in the study. Gap 2 deals with management perceptions versus service specifications while Gap 3 comprises service specifications against the delivery of those services (Luk & Layton 2002, p. 115). The fourth gap is the difference in service delivery and external communication (Luk & Layton 2002, p. 114).

Gap 5 highlights the difference between the discernment of the clientele of the services brought against their prospects (Luk & Layton 2002, p. 114). This gap formed the main approach in the survey. Gap 6 focuses on “the discrepancy between the expectations of the customers and perceptions of the employees while Gap 7 highlights the discrepancy between the management and employees’ perceptions” (Luk & Layton 2002, p. 114). These were evaluated using the questionnaire issued to the respondents for the study.

Definitions of Quality and Customer Satisfactions

Quality customer service involves provision of good interpersonal skills to the customers. Customers have a need to interact with their service providers in a manner that is conducive. Banks in the United Arabs Emirates have a duty to ensure that their employees rate high in interpersonal skills. Employees of every business should interact with their customers in an easy way. Employees are required to have high skills in dealing with people of all sorts of backgrounds. Interpersonal skills will enable them to withstand high tempered and hard-to-understand customers together with clients who are under the influence of drugs. The period of interaction between customers and employees may be very little.

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However, it can be a determinant of whether the customer will become a regular one or a one-time customer. With good skills, the employee is able to offer the quality of service that the customer expects hence meeting the need at hand, which is the core business of the customer. Customers have an expectation that they believe must be met by the business provider. Zhou et al. (2012, p. 256) argue that proficiency enables provision of quality services. Hence, the customer becomes part of the business. It will also enable customers to have the urge to have their needs fulfilled in the future.

The other major determinant of quality service provision is reliability. Reliability is the ability to be trusted and depended upon by others. Coumau, Fletcher, and French (2013, p. 104) posit that a business needs to create a conducive environment in which customers feel free and secure to do business. This strategy is more so in the banking industry where banks have to be trusted by all their investors. No customer would want to invest in a business that is not secure. No one would want to lose his or her hard-earned wealth to a fraud. Coumau, Fletcher, and French (2013, p. 104) argue that customers and investors do a thorough research on the reliability of the institutions in which they invest. Customers should be able to access information and their money from the banking institution whenever they want. Investors should also trust the bank to carry out certain transactions on their behalf.

According to Giesler (2012, p. 55), steadfastness enhances trust and hence confidence. When customers become confident about the institutions that they do business with, they can trust them at all times. Cultivation of quality trust and confidence may take time. It takes the tenacity of the employees to facilitate the building up process. Gatti (2011) argues that confidence grows in a gradual way. For customers to trust a business venture, its products, and its employees, the business must provide an environment that will enable customers learn.

Communication is integral in the building of trust and confidence in customers. According to Pearce and Robinson (2009), customers need accurate, concise, correct, concrete, and complete information about the business and their investments. Regular information to customers enables them to have a sense of being part of the institution. With a close contact with customers, banks can develop self-assurance and reliance on customers. Balabanis and Diamantopoulos (2011) posit that failure to communicate will create suspicion and hence erode any confidence that customers had in the business. Proper communication enables provision of quality services (Otubanjo & Amujo 2012, p. 403).

Having concrete and customer-related values also enhances quality service provision especially in the banking industry. Values enable an organisation to have some worthwhile and standardised qualities. Vanhamme, Lindgreen, Jon, Popering, and Nathalie (2012, 259) argue that, when an institution has some desirable values such as confidentiality of information, integrity, reliability, and honesty, most customers would like to associate themselves with them. Investors would like to associate themselves with an honest business. On the contrary, according to Pearce and Robinson (2009), if a business has no scruples, no one would like to be associated with it. Businesses that lack values that they train their customers and their employees end up in scandalous activities such as graft and fraud.

Gatti (2011) argues that building values for ones business is therefore important to the business and its customers. Confirming the same argument, Balabanis and Diamantopoulos (2011) posit that no one would like to save his or her money in a bank that will end up collapsing. Banks should therefore have values on what they do. Such values should be translated to their employees.Vanhamme, Lindgreen, Jon, Popering, and Nathalie (2012, p. 259) confirm that employees should withhold those values and depict them in service delivery. Ideals make employees in institutions develop a sense of team spirit.

According to Mehta (2012, p. 6), image is highly valued by customers of conventional banks. Customers would want to associate themselves with an organisation with a good public image. In fact, it takes years to build a good image, which at the same can be destroyed within a little time. Thompson, Gamble, and Strickland (2006) argues that the way the business is seen in the public limelight is very crucial in determining the way customers behave towards the business.

Image management is an investment that banks and other institutions have to invest in to succeed. Employees of the banks should be trained on good public relation skills. These skills enable employees to manage customers and their needs. According to Mehta (2012, p. 7), a good image will result from proper management of resources, programs, and people. Banking institutions have to avoid any misgivings that may soil their name. Thompson, Gamble, and Strickland (2006) argue that proper and immediate response to customers and public complains will save the image of the organisation. It is out of a good image that customers are attracted to a certain business venture. Romaniuk, Bogomolova, and Riley (2012, p. 203) argue that, when the image of a business is soiled by its employees or management, it takes a long period to restore it.

Customers must be assured that the business they are investing in is secure and people-oriented. On the same point, Zhou et al. (2012, 256) reveal that investors and customers have a right to information. Proper, adequate, and correct information must be provided for investors and customers to be secure. Banking institutions should not hide information from customers. When customers and investors of a certain institution learn about some fishy undergoing from the media or any other source, they can no longer trust the business. In an equal measure, banking institutions should know how to deal and coexist with the media. Romaniuk, Bogomolova, and Riley (2012, p. 203) argue that the media must be provided with correct and substantiated information to prevent suspicion, speculations, and mistrust. Businesses that manage their image are highly regarded for quality service provision.

Customer Service Levels in the UAE banking sector

Jabnoun and Khalifa (2005) carried out a research study on the dimensions of service quality that affect the level of customer service in UAE banks. The researchers developed a 30-item questionnaire for distribution to clients of both conventional and Islamic banks in Dubai and Sharjah. The questions were based on the five dimensions of SERVQUAL and two additional qualities of values and image. The data showed that the four dimensions of personal skills, reliability, values and image were highly valued by the customers of conventional banks. The customers of Islamic banks prioritised personal skills and values. The researchers proposed that managers in the UAE banks should focus on strengthening the qualities that are esteemed highly by the customers.

Al-Tamimi and Al-Amiri (2003) carried out a similar study on service quality levels in UAE banks. They narrowed the study to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank. They analysed the perception of the customers on the service quality levels in the two banks using the five SERVQUAL criteria. The results showed that the customers valued empathy, reliability and tangibles. The clients felt that reliability contributed the most to customer satisfaction. The researchers went further to investigate the effect of other factors on the levels of customer satisfaction. The results indicated that there was no significant difference in the quality of customer service given when it came to the client’s gender or nationality.

Service delivery in most of the banks in the united Arabs Emirates does not discriminate based on race and gender. However, factors such as age, education and the number of years the client had related with the bank affected the quality of customer service administered. Customers who have had a long relationship with the banks were accorded some privileges that other customers did not access. For example, such customers could be served faster when acquiring loans based on their past ability to repay their loans to the banks. This finding was contrary to the service delivery to the new and young clients who had to have their financial discipline and standing evaluated by the banking officials before being allowed to access the loan services.

Norizan and Nizar (2007) investigated the impact of image, perceived service quality and satisfaction on customer retention. It is an interesting research study since a bank with high levels of customer retention can be argued to have high service quality levels. The researchers wanted to find out which quality influenced customer retention the most. The study targeted the customers of UAE banks in the retail sector. The data gathered showed that satisfaction was not the sole factor that motivated a customer to continue transacting with a particular bank.

The customers were also concerned with issues such as the image of the company. Jabnoun and Tamimi (2003) modified the SERVQUAL instrument into 30 items based on the five main dimensions. The SERVQUAL instrument has been criticized by certain researchers. They argue that it cannot be used as the standard instruments in all industries. There are qualities that apply in banking while others are relevant in other industries such as hospitality. Jabnoun and Tamimi modified the 22 questions into 30 questions and distributed the questionnaires to the targeted sample.

The instrument showed that the customers highly valued empathy, reliability and tangibles. The researchers ensured that the instrument was measured for reliability and validity. They also ensured that the instrument was able to highlight the significance of each dimension compared to the others. They argue that the information will help managers in banks know where to focus on. Reliability of every research instrument and method applied in the banking sector should be prioritised in order to have reliable results. Reliable results will enable the bank to focus on the specific findings that affect them and to pin point the actual shortcomings of their behaviour. With such information, the bank can therefore be comfortable to implement the recommendations that the report proposes.

Chowdhary and Prakash (2007) also support the argument that managers should make the service quality gaps a priority while carrying out their work. Managers on the hand usually speculate on which specific dimensions they should focus on in their organisations. The researchers carried out a study to find out how these dimensions should be prioritised. The results showed that in service industries where companies dealt with the individual’s possessions reliability took a high priority. Assurance and empathy were also required by the individual at high levels. The dimensions of tangibility and responsiveness came in last after the three mentioned dimensions.

Analysis of the information

Table 1.0 Tangible service facilities of United Arabs Emirates banks on a rating scale of 7

Tangibles Strongly disagree Disagree Mildly disagree Neutral Mildly agree Agree Strongly agree
Modern looking equipments 0 0 10 0 20 40 30
Appealing physical facilities 0 0 10 0 40 50 0
Neat employees 0 20 20 0 50 10 0
Appealing written materials 0 0 0 0 15 20 65
Tangible service facilities of United Arabs Emirates banks on a rating scale of 7
Graph 1.0 Tangible service facilities of United Arabs Emirates banks on a rating scale of 7

Good performance of the United Emirates banking facilities may be attributed to the quality of facilities in which they invest. From the table 1.0, above we deduce that, at DIB bank in the united Arabs Emirates, there are appealing written material for example pamphlets and other documents. These scored 65 percent on strongly agree on a rating scale of 7. The research can therefore infer that the bank has been able to offer quality services to customers in the form of written materials. Graph 1.0 also indicates that DIB bank scores high on agree on the availability of modern physical facilities.

This finding was indicated by a 50 per cent score on agree, 40 percent on mildly agree and 10 percent on mildly disagree. Such facilities appeals to the customers and make the customers feel secure. However, on the question of whether the bank has neat employees, the scores were a bit staggering. Out of the 100 customers interviewed 60% were leaning weakly on the agree side, while 40% were leaning on the disagree side. The interpretation was that this bank is located in the United Arabs Emirates where dressing code is majorly controlled by the Islamic religion. As a result, distinguishing whether religious attires were neat or not neat was a bit confusing for the respondents.

Table 2.0 Reliability of employees in United Arabs Emirates banks on a rating scale of 7

Reliability of employees Strongly disagree Disagree Mildly disagree Neutral Mildly agree Agree Strongly agree
Timely service 0 0 0 0 20 40 40
Interested in solving customers problems 0 0 0 0 40 50 10
Right service offered on the right time 0 0 10 0 15 20 65
Have error free records 0 5 10 0 20 60 0

From table 2.0 above, the employees in United Arabs Emirates are reliable in offering timely services to their clients. The table above indicates that all the interviewed clients rated their affirmation for the provision of timely services from mildly agree at 20%, agree at 40%, and strongly agree at 40%. We can therefore deduce that due to the timely service delivery to the customers, the banking services in UAE will develop speedily and customers shall be confident to save their money in convenient institutions. Graph 2.0 also illustrates the same information more clearly. Employees in these banks are also interested in solving customers’ problems. Scores of 40% mildly agrees, 50% strongly agree, and 10% strongly agree indicated this finding.

Graph 2.0 below indicates the skewing of the graph towards the agreement side. Although there were some 10% of customers who thought that right services were not offered on time in the UAE majority of the respondents 90% comprising of 15% mild agree, 20% agree, and 65% strongly agree. Again, the score of 65% on strongly agree was very conspicuous on the graph 2.0 below. A significant 60% of them also agreed that the banking sector had error free records. Graph 2.0 indicates that only 5% of the customers thought that banks in the UAE have errors in their records.

Reliability of employees in United Arabs Emirates banks on a rating scale of 7
Graph 2.0 Reliability of employees in United Arabs Emirates banks on a rating scale of 7

The graph above also indicates that offering of timely services by the employees of banks in the United Arabs Emirates scored the highest compared to other factors that were placed on the same rating scale. Those that agreed that the records that the employees of banks in the United Arabs Emirates keep are error free closely followed it. The research therefore deduces that customer confidence in the cleanliness of records may result to an increased trust of the banks and their services from the customers.

As a result, an evident increase in the number of clients is willing to save and borrow money from the banks. According to Giesler (2012, 55) this may explain the reason for the quick growth of the banking sector in the United Arabs Emirates. The lowest score in this particular set of questions was at 5% on the disagreement that the records in most of the banks in the United Arabs Emirates are error free. This figure is indicated on the 2.0 above as the lowest score on the bars.

Table 3.0 Customer Assurance in United Arabs Emirates banks on a rating scale of 7

Assurance rating Strongly disagree Disagree Mildly disagree Neutral Mildly agree Agree Strongly agree
Confident with employee behaviour 2 8 20 20 20 18 2
Safe transactions 0 0 0 0 20 50 30
Employees Courteous with customers 0 0 0 0 16 34 50
Have the knowledge to handle customer questions 0 0 10 0 20 40 30

Table 3.0 above indicates that most of the customers of banks in the United Arabs Emirates are satisfied with the assurance provided by the banks. The table indicates that 40% of the customers leaned on the agreement side when questioned on their confidence with employee behaviour while 30% was skewed on the disagreement side. On the question of whether the customers believed that the employees offered safe transactions, most of the employees agreed that the transactions in most of the banks in the United Arabs Emirates were safe. This inference was indicated by a score of 20% on mildly agree, 50% on agree, and 30% on strongly agree. The same information is manifested on the graph 3.0 below. Safe transaction may be the other major reason for the rapid growth of the banking sector in UAE. Every customer would want to transact business and even to save money with a bank that is secure and safe. The table also indicates that on the question of whether the employees were courteous with customers, all of the respondents skewed towards the agreement side.

Graph 3.0 indicates that 16% of the customers mildly agreed that employees were courteous with the customers when offering services, 34 per cent of the clients responded that they agreed that the employees were courteous while serving the clients and 50% of the client strongly believed that the employees were courteous to their clients. Quality services in the banking sector are linked with matters of trust. From the graph 3.0 below, the research can infer that the trust that the clients of the banking sector have on the employees of various bank has resulted in the growth of the banking sector. When customers trust employees in the banks that they will offer careful, respectable, and courteous services, they can be assured of success in their business venture. Courtesy is a great tool of public relations. This may be the too that the employees in the banking sector in this region have applied to win over many customers. Customers are also confident and flee to ask questions on investment, saving and borrowing. With cordial relationship between customers and employees, the success of the banking sector is assured.

Customer Assurance in United Arabs Emirates banks on a rating scale of 7
Graph 3.0 Customer Assurance in United Arabs Emirates banks on a rating scale of 7

The graph above also indicates that 50% of the employees agree that the employees in the UAE offer safe transaction. The research deduces that since most of the clients in the banking sector would want safety of their money and for themselves, they are therefore likely to transact businesses with banks in the united Arabs Emirates. This was followed by 30% of other clients who also strongly agreed that the transactions in the United Arabs Emirates banks were safe. This percentage had no doubt about the safety of the transaction that was offered by these banks. They were sure that the transactions would be safe and that they strongly agree. None of the clients disagreed that the services offered by banks in the UAE were safe.

On the question of the confidence of customers with the employee behaviour, the research revealed that most of the customers were within the mildly agree 20%. Neutral 20%, and mildly disagree 20%. These percentages were closely related. The indication is that the customers were not very sure about the behaviour of the employees. This finding can be linked with the fact that it takes time to learn about someone’s behaviour. The behaviour of the employees when on the job may be different from their behaviour while out of the front office. There are rules in every profession. In the banking sector employees are supposed to adhere to certain code of dressing, behaviour and even emotional labour. These rules may make it hard to know the actual character behind the employees.

Table 4.0 Employee’s empathy on the customer in United Arabs Emirates banks on a rating scale of 7

Empathy rating Strongly disagree Disagree Mildly disagree Neutral Mildly agree Agree Strongly agree
They give individual attention to customers 0 0 20 0 20 48 12
They offer convenient operating hours 0 0 5 0 5 70 20
Employees who give personal attention to clients 0 0 0 0 16 34 50
Employees understand specific needs of customers 2 2 6 0 10 50 30

From the above table, we can deduce that the ratings on empathy of employees by customers vary widely. Table 4.0 indicates that 20% of the customers responded though a mild disagreement that the employees of banks in the UAE give individual attention to their customers. The higher percentages skewed on the affirmation side of 20% on mildly agree, 48% on agree, and 12% on strongly agree. The inference was that employees in most banks in the UAE paid individual attention to customers during service. This case could have made the customers more confident about the banks. The table also indicates that 2% of the employees strongly disagreed that employees understand specific needs of customers, 2% disagreed, and 6% mildly disagreed.

On the other hand, the table 4.0 also indicates that 10% of the customers mildly agreed that employees understand the specific problems that customers present to them, 50% agreed, and 30 % strongly agreed. The research infers that the higher percentage of customers were leaning towards the agree side with 90%. This indicates that most of the customers believe that the employees in the banking sector in UAE understand the specific needs that customers have. The table also indicates that employees give personal attention to their clients based on the indication of 16% on mildly agree, 34% on agree, and 50% on strongly agree. In fact, the percentages lean towards the strongly agree side.

We can therefore deduce that most of the employees in the banking sector are able to pay individual attention to the customers. The 50% customers who strongly agree indicate that employees are keen on customers’ needs and take personal responsibility. The graph also indicates that employees offer convenient operating hours. This inference was an indication of 5% on mild disagree, 5% on mild agree, 70% on agree, 20% strongly agree. The table indicates that 95 % of the customers leaned towards agreeing that the banking industry of UAE offers convenient operating hours for the clients. This case may be the reason for the increase in the number of clients to the banks. We can also indicate that the employees are available during convenient hours when the employees can carry out business.

Conclusion

The results of the literature review show that customers value the different dimensions of service quality differently. The research study focused on service quality dimensions that are demonstrated by UAE banks and the impact it has on customer satisfaction. The research also investigated on service dimensions gaps that have affected service quality and customer satisfaction the most. These have been indicated by disagreements on the 7-point rating scale. The data was collected from two major Islamic banks DIB and ADIB. The researcher collected the required data by distributing questionnaires to the clients. The research also analysed the data collected addressing the highlighted research questions. The clients were selected across different ages and gender. There were new clients and older clients that made the sample a comprehensive representative of the population.

Various findings of the research were discussed with scientific inferences being made in line with the percentages of analysed data. The research realised that customers in the banking sector valued the provision of quality services. The research also deduced important information from the results. It was realised that, for banking institutions to provide quality services especially in the United Arabs Emirates, some values are integral such as trustworthiness, good image, personal skills, and values in customers. They are the building blocks of quality service provision in the banking sector. The research therefore concludes that the reason behind the high success in the banking industry in United Arabs Emirates is pegged on quality service provision. Customers of these banks have gained assurance that they can do business with the banks and even invest in them.

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