Jordan’s Umniah (77 per cent), Egypt’s Vodafone (76 per cent), Saudi Arabia’s Mobily (73 per cent) and the UAE’s etisalat (52 per cent) beat out their competitors to become the highest scorers in overall customer satisfaction in their own countries in 2007, a survey has revealed.
The study released yesterday by Maktoob Research, a unit of Maktoob.com, shows that all of these except the UAE have, however, fallen from their satisfaction levels of 2006. The previous study had recorded satisfaction ratings of 75, 74 and 70 per cent for Umniah, Vodafone and Mobily, respectively. In the UAE, etisalat did not have a competitor.
As many as 69 per cent of mobile users in Jordan, 63 per cent in Egypt, and 72 per cent each in the UAE and Saudi Arabia might be willing to change their current mobile operators. However, this decision will be based primarily on competitive pricing – the most-cited reason across all four countries.
The Mobile Syndicated Study conducted in November canvassed the opinions of 4,618 cellular subscribers of various nationalities, aged 18 and above, across four countries with 1,009 respondents participating from the UAE, 1,182 from Jordan, 1,264 from Egypt and 1,163 from Saudi Arabia.
“We set out on a similar study in May last year to determine what residents in the Middle East truly felt about the telecom services offered to them,” said Tamara Deprez, Director of Maktoob Research. “While we have covered a few key areas from the previous survey, we have also sought to explore many different areas this time that will prove indispensable in helping telecom operators and mobile companies understand and respond to the needs and concerns of their customers.”
Among the key findings of the November survey are:
- etisalat (79 per cent) claims highest brand recognition in the UAE followed by du (60 per cent).
- Zain/Fastlink (80 per cent), Vodafone (59 per cent) and Mobily (65 per cent) have the highest brand recognition in Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, respectively. Of these, Mobily is not the primary operator.
- A majority of mobile users showed very positive feedback when asked whether they would be interested in using one mobile handset with two sim-card slots (68 per cent in Jordan, 75 in Egypt, 60 in Saudi Arabia and 64 per cent in the UAE).
- A growing percentage of respondents use their mobile phones to browse the internet (18 per cent Jordan, 24 Egypt, 35 Saudi Arabia and 24 per cent UAE).
- The best telecom operator logos were: Jordan – the Zain logo (31 per cent), Egypt – Vodafone logo (32 per cent), Saudi Arabia – Al Jawal logo (43 per cent) and the UAE – etisalat logo (62 per cent).
- The predominant reasons for users not willing to change their current operators, if given the choice, were; best customer care (Jordan), best network coverage (Egypt and the UAE) and overall satisfaction and see no reason to change (Saudi Arabia).
- If given the choice to keep their mobile numbers and move to a different telecom operator, 30 per cent of Jordanian respondents chose Umniah, 40 per cent of Egyptian users chose etisalat Misr and 34 per cent respondents in Saudi Arabia chose Mobily. In the UAE, 34 per cent chose du, 18 per cent chose etisalat, 22 per cent said that they did not know, while 26 per cent said that they were satisfied with their current operators and did not want to move.
- Nokia is the most preferred mobile phone manufacturer (overall 79 per cent). It is followed by Sony Ericsson (7.5 per cent), Samsung (3.85 per cent) and Motorola (three per cent).
- An overwhelming majority of respondents in all four countries were not comfortable with the idea of watching live television on their mobiles.
- Conversely, a majority of mobile users showed interest in receiving advertisements on their mobiles.
“Customers have begun to continuously expect more for less on an ongoing basis,” said Ahmad Al Assad, Regional Research Manager at Maktoob Research.
“They expect many more mobile features, a significant increase in the quality of service accompanied by competitive pricing. In cases where expectations have not been met by operators, customers might very well select the next best telecom company.”