Covid-19 lockdown measures are driving an increasing number of Saudi consumers to online channels to purchase products and services and lodge customer service queries. DataEQ is compiling weekly reports during Ramadan to examine industry consumer sentiment and trends on Twitter. This report examines customer experience for the three major Saudi telecoms, STC, Mobily and Zain from 8 to 14 May 2020.
Volume of main telcos in Saudi
What was driving customer complaints during Ramadan?
All telcos had negative Net Sentiment over the third week of Ramadan.
- STC network coverage issues in Qana centre #مركز_قنا where customers claimed that coverage was so bad that students had to rent housing far away from campus to complete their online exams.
- Zain customers were unhappy with Zain’s chatbot performance. Customers complained that the app interface was not efficient and could not interpret customer needs.
- Mobily received general customer service complaints that included issues relating to slow turnaround time, incorrect billing, and internet speed.
Zain was the most negatively perceived followed by Mobily
Sentiment for each telco during the third week of Ramadan
Conversation for Zain was more emotive with only 36.6% neutral mentions compared to the other 2 brands. 22% of the telcos total negative sentiment pertained to complaints about its chatbot.
Mobily had a slightly higher percentage of positive mentions compared to Zain. Customers referred other customers to Mobily for its fibre internet packages and the time taken to respond to customers.
STC had the highest Net Sentiment of -29.9% compared to Zain -54.1% and Mobily -40.6%. STC had the largest portion of neutral data because of the daily Ramadan competition run by the Riyad Road account @Ruh_RD. The مسابقة_طرق_الرياض# competition volume contributed to 38% of the total conversation volume.
Zain’s Chatbot drives brand complaints
22% of Zain’s negative conversation was about its Chatbot. Customers believed that the chatbot was not calibrated properly and was unable to interpret what customers were looking for. Customers cited examples where the bot repeated options they explicitly said they were not looking for. Customers also complained about the unavailability of an option to speak to a human agent via the chatbot.
Response rate and time of Saudi telcos
Digital channels, like Twitter, are increasingly the preferred channel for consumers looking for assistance. An assessment of response rate and response time on Twitter, reveals Mobily had the highest rate of response to customer service requests and STC was on average the fastest to respond to customers during the third week of Ramadan.
The Covid-19 crisis has forced many more consumers online as physical branches are closed and consumers remain home. This places new pressures on banks, telcos and retailers to ensure that they can provide effective online customer service through agents or self-service channels. To fulfil customer expectations for digital service, organisations should properly equip their social teams to meet the growing demands or face considerable reputational and churn risk.