Best and worst in UAE: How residents help rate government services

Best and worst in UAE: How residents help rate government services

Outstanding government service is a right of the people residing in the Emirates, says Sheikh Mohammed.

The people have spoken: Mystery shoppers and residents have helped determine the best and worst government service centres in the UAE for 2023.

“Outstanding government service is a right of the people residing in the UAE that we will not compromise on,”

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, wrote on platform X on Monday.

“Interacting with the public in a positive manner is a basic duty of every government official.”

And true to this philosophy, the UAE Vice-President replaced the director of Kalba Hospital, which was rated among the worst centres this year. He also said poorly rated entities that don’t improve in 60 days could see management teams changed.

This is not the first time that Sheikh Mohammed has publicly called out entities for good and poor performance. In 2019, all entities that fared well in an assessment received a two-month salary bonus, while the managers of entities that were given the thumbs down were replaced.

The UAE has been star-rating government services since 2011. The system rates service channels on a scale of 2 to 7 stars.

Here is all you need to know about the system.

How are government service centres evaluated?

According to its website, the system rates service channels based on independent evaluation and assessment of customer experience. An assessment report highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the channel.

Entities are judged based on eight pillars including customer experience, service delivery channels, efficiency, people empowerment and technology integration. In parallel, customer happiness and mystery shopping measurements and employee happiness scores are taken.

How often are entities assessed?

Services channels are evaluated once every two years.

Has the initiative helped better government services?

Yes. The system motivates entities to boost their star ratings. For instance, Al Dhafra Centre achieved a six-star rating this year as compared to a four-star one last year.

Who are mystery shoppers? Do they assess government services?

Mystery shopping is a method commonly used to gather information about and measure the quality of services offered. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has previously referred to his own personal team of mystery shoppers who are sent to evaluate government services.

In 2019, he shared a photo of long queues at the Karama branch of Emirates Post that was clicked by a mystery shopper. He reprimanded the government agency and publicly shared its performance report, stressing the need for stronger customer service.

Good performance gets called out, too. Earlier this year, he praised the “exceptional” customer service provided by Omar Bu Shehab, CEO of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment. In photos shared by mystery shoppers, the top official was seen at the service counter, receiving customers, speeding up procedures, and contributing to clearing transactions.

Can residents become mystery shoppers?

Yes, they can through the UAE Mystery Shopper app. According to its description, users can evaluate the overall experience of service centres. They can also rate aspects like location, parking spaces, reception, waiting time, processes, completion time, service fees, payment method and employee attitude.

“Customers can share their feedback on the smart application either during or after their visit to the service centre. The comments section allows users to elaborate further on their experience, thus providing government entities with extensive data that help in pinpointing strengths and weaknesses.”

News Source: Khaleej Times

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