Covid-19 lockdown measures have been driving an increasing number of Saudi and United Arab Emirates (UAE) consumers online to purchase products and services, and lodge customer service queries across a number of industries. BrandsEye is compiling weekly reports during Ramadan to examine industry consumer sentiment and trends on Twitter. This report examines customer experience for four Saudi banks, Al Rajhi, Al Ahli, Riyad Bank, and Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) during the first two weeks of Ramadan from 24 April to 7 May 2020.
All banks had a negative Net Sentiment score during the first two weeks of Ramadan
Net sentiment over time for each bank analysed 24 April to 7 May.
Comparing netiment sentiment for each bank analysed 24 April to 7 May.
Al Rajhi’s conversation on Twitter was more emotive compared to the other four banks. 25% of their negative conversation was about their new mobile app.
Al Ahli’s failure to postpone monthly loan repayment drove 31% of the total negative conversation about the bank.
SAIB had the largest portion of neutral data as a result of a daily Ramadan competition. Conversation about the مفاجآت_وااو# contributed to 83.3% of SAIB’s total conversation volume.
Across all four banks there was very little positive engagement, with Riyad Bank having the most at 4.3% as customers referred other authors to the bank for their good customer service and loans products.
Main topics during Ramadan
The most prevalent theme was no response received and turnaround time, as authors complained about the lack of response from brand channels, especially Twitter direct messages.
The main contributor to conversation about reaction to brand advertising was a tweet from Al Ahli’s about the postponement of monthly loan repayments. The tweet was deleted and a new tweet made which provided clearer eligibility criteria. Both received complaints.
Over 14% of Al Rajhi conversation was about their new mobile app. consumers noted that the old app was better, with fewer crashes, faster speed and a simpler interface. During Ramadan and since Covid-19 began, consumers complained that banks were still debiting loan repayments despite the royal order to postpone them.
Al Rajhi’s new app continues to drive negative CX conversation
For Al Rajhi, almost 15% of the total conversation in the first two weeks of Ramadan was about its new mobile app. Consumers shared their experience using the app using the hashtag تطبيق_الراجحي_الجديد#.
The bank’s new app was launched during this period and received many complaints that the previous version worked better. Consumers did not understand why the new app was launched during such a critical time for online services.
Some issues raised by consumers included: app downtime, login and transaction errors, being unable to make online purchases or add beneficiaries to transfer funds, and slow responsiveness.
Loan repayment issue drives complaints for Al Ahli
On 24 April, Al Ahli tweeted that they would be postponing monthly loan repayments without penalties. No eligibility criteria were contained in the tweet, but there was a small note in the photo to indicate the terms and conditions. Consumers complained about the terms and conditions being hidden (?) and accused Al Ahli of being dishonest and untransparent.
The next day, Al Ahli deleted the tweet and posted a new one with clearer terms and conditions. The new tweet drew even more consumer ire. Consumers suggested the bank remove the conditions altogether to benefit society during the current pandemic.
Al Rajhi and Al Alhi’s channels were all net negative
Key engagement channel analysis
For the two largest banks, mobile app, call centre and email were the channels that received the most negative sentiment and no channels had net positive sentiment overall. Mobile apps, call centre and branch were the most frequently cited channels in the sample. Consumers complained that due to app issues and downtime, they had to contact call centres or visit branches to address their needs. This suggests that if banks want to take the pressure off traditional channels they need to focus on maintaining and improving their digital operations.
During the month of Ramadan, BrandsEye is compiling weekly reports examining a selection of banking, telecommunications and supermarket retail brands in the UAE and Saudi Arabia based on publicly available Twitter data.