Case assessment officers at the Customer Happiness Centre in Dubai, which serves customers in a majlis setting. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News

Dubai: Imagine going to a government agency in Dubai with no waiting time, no queues, and the service is delivered directly to you.

This is what the Community Development Authority’s (CDA) Customer Happiness Centre has been doing since it opened to the public earlier this year, slashing waiting and service delivery time, and improving employee productivity and efficiency.

For this reason, the CDA earlier this week bagged the Hamdan Bin Mohammad Smart Government Award — Customer Service Category from Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.

The Customer Happiness Centre was a result of a comprehensive review of the efficiency of the services at the CDA in 2014, said Khalid Al Ramsi, director of Customer Service.

“We had three challenges in our services from 2014 to 2015. The service delivery time was 10 to 12 weeks or three months and the overlaps and duplication between departments were around 10 times to get the final service to the customer. The number of touch points (stages) between the customer and the CDA to complete the transaction was 14 points,” Al Ramsi told Gulf News.

Because of this, the CDA received a customer satisfaction rating of 66 per cent at that time, which meant significant changes had to be made, he said. An Innovation Team, led by Ahmad Al Gharaibeh, worked for almost two years to level up the service and give a “seven-star service” to its customers.

“One of the solutions was to establish the Customer Happiness Centre where customers will be provided with a unified service in a unique [majlis] setting taken from the Arabic style, where the customers get the service within their sitting area. There is no need for a token system, no need to go to a counter,” Al Ramsi said.

Customer journey or the time a customer spends at the centre is then cut short to a maximum of 15 minutes while service delivery time was reduced from three months to three days.

The CDA also revamped all its service-providing channels such as its website, social media channels, mobile applications, and call centre.

“It’s very important to improve customer service at the CDA because it is a government entity and our main objective is to bring happiness to our customers, to make a difference in their lives. The previous rating of 66 per cent that we got was not acceptable.”

The effort gave positive results, Al Ramsi said. The CDA’s customer satisfaction or happiness rating in general has now reached 98 per cent while satisfaction over the professionalism of CDA employees is now at 97 per cent.

Employee productivity has also increased from 72 per cent to 93 per cent.