Link Development launches the FIRST Direct Consumer Auto-Response service on Twitter in UAEThursday, Nov 06, 2014
The Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology is the first government entity to use Social Media for Consumer Service and Quality Control
The Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) unveiled today the first direct consumer auto response Twitter service provided by a governmental entity in the region for quality control. The launch took place during Gitex Technology Week in line with the directions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as part of the Smart Government initiative.
Through the new service consumers are now able to validate the certification and star rating of home appliances using their Twitter accounts. They are also able to submit a violation case using Twitter to be handled by ESMA on a timely manner. ESMA Twitter service will automatically fetch any new tweet and check the current database of products for certification. The system will then automatically reply back to the user with a Tweet containing the retrieved result from the database. In case of violation, a complaint can be sent with a picture of the product, location of the store, brand & model number. ESMA will then assure necessary actions to control the stated violation.
LINK Development, a leading provider of integrated technology solutions across the Middle East and a subsidiary of OTVentures, has designed and implemented the ESMA initiative offering consumers instant Twitter responses to their requests. The first phase of the service offers consumers the ability to validate and review any quality details or product certification on home appliances prior to purchase. By sending an enquiry or a complaint about a specific product in the UAE market to the ESMA’s Twitter account, the consumer will immediately receive an automated response with details on the product’s certification.
Amin Azab, Managing Director of LINK Development, said: “ESMA is pioneering the use of Twitter to better support customers. The authority has been at the forefront of government entities in providing smart solutions as tools for a better, more efficient customer service. The new initiative enables a larger number of people to have access to the authority and send their requests online. The initiative will help reduce time, improve efficiency, transparency and quality of service.”
Currently, Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) – the federal agency in charge of the conformity and standards– monitors the quality of products in the market. The Authority is a major player in the quality drive that the UAE has embarked on over the last few years and which propelled it to one of the Top 20 most competitive nations in the world, ranking 19th according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2013-2014. Today, the UAE wants to pursue its journey for quality, reinforcing the country’s vision for a better future for its people and residents. Federal authorities like ESMA are leading this drive.
Commenting on the launch; Abdulla Al Maeeni, ESMA’s Director General, said: “We strongly advise consumers to look for the certificate of approval issued by ESMA before buying or installing electrical and gas-powered appliances. ESMA’s mandate is to ensure optimum safety of home appliances for all consumers in the UAE. We have put in place this innovative Twitter service in line with these efforts. We realized that we can reach out, and interact with citizens and residents through their smartphones because of the popularity of social media and Twitter in the gulf region. We aim to get in touch with consumers first-hand and cater to their needs. We encourage everyone to proactively participate in the quality control conversations taking place on our Twitter account. This will help us better promote safety at home and ensure the products available in the market conform to the standards issued by ESMA and GCC Standardization Organization (GSO).”
The system will allow ESMA to better supervise the consumer market and control the safe use of electrical and gas-powered products ranging from plugs, extension cords, electric irons, microwave ovens, washing machines and dryers, electric stoves, refrigerators, heaters, freezers and chillers to room air conditioners available in the country. These products affect consumers’ lives, health and safety and this online service will help the Authority supervise and validate the authenticity of the products available for consumers in the market.
“ESMA issues the certificates of conformity electronically through UAE’s e-government services where the supplier can get approvals online. We have also implemented a more integrated platform to host all provided services and operations, and now through social media, offer a more efficient customer service for consumers as well”, said Abdulla Al Maeeni, General Manager at ESMA
Consumers are rapidly embracing social media services as their communication medium of choice, with 401,000 active users on Twitter in the UAE according to the TRA; therefore, using social media and Twitter as an instrument for customer service is an innovative and instant way of offering a better more efficient support for consumers in the region.