Customer Service During Ramadan Season
Approximately 25% of the world’s population are followers of Islam. Every ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, Muslims commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad through prayer, reflection, and day-long fasting — an annual observance more commonly known as Ramadan. During this period, our Muslim brothers and sisters strive to purify themselves by abstaining from physical indulgences and sinful behavior, and instead focus on increasing their good deeds and charitable works.
Clearly, this long period of self-restraint comes with a catch. Dedicating a whole day for prayer, with not even a drop of water until sunset, are bound to affect businesses in areas where Islam is the dominant religion, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. according to Jordanian economist Sammer Sunuqrot, “The productivity of workers declines in the holy month by 35-50% as a result of shorter working hours and the change in behavior during this month.”
With people becoming less productive and more antsy during the Holy Season, how can you tailor-fit your business’ customer service? Here are some ways.
- Lessen your operational hours, especially if you have Muslim employees. Another alternative would be to offer more shifts so your staff has more time to focus on their prayers and reflections.
- Postpone long meetings and major decision making until after the Holy Season is over.
- Expect an increase in demand after sunset, once Iftar sets in. For restaurants and hospitals, this would mean increasing the number of employees present during these hours.
- Instruct your staff to be more patient and courteous as usual towards customers and clientele. With people coming in parched and hungry, tempers are bound to be short-fused.
- Deploy a Ramadan campaign! For retail owners, offering sales and discounts would be a good head start. For charities and non-profit organizations, double your efforts to advertise your advocacies! With Muslims vying to increase their spiritual rewards, this is the perfect opportunity for you to engage with prospective members and partners.
- Be mindful of Suhour and Iftar times, even if majority of your customers aren’t Muslim. For restaurants and airline companies, serve food at convenient times and ensure that Halal choices are available during both periods. With this year’s Ramadan taking place during summer in the Gulf, make sure that you have enough water supply on board to avoid dehydration.
- Lastly, if you’re a non-Muslim business owner, take the time to educate yourself and your employees about Ramadan to gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ practices and beliefs. It all boils down to respect and empathy.
How did your business prepare for this Holy Season? Let us know in the comments below!