The UAE’s travel and hotel sectors have outperformed other countries, while Emirates Airline ranked first in KPMG’s ‘UAE Customer Experience Excellence Report 2020’, which analyses changing consumer behaviours.
The UAE’s overall performance in customer experience has increased by 7% since 2018, according to the report. Companies were ranked across KPMG’s Six Pillars of Customer Experience Excellence (CEE): Personalisation, Integrity, Expectations, Resolution, Time & Effort and Empathy.
Emirates Airline is again the number one brand, leading across The Six Pillars. The top 10 performers in the UAE also include HSBC, VOX Cinemas, Emirates NBD, Carrefour, DEWA, Centrepoint, FedEx, Spinneys and DHL. Companies scoring high on customer experience typically record higher revenue growth.
Pilar De Miguel Veira, Partner, Head of Experience Design & Innovation at KPMG Lower Gulf, says: “In a post-Covid-19 world, consumers may expect the brands they interact with – digitally or physically – to deliver better, safer and more seamless interactions at a lower cost. We have seen many companies establish their integrity, striving to act in the best interests of their customers, doing the right thing regardless of profit impact, and caring for employees and customers. This is reflected in UAE companies’ improved customer experience excellence metrics.”
Overall, quality of customer experience has improved across the UAE since the last survey in 2018. Every sector has seen improvement. Despite the impact of Covid-19, the Travel & Hotels sector (scoring 7.80) performed better in the UAE than in most other countries.
There has been a significant increase in performance across The Six Pillars in this year’s research, with Expectations seeing the greatest improvement (12% average increase across all brands). These pillars represent the key elements of customer interaction for brands during Covid-19, setting new standards in an unprecedented situation.
Strong performance across The Six Pillars is likely to lead to improved brand Loyalty and Advocacy. In order to understand customers’ likelihood to recommend a brand (Advocacy), they were asked to rate how likely they would be to recommend each brand to a friend or colleague. In addition, customers were probed regarding Loyalty — how likely they were to continue buying goods or services in the future.
When it comes to driving both Loyalty and Advocacy, the KPMG study this year found UAE customers to be most focused on a brand’s Integrity and Personalisation. Unsurprisingly, the impact of these two Pillars on Loyalty and Advocacy is slightly lower this year due to Covid-19 – likely related to customers increased concern about having their evolving needs met and their problems resolved.
KPMG identified common contributors to the success of the top 10 UAE companies. These include continuous innovation-driven improvement, a desire to deliver the best customer experience in their field, uncovering customers’ hidden needs and being adaptable, responsive and often first to market with game-changing innovations.
Pilar concluded: “New technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can enable customer experiences that are highly personalised, frictionless and easy to navigate. For organisations able to navigate these challenges, there are likely opportunities to accelerate economic recovery, lock in long-term cost savings and create enormous value, for both shareholders and society.”