KPMG Saudi Arabia, has published the results of its 2022 global annual Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) survey. This 13th global edition, and the second to run in Saudi Arabia, is based on inputs from 1,550 consumers in Saudi Arabia measured against inputs from 89,000 consumers across 25 countries worldwide.
The Saudi version of the survey included 96 brands across nine different sectors and provided the respondents with the ability to evaluate those brands based on their personal customer experiences with them. The survey was based on the CEE methodology, developed by KPMG’s global CEE Centre of Excellence, and is made up of six pillars; Empathy, Personalization, Expectations, Resolution, Integrity and Time & Effort. Those pillars represent the core of this research as they make up the fundamental components of an ideal customer experience.
In terms of overall CEE performance, the non-grocery retail sector emerged as a leader among other sectors in Saudi Arabia with a score of 8.08 in 2022 and beat its last year’s performance; Followed closely by the grocery retail sector with a score of 8.05. Such results indicate notable progress in those two sectors and point to the essential role they play in consumers’ lives.
Moving down the chart, the financial services sector marked a noticeable decrease to a score of 7.94 compared to last year’s 8.07, indicating growing customer expectations that brands in the financial sector need to consider. Travel and hotels, restaurants and fast food, and entertainment and leisure followed with close scores of 7.92, 7.91 and 7.90, respectively.
Finally, telecoms, utilities and logistics sectors trailed the ranking with scores of 7.82, 7.70 and 7.66, respectively.
In the area of Net Promotor Score (NPS) index, non-grocery retail, grocery retail, and the financial services scored the highest among the other sectors. In contrast, logistics and entertainment & leisure obtained the lowest NPS scores.
“As we know, these sectors have been highly commoditized over the last few years, and ‘opportunities to delight’ have become significantly rarer,” commented Adib Kilzie, Head of Customer Experience, Cloud and Enterprise Solutions at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.
“Today’s customers are better informed, better connected and more demanding than ever before. In some cases, customer experience has overtaken price and product as the number one brand differentiator. Although many organizations are investing record amounts in customer-related initiatives, not all are seeing the desired ROI in the absence of a clear CX strategy.”
Having the right customer insight through segmentation and persona development remains as a leading challenge among businesses; a challenge that is likely to hinder the business’ ability to personalize their services and orchestrate exceptional customer journeys.
“Although most businesses appreciate that need and its impact on their market share and profitability, they continue to face challenges in data collection and customer insight. The market has witnessed a rise in the use of Voice of Customer (VoC) solutions, surveys and questionnaires; however, many businesses have not been able to leverage the needed real-time data collection and decision capabilities,” Kilzie noted.
Companies are now acting purposefully, deciding what to take with them into the future and what to leave behind, he stated, adding that this points to a significant transition underpinned by new ways of working for most firms.
“The hierarchical silos of an industrial past are giving way to an agile culture for a digital future,” Kilzie concluded.