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Customers in KSA more willing to reward good business experience than EMEA average

A Saudi survey revealed more than 8 in 10 respondents will pay a premium and repeat their custom at businesses that provide a good customer experience

More than 34% of respondents have said that they will cut all ties with a business for just one failure KSA customers are willing to look beyond pricing alone The sectors that saw the newest digital customers were education, and groceries, and food

In a survey conducted among citizens and residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, SAS, the leader in analytics, uncovered that more than eight in 10 respondents (88.4%) will pay a premium and repeat their purchase with businesses that provided good customer experience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is higher than the average of 61 percent, from respondents in 11 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The discerning Saudi customer is patient with businesses, but this patience is not unlimited. More than 34% of respondents have said that they will cut all ties with a business for just one failure, mistake, or bad experience. The majority (52%) will offer some leeway, and will only stop doingbusiness after two to five poor experiences.

Zafir Junaid, General Manager, North Gulf at SAS, said: “At SAS, we believe that the customer experience is the primary driver of repeat business, especially when it comes to products and services that are not unique. It is more difficult to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, and businesses in the Kingdom need to realize the impact of the experience they provide. A strategic analytics program on the business’s data can reveal the high-points and low-points of the typical customer experience. Intelligence leads to differentiation.”

When asked about their change in expectations from their service providers before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, prices were the single largest consideration before the pandemic (46% reporting as top 3 priority). This had a slight spike to 46.4% in post-pandemic expectations. Across the EMEA region, this was a priority for 54.1% of respondents pre-pandemic and 50.9% post-pandemic, demonstrating the KSA customers’ willingness to look beyond pricing alone.

This was followed by the expectation of consistent availability of products and services and their quality. This was a top 3 priority for 44% of KSA respondents pre-COVID, and 41.8% post. This closely matches the regional trend of a dip post-pandemic (44.4% pre-COVID; 43.9% post-COVID).

Respondents were asked to rate the pre-and post-pandemic experience with specific industry sectors and service providers, and the providers that showed the most significant ratings were physical retail stores (+4.4%), mobile, TV, internet companies (+4.2%), and grocery and food companies (3.4%). The noticeable dips in experience were seen in Education and advocacy groups (-23.4%), and restaurants and fast-food chains (-18.8%).

To track the usage of digital solutions and mobile applications across various sectors, respondents were asked about their use of digital access before and after the pandemic. Approximately half the respondents from KSA were already using digital solutions for social media (52.8%), banking (52%), and to access government and public services (49.8%). In keeping with the new paradigm brought about by the pandemic, the sectors that saw new digital customers were education, and groceries, and food, both at 30.8%. This was followed by consumer brands, with 29.6% reporting that the pandemic inspired a shift towards digital platforms.

“On average, 27% of all respondents were driven towards digital solutions for all aspects of their lives and business by the pandemic. This represents a significant new pool of digital customers for businesses to interact with, but it’s important they have the capability to analyze this new online data to drive superior marketing analytics and customer experience”, Zafir Junaid concluded.