Dubai Economy revealed the preliminary results of evaluating businesses for their consumer friendliness for the first time. The evaluation, conducted on the basis of the region’s first-of-its-kind Consumer-Friendly Standards, launched last year by the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) Sector in Dubai Economy, seeks to establish an integrated system for businesses to develop the customer experience and services provided by them.
The first edition of the Consumer-Friendly Standards evaluation had the participation of businesses in varied sectors, as follows: retail sector (50%,) electronics (15%), automotive and car rental (10% each), restaurants, fitness and e-commerce (5% each).
The results indicate major variation in performance across each of the four main evaluation criteria - Strategy, Communication, Customer Care and Development. Strategy scored at an average of 50.5%, which shows the need for companies to focus on policies for customer management, and the pricing strategy. The Communication criterion had an average score of 88.11%, which indicates a higher level of attention among businesses on marketing practices, pre and after-sales experience, consumer impressions, and their role in gaining trust and loyalty. The average score in Customer Care was 75.65%, which points to more opportunities for companies to develop and improve the efficiency of complaints resolution, compliance with laws and regulations, and quality. The Development criterion had an average of 64.27%, which again emphasises the need for more focus on enhancing service standards and capabilities of their customer service care.
The four evaluation criteria are grouped under two themes - Sustainability and Competitiveness. The Sustainability theme includes the Strategy and Communication criteria, while Competitiveness covers Customer Care and Development. Overall, companies had an average score of 75.8% in the evaluation, while Sustainability alone had an average of 79.77% and Competitiveness, 72,55%.
Businesses being periodically evaluated for consumer-friendliness will support them in evolving strategic plans and channels for communicating with consumers, improving efficiencies in dealing with consumer complaints, and developing their services towards a better consumer experience. The results achieved in the first evaluation point to an opportunity for businesses to elevate their consumer-friendliness across both the themes.
Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, CEO of CCCP, said: “Through the Consumer-Friendly Standards, Dubai Economy aims to increase corporate sustainability and market competitiveness in order to create a healthy and friendly environment for consumers. The standards were developed after a comprehensive market study of consumer behaviour data from the past five years. The preliminary results achieved by the participating companies and sectors indicate that there are opportunities to develop performance, specifically in strategy, customer experience, and other criteria.”
Lootah added: “Companies can greatly benefit by participating in the evaluation, due to their developmental advantages in many aspects, in addition to their important role in promoting investments based on reputation that companies can obtain through our authentic certificate and detailed report on the market, sector and the company itself. They can also receive an approved label for use in stores and other appropriate areas. This would support the company in adopting best practices and enhancing customer loyalty, and better profits thereby, in addition to benefiting from innovative case studies and analyses.”
Walid Fakih, General Manager at McDonald’s UAE said: “Enhancing customer experience is central to every aspect of our business and is something we pride ourselves on. The Consumer-Friendly Standards practice has enabled us to benchmark our performance in this area against industry best practice to ensure we are delivering the highest possible levels of customer satisfaction. Participating in the assessment clearly communicates our commitment to our customers, which is extremely important to us.”
Keith Li, Country Manager UAE, Huawei Consumer Business Group, said: “Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) is delighted to announce that the company has been awarded the Consumer-Friendly Standards Certificate from Dubai Economy. This is an excellent initiative and one that Huawei is proud to be a part of. Not only does it support businesses, but it also ensures consumers enjoy high-quality services. Huawei has always been a consumer-centric compan prioritising the demands of our customers, and it is honoured to be acknowledged by Dubai Economy in this regard. Huawei has been collaborating closely with Consumer-Friendly Standards initiative over the last 12 months to pass stringent criteria on improving the consumer experience throughout the customer journey. Huawei received an overall 88.17% by scoring 39.67% out of a total of 45% for Sustainability and 48.50% from a maximum of 55% for Competitiveness. Huawei found it very helpful to go through the scoring process and this in turn reinforced our focus on delivering the best possible experience to customers.”
Kiran Kumar Tewari, Director – Head of Customer Service Group at Samsung Gulf Electronics said: “At Samsung, sustainability and competitiveness are important to us. Success in these areas has most recently been acknowledged with the Consumer-Friendly Certificate from Dubai Economy, which introduced a set of new standards as an integrated system. From an internal perspective, the benefits are services being enhanced across strategy, communication, development, and customer care. From a societal standpoint, this reaffirms we are compliant with UAE consumer rights, laws, and regulations and emphasises our commitment to best practices.”
Nilesh Ved, Chairman, Apparel Group, said: “It’s a great honour for Apparel Group to be recognised and celebrated by Department of Economic Development as 'Consumer-Friendly' Company. We are very proud that all our participating brands, Tommy Hilfiger, Beverly Hills Polo Club, Dune, Charles & Keith, Aldo, Naturalizer, R&B, Skechers & Athlete's Co have passed the standards evaluation criteria. At Apparel Group, high customer satisfaction and exceptional customer experience is what we strive towards every day. The intensive Consumer-Friendly Standards evaluation allowed us to self-assess our existing standards and provided us the opportunity to deep-dive into our customer-related processes and continually improve. Participating in this evaluation process also provided us the opportunity to market our exemplary practices. It was a great internal benchmarking exercise, where different brands within the Group got an opportunity to share best practices. We thank Dubai Economy for their hands-on approach and always guiding us through this process.”
Hisham Zarka, noon, said: “We are committed to elevating the consumer experience in this region, delivering world-class service to every person who shops on noon. We are equally dedicated to enabling retailers, providing them with tools that have been created specifically to support their growth and success. Becoming accredited as a Consumer-Friendly business and successfully passing the high standards set by Dubai Economy is an important milestone for us, an achievement which further validates our commitment to consistently driving the delivery of world-class experience for both consumers and producers.”
Consumer-Friendly Standards certification is now a service open for any company to submit and be evaluated at any time during the year for free. Companies wishing to participate can visit www.consumerrights.ae or contact CFS@dubaided.gov.ae to inquire or request the Consumer-Friendly Standards Manual and the submission document.