Then and now, customer experience still matters most

Rami Zahran, Group Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Saudi German Health, says the battle to attract and retain business is being won by excellent customer service

Regardless of industry, an organization with a genuine approach to customer service always enjoys a competitive edge over other brands in its industry. This is especially true in today’s digital world, where customers are empowered more than ever thanks to a myriad of information and reviews readily available and easily accessible online.

Happy and satisfied customers are the result of providing exceptional and personalized solutions and services. They make repeat purchases and tend to recommend a brand to their families and friends. According to research, 86 per cent of customers are willing to spend up to 25 per cent more for good customer service, while those who had the best customer experience shell out 140 per cent more compared to those who had experienced the opposite.  

Then and now, customer experience still matters the most.

It is no coincidence then that many businesses today are increasingly enhancing their customer experience strategy, making it at the crux of their respective growth initiatives. Available figures show that 88 per cent of companies now prioritize customer experience and that more than two-thirds of them compete primarily based on customer experience.

It is safe to say that a customer-centric philosophy is taking precedence over other key priorities to differentiate a brand from its market rivals, transform an organization’s market positioning and enable a company to achieve long-term growth. Meeting, if not surpassing, customer needs and expectations and personalizing customer engagement win loyalty and retention, which lead to better brand reputation and faster return on investment, among other benefits.  

Technology-driven services

Customer-focused services are considered a differentiator and a top priority among companies worldwide. In the MENA region, the commitment to bring quality customer service has been guiding businesses to create positive customer impressions.    

Investments in technologies have proved to be crucial to this quest to continuously enhance the experience of a company’s target audience. Enterprises, for one, have long been leveraging Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to improve their engagement with both prospective and existing customers. 

The rollout of the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics, and mobile application, is also rising. The pandemic has  made it even more imperative for businesses to embrace these tools to sustain their competitive edge. 

The region offers numerous success stories of businesses embarking on technology-related initiatives. Take the case of the Majid Al Futtaim group, which leverages technology to create offerings built on outstanding customer experiences. While having a diverse portfolio of brands, the experience across any of their offerings is extremely consistent and their integrated ecosystem allows customers to remain seamlessly engaged with the brand through technology solutions such as their CRM tool or loyalty program ‘Share’. 

Another great example is startup company Cafu, touted as the Middle East’s first fuel delivery application. Cafu has utilized technology to make it easier for customers to refill fuel in a seamless and simple process, one which allows its customers to save time in their day by having their fuel refilled while they sit at home, through a simple click of a button.

In the healthcare sector, Saudi German Health (SGH) is one of the leading health institutions that has embraced patient-centric solutions. New technologies have proved to be crucial to our quest to innovate our approach to medical care, as well as personalize and continuously enhance the experience of our patients.

By leveraging intelligent tools, SGH is effectively leading the regional medical community into the future without losing sight of the wellbeing of patients. The drive to offer patients the best possible experience was the reason behind the new brand ethos of ‘Caring Like Family’ which was part of our complete rebrand strategy early in 2021.

The battle today to retain and attract new customers is being won by excellent customer service. Companies that want to grow and thrive in 2022 need to ask themselves: “Are we offering the best possible experience to our customers?” Based on this, an enterprise would understand what it needs to do, set its priorities and focus on what will matter the most this year.

Featured image: National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

Rami Zahran

Rami Zahran is the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer (CMO) of Saudi German Health based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With over fourteen years of experience in marketing and communications and a proven track record in the industry, he is responsible for the company’s marketing, communications, digital, CRM and events activities.His leadership has been instrumental in the complete transformation of the healthcare group’s brand by executing a complete rejuvenation of its visual identity, communications approach and customer experience, as well as consolidating the brand under one larger healthcare group known as Saudi German Health (SGH). Officially launched in early 2021, the rebranding exercise organizes SGH’s assets under a new brand architecture that increases organizational efficiency and facilitates a much more seamless patient experience. These efforts have significantly improved awareness, brand equity, and revenue performance for the brand across the region. Throughout his career, Rami’s marketing and leadership skills have driven significant development of the different organizations and industries he has worked in. His contributions in the field of marketing were recognized by VMF Powerlist in 2018, naming him as one of the top marketers in the Middle East.Prior to joining SGH, Rami served as Director of Marketing, Communications, and Business Development at American Hospital Dubai and held a managerial position within Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s marketing department. He also worked as Communication Manager at Leo Burnett. Rami Zahran holds an MSc in International Management for the Middle East and Africa (with distinction) from the University of London and a BBA in Marketing and Advertising from American University in Dubai.

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