96% of GCC Businesses Rank Customer Experience as Priority in 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates 8 October 2019  Customer experience will be a top GCC business priority in 2020, agreed upon by 96 percent of the region’s IT decision-makers, according to a new YouGov survey launched today at GITEX Technology Week.

In the YouGov survey of 304 GCC IT decision-makers, 80 percent ranked customer experience as “very important,” and 16 percent as “somewhat important.” The GCC’s customer experience push supports business goals: sales and revenue (42 percent), bottom line (22 percent), and traffic leads (14 percent).

“The finding that nearly all GCC organizations surveyed are prioritizing customer experience demonstrates that 2020 is the year when all aspects of customer interaction become critically important for business success,” argues Gergi Abboud, Senior Vice President and General Manager, SAP Middle East South. “GCC organizations that optimize customer experiences can design products based on customers’ needs, better predict demand and enhance procurement, and deliver products and services that can maximize customer happiness.”

While most respondents successfully collect customer feedback across all touchpoints (52 percent), and optimize customer experiences (66 percent), there is room for improvement. A little less than half of organizations value a mix of direct communication, social media, surveys, and customer ratings and reviews.

“In the GCC, organizations should not consider customer experience a one-off project, but rather work with channel partners to integrate customer experiences in digital transformation agendas,” added Ahmed Al-Faifi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, SAP Middle East North. “In the Experience Economy, it’s vital for organizations to combine customer ‘x-data’ with operational ‘o-data’ to deliver digital business innovations across customer, employee, product, and brand experiences.”

Oman Oil and Orpic Group Leads Middle East South Customer Experience Innovation

Oman Oil and Orpic Group underwent a digital transformation project with a foundation of SAP CX solutions implemented across the Group. The solution offers the Group with an internal library of customer order history and a B2B customer portal.

“In order to support the Group’s global footprint and Oman’s economic growth, Oman Oil and Orpic Group needed differentiated solutions to transform its customer experiences ” said Gilles Rochas, General Manager Polymer Marketing. “Our digital transformation with SAP has led to faster onboarding of customers, mobility for our sales staff with full visibility, and customers that can place orders on self-service portals. It has enabled an enhanced customer service, with agents now having full order history”.

Abdul Latif Jameel Motors and alfanar Electric Division Drive Saudi CX Innovations

One of Saudi Arabia’s largest diversified businesses, Abdul Latif Jameel, rehauled its management processes and performance through a dedicated resource planning system, named JSAP. In April 2019, the program won the Gold Award for Business Transformation in the SAP Quality Awards.

Faisal Abdalla, Vice President of Abdul Latif Jameel Motors said: “ALJ is one of the GCC’s key businesses leading on digital transformation through JSAP, one of the world’s biggest SAP automotive implementations. Its success has seen internal performance and efficiency improved dramatically, reducing vehicle sales delivery lead times and customer order conversion times by over 50%, and ultimately maximising customer satisfaction.”

The Saudi Arabia-based alfanar Electric Division, the electrical equipment and supplies arm of Alfanar Group, has digitally transformed with SAP with an emphasis on transforming customer experiences.

“As Saudi Arabia’s market continues to grow, alfanar Electric Division needed one digital platform to understand and act on our customer needs in real-time,” said Jameel Khan, Manager SAP Center of Excellence, alfanar Co. Saudi Arabia. “By combining customer data with operational data, alfanar Electric Division can better service to our customers, enhance our electrical materials supply chain, and boost our sales and products. Ultimately, we can better support our growth and meet the Kingdom’s 2030 vision.”

Employee Experiences Ranks Highly for GCC Organizations

Survey respondents are also bullish on enhancing employee experiences – with 88 percent ranking it as “important” for their 2020 business success, and 60 percent agreeing that they maintain a “high level” of employee engagement and feedback. Most GCC organizations plan to use performance reviews (55 percent), plus surveys (50 percent), social media (42 percent), and online employer ratings (31 percent).

GITEX attendees can visit SAP at Hall 6 – Stand B1 to experience “The City of Possibilities” showcase, which highlights customer experience across the Power of Digital Supply Chain, Intelligent Coffee, and E-Sports. This week, SAP is also hosting its SAP Customer Experience Live and SAP Ariba Live events.