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Two-thirds of UAE and KSA firms not tracking customer loyalty

Study for Collinson shows local organisations are neglecting customer loyalty

Two-thirds of UAE and KSA firms not tracking customer loyalty
Two-thirds of companies in the region do not rack customer loyalty or have strategies to strengthen customer loyalty.

Around two-thirds of organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia don't understand why their customers are loyal to them, according to a study.

The survey of organisations with annual revenues over $300m found that 58% of Saudi companies and 67% of UAE companies say they do not understand why their customers are loyal to their organisation or have a strategy in place to strengthen customer relationships.

More than half (57%) of loyalty practitioners in the UAE indicate that they do not have a loyalty strategy with clearly defined business objectives and goals, while 42% claim the same in Saudi Arabia.

The study, which was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Collinson, a global leader in customer benefits and loyalty, showed regional results broadly in line with global averages, with 64% of respondents saying they don't understand loyalty and 68% of respondents saying they don't have a clearly defined loyalty strategy.

Collinson warns that businesses in the UAE and KSA ultimately putting customer relationships and profitability at risk through not understanding loyalty.

A significant 73% of decision makers in the UAE and 67% in KSA say they are planning to increase their investment in their loyalty programmes in the next 12 months, against a global average of 64%, although Collinson notes that for these investments to prove a success, they will need to coincide with clearly defined strategies that are aligned with overarching business objectives.

Two-fifths of (39%) local respondents admit they fail to integrate loyalty technology with other internal systems. However, the global average is in fact worse at nearly half (46%) falling short here. Although loyalty is evidently still in silo for many of these organisations - rather than being measured across the whole customer journey and business operations as it should be - it is notable that the Middle East is more unified in this respect than the rest of the world.

Sanjit Gill, General Manager of Collinson, Middle East, commented: "It's surprising that so many organisations globally are taking such a disjointed approach to loyalty in 2018 and interesting to see that in some areas, the Middle East is showing a slightly more aligned approach.

"However, from the figures it's still clear that programme providers need to put loyalty back on track by becoming better unified in terms of their objectives, what they measure and what success looks like. This is an age in which consumers have more power, choice and higher expectations than ever before. They want to be rewarded for their loyalty with relevant and personalised experiences - one bad experience and they can easily switch to a competitor, or in some cases damage a brands reputation and hard work by simply sharing their bad experience on Social Media. Loyalty needs to be embedded in everything an organisation does, at every stage of the customer lifecycle, to help build an intricate understanding of who your customers are and what makes them tick. Only then can organisations recognise customers, create tailored experiences that will reward and keep them coming back again and again, year after year."

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