Saudi customers choose Satisfaction and Quality over Pricing amid COVID-19

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Almost 90 percent of citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia have expressed their willingness to pay a premium and repeat their custom at businesses that provide a good customer experience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a survey conducted by analytics powerhouse, SAS revealed that more than 8 out of 10 respondents (88.4 percent) were willing to shell additional money to ensure that their firm provides a good customer experience amid the pandemic.

The number is reportedly larger when compared to the average of 61 percent, which includes respondents from 11 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Cutting Ties 

The SAS survey revealed that more than 34 percent of respondents said that they will cut all ties with a business for just one failure, mistake, or bad experience, while the majority (52 percent) stated that they will offer some leeway, and will only withdraw their custom after two to five poor experiences.

Speaking about the results from the survey, the SAS’ General Manager for North Gulf, Mr. Zafir Junaid stated that “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.”

Looking Beyond Pricing 

Customers in the Kingdom stood apart in preferring other aspects above prices during the survey. While 46.4 percent preferred to give importance to pricing in their post-pandemic expectation, the survey across the EMEA region reported that 50.9 percent post-pandemic of customers in those regions preferred price above other aspects.

Most Important 

When asked about rating the pre-and post-pandemic experience with specific industry sectors and service providers, respondents gave the most important ratings to physical retail stores (+4.4 percent), mobile, TV and Internet companies (+4.2 percent), and grocery and food companies (3.4 percent).

Education and advocacy groups at -23.4 percent, and restaurants and fast-food chains at -18.8% percent had the most decline in rating of experience.

“On average, 27 percent of all respondents were driven towards a digital solution 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”, Mr. Junaid concluded.