The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai has announced the first-ever index of businesses in Dubai classified on the basis consumer-friendliness. Juma Al Majid automobiles won the highest in both the overall rating and the Automobiles category while Lulu Hypermarkets stood top in both the Hypermarkets and Electronics categories.
The indexing was based on customer service levels in 24 leading outlets in the Hypermarkets, Automobiles and Electronics categories and a survey of 1,700 consumers in Dubai.
The key criteria in the classification were: consumer satisfaction and consumer perception of the business (60%); the number of consumer complaints received and the time taken by the business to solve the complaint (20%); and a comparative analysis of product prices in the outlet and its competitors (20%).
The annual index focused on Hypermarkets, Automobiles and Hypermarkets since these three categories account for more than 60 per cent of the consumer spending. The outlets chosen were also those with the biggest market share in their respective sectors.
According to the survey findings, Carrefour stood top in terms of customer loyalty in hypermarkets with a strong preference among 90 per cent of the consumers, and scored the highest – 69 per cent – in consumer loyalty in the Electronics sector. Al Nabooda Automobiles enjoys the highest level of customer satisfaction in car sales while Al Tayer Automobiles and Arabian Automobile share the top spot in after-sales service. Among Hypermarkets, Lulu got the highest customer satisfaction rate while E-max got the highest consumer satisfaction in the electronics sector. The survey also showed 89 per cent of consumers go back to their car dealer for routine service.
Launched earlier this year, the consumer-friendliness index aims to promote service excellence, competitiveness and cordial relations between consumers and retailers while also building awareness on consumer rights and protecting them in line with DED’s strategic objective to encourage best practices in the retail sector.
Omar Bushahab, CEO of CCCP, said: “The Department of Economic Development believes healthy competition will always bring improved service to customers and help businesses grow faster. Our approach in rating consumer-friendliness mainly focused on consumer perceptions of the service available at leading retail outlets and the factors driving customer loyalty.”
“Consumer satisfaction and perception carried the biggest weight as the index is a measure of consumer-friendliness. The time taken to resolve complaints was considered as it indicates the customer relations and culture of the retail outlet,” said Mohammed Lootah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of CCCP.
“The index will be a reliable benchmark for businesses in enhancing customer service and customer loyalty We are looking at expanding the survey next year by introducing more categories, thus also involving more outlets and consumers,” added Lootah.
DED assigned the indexing process to an external market research firm to ensure transparency in the process. The survey was done through e-mailed questionnaires to allow consumers to express their opinions freely and without any pressure from the retailers.
The Department of Economic Development also held introductory workshops with the owners of companies and establishments covered by the classification to introduce the criteria, and elicit their views in order to make the process as accurate and comprehensive as possible.