Business | General

Dubai launches Consumer-Friendliness Index

Move aims to promote service excellence, competitiveness and consumer rights

  • By Zaher Bitar, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 17:45 December 16, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News
  • Carrefour scored highest in terms of loyalty conversion in the hypermarkets category with 90 per cent.
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Dubai: In an attempt to enhance business competitiveness and the quality of services provided to consumers, the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai has launched a new initiative in the form of its Consumer-Friendliness Index.

The index focuses on the three main business segments — automotive, electronics and hypermarkets — which account for 60 per cent of consumer spending in Dubai. The index measures three main criteria — customer satisfaction, which has a 60 per cent weightage, complaints reported against firms, which has a 20 per cent bearing on the ranking, and price evaluation, which also has a 20 per cent say in the assessment.

Based on business market shares and consumer sentiment, the index included 24 leading outlets and sought the opinion of over 1,700 consumers in Dubai.

Out of the top 10 car dealers, Juma Al Majid Automobiles took top spot in both the overall rating and the Automobiles category while Lulu Hypermarkets topped both the Hypermarkets and the Electronics categories.

Carrefour scored highest in terms of loyalty conversion in the hypermarkets category with 90 per cent, while Al Naboodah Automobiles was ranked highest in terms of consumer satisfaction on sales with 72.5 per cent. Arabian Automobiles scored highest on consumer satisfaction after sales at 69.5 per cent.

In the electronics category, E Max topped consumer satisfaction on sales with a score of 70.25 per cent.

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, said Mohammad 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,” he added.

Lootah said the Consumer-Friendliness Index is a novel initiative not only for the region but internationally. “This index will increase the confidence of brand owners in Dubai and we expecting a remarkable increase in new trademarks into the market very soon.”

Salim M.A, director, Lulu hypermarkets Group, told Gulf News: “The index result and the recognition we received from the DED is very important to our business as it is based on the feedback of consumers — our main stakeholders.”

“After establishing ourselves firmly as one of the most value-for-money hypermarket chains with highest quality standards, we have been consistently working to set new benchmarks in customer service and satisfaction for the last five years. We have created a dedicated team which plans and implements best industry practices throughout all our stores and constantly monitors for gaps and ways to improve.”

“Being a UAE-based organisation, it is our utmost aim to align our business strategy in line with the vision of the government to make Dubai the best in whatever it does.”

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.”

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.

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