Brands have been investing significantly in upping their customer experience game. But have they covered all possible angles? Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: One bitter experience is all that it takes a consumer in the UAE to ditch one brand and opt for another. That’s according to findings from ServiceNow, a digital workflow company.

Some 85 per cent of UAE consumers — 11 percentage points higher than the global average — said they are less loyal to brands than they were two years ago. The survey polled 18,000 consumers in 13 countries (including 1,000 in the UAE).

Consumers here now place an even higher premium on customer service.

“Brands in the UAE need to be at the top of their game,” said Ali Kaddoura, Country Manager – UAE at ServiceNow. “While cost is important, brands must pay attention to other aspects that can set them apart from competitors who are just a click or swipe away from the consumer. Service must include exceptional streamlined experiences, both human and automated, at every touchpoint along the customer journey.”

When it comes to consumer loyalty, the ServiceNow poll found cost to be the biggest driver, with 40 per cent of UAE consumers less willing to stay loyal to brands because they shop around for the cheapest option. And 73 per cent of respondents reported spending more this year compared to 12 months ago, while 54 per cent of these higher spenders attributed their behavior to rising costs.

The findings also showed a preference for human-to-human interaction among UAE consumers. More than half said they’d like to see all brands offer full 24x7 customer service and 52 per cent said they’d like to see a return to human-based customer service to minimize automated routes, in the next year.