Wednesday 11, May 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), honoured the top performers in the fourth ‘Consumer Friendliness Index’ of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai at a special ceremony held today.

Retailers from seven sectors were honoured along with LuLu Hypermarket and Alshaya Group, both overall leaders in customer satisfaction among the 60 outlets rated by DED for their consumer friendliness. The annual Consumer Friendliness Index, currently in its fourth year, aims to promote customer satisfaction through fostering healthy competition among retailers and encouraging them to adopt exemplary practices to gain consumer confidence.

Alshaya Group won the highest rating in the Consumer Friendliness Index with a total of 85 points in terms of outstanding customer service, in addition to being in first place in the retail segment. Lulu Hypermarket also led overall with points while being the top performer among Hypermarkets sector.

The list of winners in the other sectors was as follows: Damas (Gold sector) with index score of 84, Home Center (Furniture) with index score of 84, Fono Distribution Services (Electronics) with index score of 83, Juma Al Majid Group (Automobile) with index score of 82, and Second Cup Café (Café) with index score of 79.

His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, commented: “We are proud to see the Consumer Friendliness Index initiative completing four successful years with a 13 per cent increase in number of participants – from 52 to 60 in 2015. The initiative aims to strengthen the relationship between the merchant and the consumer by encouraging traders to offer best-in-class customer service and constantly improve their professional standards as well as the customer experience provided to the community at large in Dubai, which reflects on the quality of retailing in the UAE and the Middle East.”

The index showed that 94% of those who have shopped at hypermarkets expressed satisfaction with the transparency and clarity of their invoices, and most Arab consumers agreed that there is good value for money. In terms of prices, consumers noted that vegetable and fruit prices across hypermarkets are high.

In the Automobile sector Arab consumers between 18 to 24 years of age said that the after-sales service is decent, with good value for money. The reasons cited for dissatisfaction were high price and maintenance service, which was not up to expected standard.

95% of the participants in the survey in the Electronics sector expressed satisfaction with the transparency and clarity of their invoices, and overall satisfaction on the product quality and after-sales service, as well as the value for money. Most Arab consumers were positive about the electronic stores, especially regarding the policies related to service warranty. Some consumers said they were dissatisfied with the quality of products, service, and the high prices.

The Furniture sector also scored high in terms of product quality, value for money, and after-sales service. Consumers generally were satisfied with product prices, while poor product quality was the leading concern expressed.

Arab residents were mostly satisfied the about quality of beverages at coffee shops and cafes, as well as the value they get for their money. Though Arab respondents in the 18024 age bracket and students were satisfied with product prices a number of consumers said prices in cafes are generally higher.

Mohammed Rashed Ali Lootah, Executive Director, Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DED, said: “The Consumer Friendliness rating also highlights the role and concerns of businesses in keeping Dubai a promising market, both in terms of business competitiveness and consumer protection standards. In this fourth cycle of the index, we have especially noted businesses being keen to take advantage of the outcomes of the rating and provide customers with outstanding service.”

Lootah added that the Index is an integral element of a series of initiatives and goals set by DED in order to raise the profile of Dubai and enhance ease of doing business in the emirate.

“We are therefore keen to assess the business outlets participating in this programme against a set of parameters and through opinion polls and field surveys that conform to the highest degree of transparency and impartiality. The findings of the surveys and the ratings received by outlets in this programme help all concerned to identify their respective strengths and weaknesses and ways to improve performance,” stated Lootah.

Lootah pointed out that the current cycle of the Index has six major criteria: product quality, price, value for money, satisfaction with after-sales service, clarity of service/warranty policies, and overall customer satisfaction.

CCCP launched the Consumer Friendliness Index in 2012 to strengthen the relationship and trust between consumers and retailers in Dubai. In its first cycle the programme had 24 commercial establishments and received feedback from 1,700 consumers across three main sectors – Electronics, Cars and Retail Chains – for compiling the index.