Elevating customer loyalty in the UAE: Strategies for Banks

Personalisation is no longer a premium offering, it’s now a must-have

By Priyanka Lakhani

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Published: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 10:41 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 10:50 PM

In a fast-evolving technological landscape, where accessibility is becoming more seamless, and an increase of digital tools is enabling companies to serve better their customers – a new wave of customer engagement trends continues to appear.

As we reach an era where personalisation is no longer a premium offering, it’s now a must-have, companies must adopt strategies to renew, refresh and reimagine their offerings to achieve profitability, differentiation, and enhanced customer engagement.

In saturated loyalty markets like the UAE, consumers have become more aware of the brands, services, and products they engage with. They’re also spoilt for choice with a plethora of apps and reward programmes from every company they use, and widespread loyalty programme adoption has led to reward fatigue, primarily due to the overwhelming number of available options.

Our research tells us that more than half (58 per cent) of consumers in the UAE prefer an omnichannel customer experience. Companies must do more to empower their customers by evolving existing products and services into an expanded portfolio that addresses their specific in-the-moment needs. The key is to seamlessly deliver value across connected lifestyle ecosystems. KSA stands out with its aspiration to leapfrog the loyalty programme evolutionary curve and embrace the latest technology trends. Both markets prioritise customer satisfaction, resulting in an abundance of choices for consumers.

How does this impact the financial services sector and what strategies can banks use to drive customer engagement?

To maximise customer engagement and loyalty, banks should establish a single customer view. This strategic imperative creates a unified loyalty programme, whilst also building a ‘banking ecosystem’ to drive customer engagement and loyalty. Banks must embrace loyalty wholeheartedly and extend it far beyond traditional boundaries. Loyalty should no longer be confined to a specific product or service but should encompass the entirety of the bank’s ecosystem.

Priyanka Lakhani, Senior Vice President, Commercial, EMEA at Collinson
Priyanka Lakhani, Senior Vice President, Commercial, EMEA at Collinson

Additionally, banks should take a deep dive into their customers’ behaviour and characteristics. They will likely find that purpose, community, and sustainability play a greater role than ever. To be at the beating heart of a financial institution, a customer engagement and loyalty strategy must live and breathe the bank’s values.

Collinson is a global leader in the provision of travel experiences, loyalty and customer engagement solutions. We work with the world’s leading financial brands to enable them to retain and grow their customer base through strategic reward and benefit strategies that are both customer and data-centric.

For over 35 years, we’ve worked with more than 1,400 banks worldwide, providing meaningful travel experiences and increased customer loyalty.

In the UAE, Collinson partners with leading banks including First Abu Dhabi Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Alpha Bank, Saudi National Bank, and Network International.

The writer is Senior Vice President, Commercial, EMEA at Collinson.

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