Dubai: Firms are increasingly focusing on customer retention

Businesses should be guided by those who matter the most: their customers, says senior industry executive



Supplied photo: Ahmed Salama
Supplied photo: Ahmed Salama
by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Thu 25 Aug 2022, 4:06 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Aug 2022, 10:49 PM

Businesses are increasingly shifting their focus towards customer retention and creating experiences that engage them, says a senior IT industry executive.

Ahmad Salama, vice-president and general manager for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey at Contentsquare, stressed that for businesses, the ability to understand customer priorities and expectations is critical to delivering a differentiated customer experience.

“For a long time, businesses were mainly focused on acquisition — getting the most customers to their website as possible", said Salama. "But with a cross-industry bounce rate of around 50 per cent – which means one in two customers never make it past the first page of a site – as well as the rising cost of acquisition, businesses have shifted their focus to retention; in other words, to creating experiences that engage customers, help them achieve what they want to do, and hopefully keep them coming back."

He pointed out that often one negative experience is all it takes to write off a brand entirely.

“In order to drive greater RoI (return on investment) from their digital properties, businesses should be guided by those who matter the most — their customers. Anyone who visits a website or app is providing live feedback on the experience with every interaction — every click, swipe, tap, or scroll.

Being able to understand this feedback and leverage the insights for continuous optimisation is how you ensure your digital content is meeting customer needs and ultimately driving business growth."

Contentsquare was one of the key partners of the CX Evolve 2022 conference held in Dubai on Thursday. The conference, organised by Khaleej Times, saw the participation of senior industry executives from the public and private sectors.

Salama noted that much of people’s lives today are carried out online.

“We no longer go online just to shop — we work online, we socialise online, educate ourselves online and so much more. Yet we often have to endure experiences that are frustrating, unintuitive and a waste of time.

One of the key challenges for businesses and organisations going forward will be to deliver online experiences that are human at their core — experiences that are seamless, rewarding, and built on empathy; experiences that are authentic and that respect visitors’ time, needs, privacy, and ability. Delivering accessible digital experiences and building digital trust are particularly important today,” he said.

Responding to a query about the fast-changing landscape of customer experience, Salama stated that the key change is that today, almost everything is digital, and customer experience excellence is really a question of business survival.

“What we’ve seen in the last few years is when it comes to digital, things evolve constantly, and the ability to understand shifting customer priorities is the cornerstone of building a great online experience. That’s exactly the challenge we set out to solve ten years ago.

One thing that has become clearer in the last decade — and crystal clear in the last few years — is that great customer experiences are those that are built on a deep understanding of what customers are trying to achieve, how they want to go about it, and what causes friction or frustration along the way,” he added.

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