‘Consumer Friendly Standards’ to improve relations between traders and consumers

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  • First-of-its-kind standards in the region will be announced in Q1 2019 itself
  • Open to all businesses in Dubai; submissions will be received online
  • Standards involve 4 elements: Strategy, Communication, Customer Care, and Development

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai has introduced a set of ‘Consumer Friendly Standards’ as an integrated system to evaluate and develop the consumer experience and services offered to them by traders. The standards, which are being applied for the first time in the region, are part of DED’s strategy to elevate the customer service experience across Dubai and enhance Dubai’s profile as a business hub.

All private sector companies in Dubai can submit to the new standards, which will be announced during the first quarter of 2019 along with the submission mechanism. Submissions will be received online, in line with the intention of the Government of Dubai to reduce paperwork.

The new standards include four key elements: Strategy, Communication, Customer Care, and Development. The Strategy element focuses on the role of customer relations, customer loyalty, pricing strategies and service excellence values across business plans. The Communication aspect helps companies to develop their channels to connect with clients, starting from marketing practices to services and products, pre and after sales services, awareness of warranty terms, measuring consumer perception, and effective online presence.

The Customer Care element measures commitment to complying with consumer rights laws and regulations, improving consumer complaints resolution, and ensuring service quality at all stages. The Development element looks at the efforts to develop customer service staff and offer unique customer experiences through research and development and the use of data. The Customer Care and Communication elements represent 30% each of the overall assessment while the Strategy and Development elements share 20% each.

Mohammed Ali Rashid Lootah, CEO of the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DED, commented: “We are delighted to launch the first of its kind Consumer Friendly Standards in the region to evaluate businesses on the basis of their service levels. The consumer experience starts from their first contact with the merchant and extends throughout the warranty period or even the entire life cycle of the product or service. The new standards will help enhance business competitiveness across Dubai by enhancing the customer experience and adding further value to shopping in Dubai.”

Referring to Dubai’s efforts to encourage competition among businesses in providing the best quality and service to consumers Lootah said such efforts have helped boost retail sector performance and reinforced Dubai’s reputation for providing an ideal shopping experience.

“We decided to launch the new standards after studying the Consumer Complaints Database of DED and familiarising ourselves with the best practices in consumer rights protection followed in the US and Australia. The standards serve as an integrated system that helps traders create a consumer-friendly environment. Traders will be able to obtain innovative development reports on each element of the standards to identify the strengths as well as gaps, if any,” added Lootah.

Companies that comply with the new standards, within unique evidence-based mechanisms, to demonstrate their consumer friendliness will be given an accreditation certificate, said Lootah. The results recorded will be announced every two years.

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