Saudi Arabia

Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

Customer Experience Excellence report 2021

In Saudi Arabia, digitization has accelerated across industries throughout 2021. After an extraordinary year, retailers have embraced technology like never before, with grocery retail leading the customer experience rankings thanks to vast adoption of emerging technologies to keep communities fed throughout lockdowns.

As we move into the future, the demands of the modern customer are constantly evolving. Customers are demanding more from their experience with brands, forcing companies to innovate where possible. Staying ahead of the needs of this evolving customer is essential to proactive success in the Saudi Arabian market, but this means addressing the challenge of data accessibility to unlock the potential of big data set insights. Across the Kingdom there is a shortage of accurate and comprehensive data, so many brands should look inside their organization and go proactively after the market insight that can help them succeed.

Many Saudi Arabian supermarkets have each developed their own online platforms and applications to make grocery shopping fast and convenient during lockdowns and beyond. Top performing local supermarkets AlTamimi1 and Danube2 developed a mobile application for delivering groceries to customers within 24-48 hours of order.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a non-negotiable for modern customers, who value brands that put people before profits. Albaik, a local fast-food chain, ranks the highest for customer experience this year, thanks to its laser focus on Integrity and Empathy. The company donated thousands of meals to those in need during the COVID-19 period of lockdown, and pivoted their marketing focus to encourage young people to keep their environment clean.

Albaik has also excelled in the Time and Effort space, with the launch of their own app getting food to customers quickly, easily, and safely. All branches also have an open kitchen, to be transparent about cooking methods and on-site hygiene. All this has meant huge success for the brand, which is now expanding into more locations in the Kingdom and beyond.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MoH) has risen to the challenge of offering safe and secure health services to citizens in crisis. Coming in second place in the rankings for 2021, MoH offered free COVID-19 testing sites and healthcare services for all citizens, residents and visitors. It also launched a range of digital services to give every community access to virtual healthcare services from anywhere, minimizing the risk of infection3.

The MoH launched Tabaud – a tracking application – to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and alert potential contacts of infected persons. Another application called Sehaty was offered to facilitate virtual appointment booking, including arranging vaccine appointments. These two applications served millions through the crisis and will continue to revolutionize Saudi healthcare during unprecedented times and beyond4.

Fourth in the customer experience rankings for Saudi Arabia is Saudia, the premier air carrier in the Kingdom. The airline has attempted to accelerate its popularity by implementing stringent health and safety protocols for colleagues and customers. In late 2020, the airlines achieved a five-star rating from APEX due to their continuous investment in flight network, staff, and development of digital services. Saudia also received the Diamond status in Health Safety awards by APEX in January 2021. All measures taken against COVID-19 have insured the airline maintains its service5.

From our research, Loyalty in the Saudi market is driven by Integrity – all the top performing brands and businesses have placed customer health and safety at the forefront of their business strategies. Successful brands in the region have scored high for Integrity, thanks to community projects, and customer-centric experiences through times of uncertainty. Personalization has also become an essential for building customer loyalty and advocacy. Especially during recent times, being able to access the right products at the right time, and interact with an intuitive business, has been paramount for the Saudi Arabian customer.

Quite a good number of the reputable brands in the Saudi market are owned by family businesses which have been delivering an excellent customer experience. These brands have a value proposition which makes them highly appreciated by their customers – whether that is driven by a compelling corporate responsibility agenda, customer-centric experience or a service model, which was further reemphasized during the pandemic.

Fuad Chapra
Head of Private Enterprise & Family Business
KPMG in Saudi Arabia

Leading CX brands in Saudi Arabia




Ministry of Health






Bupa Arabia