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RIYADH: The customer experience, an ever-evolving topic among the public and private sectors, took center stage at a specialized forum in Riyadh. 

Under the patronage of Saudi Commerce Minister Majid Al-Qasabi, the “Customer Experience World Forum” concluded on Jan. 25 under the theme “We Are Here.”

The two-day forum was organized by the Customer Experience Association as part of its initiatives to enhance service efficiency in both the public and private sectors.

The event included various sessions and panel discussions covering strategies for enhancing client exchange. It focused on measuring experiences and exploring opportunities for improvement by applying artificial intelligence in managing interactions.

Awad Al-Qahtani, founder and CEO of Steady Pace, told Arab News that the customer experience has become a “necessary requirement” at the present time.

“There is significant maturity among customers across various segments in seeking services, and customers now have numerous options. Their focus has shifted from merely considering price or quality to placing importance on the “experience,” he said.

Future trends in the client experience sector, especially in the region, revolve around several key aspects. The primary focus is pursuing sustainable improvement in interactions “by retaining customers for as long as possible.”

He emphasized the importance of “focusing on building emotional connections with customers” and investing in augmented reality, AI, and smart experiences.

In today’s landscape, clients seek the optimal experience, particularly given the array of choices. Al-Qahtani underscored that the decisive factor has shifted to the customer’s interaction with the brand compared to other options.

The CEO affirmed that the sector is currently experiencing a mature stage, and the previously increasing demand that lacked attention has now become essential. 

“Market research, in general, and customer experience, in particular, have become some of the most important requirements for customers, as they are now essential for maintaining competitive standards in the market,” he said.

There has been recent high interest and demand for market research solutions, and as the specialist observed, there is significant maturity today regarding “customer focus and behaviors.”

The market research sector has recently witnessed a growing and significant demand, attributed to the quality outputs introduced by professional companies in this field.

Al-Qahtani concluded that service seekers have become highly aware of the market research services in enhancing the customer experience. They remain conscious of the benefits and impact on the long-term trajectory of initiatives and strategies, making the success of any undertaking almost guaranteed.

Abdulaziz Al-Shamsan, CEO of the forum, affirmed that establishments are striving to enhance client exchanges. Consequently, customer experience has become the key to attracting consumers and distinguishing them from competitors.

“I believe that the customer experience in the region is still in its early stages and requires further development and greater attention,” according to Al-Shamsan.

He further highlighted that the increasing presence of AI, the growth of consumer and beneficiary needs, and the heightened awareness of product demand and competition have made customer experience a decisive factor in the consumer market.

“Our goal in the association is for this event to be a meeting point for a group of customer experience professionals at the local and international levels,” he clarified.

Al-Shamsan added: “Through the forum, we aim to create and enhance the industry, raising the level of participation from various entities in the sector. This will be achieved through training workshops, working papers, panel discussions, and the participation of companies providing various services in the sector.”

He concluded: “These events aim to increase awareness further about customer experience and the importance of focusing on customers.”

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