Fergus Bugg, Yas Island

Fergus Bugg, Yas Island

Fergus Bugg

Customer Experience Director

Yas Island (Experience Hub)

United Arab Emirates

Fergus Bugg

When Fergus Bugg began his tenure as customer experience director for Yas Island, his CEO's objective for the role was to ‘redefine leisure and entertainment for visitors and residents through a welcoming exhilarating, and memorable escape’ to the UAE tourist attraction.

In real terms that meant a major CX transformation programme that focused on designing, creating and delivering experiences that are “memorable, immersive and effortless” for Yas Island guests. Fergus and his colleagues created a Customer Experience Centre of Excellence and a roadmap for rolling out the strategy to success.

The process began in 2018, and despite having experienced a major setback in the form of Covid-19, has flourished under Fergus’s guidance. Among the steps taken in the roadmap are the launch of a new contact centre – the Customer Experience Hub – to tend to all guest interactions; a training program called Yas Way designed to “tap into the hearts and minds of the front line resources and connect them to the CX strategy”; a Voice of the Guest programme that collects feedback from Yas Island visitors and drives CX improvements into all areas of the business; and an NPS ‘detractor program’, which aims to engage with any Yas Island detractors and ensure Fergus and his team understand any drivers of dissatisfaction.

A Customer Experience Innovation Hub was also created and used as an incubator for bringing different stakeholders across the business to solve customer problems. One such idea – facial recognition technology to allow guests to pay for items whilst visiting Yas Island – was developed and refined via the Innovation Hub. Another – WOW moments – gives contact centre agents the autonomy, opportunity and budget to offer guests occasional ‘surprises’ and gifts during their visit.

Yas Island has seen a number of metrics improve during the course of Fergus’s tenure, including CSAT, customer effort score, mystery shopper and TripAdvisor rating. Numerous awards have followed, including a 2021 Gulf CX Awards for Best Contact Centre.

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus, which could potentially obliterate our business, we have re-opened and our connected customer experience has become our point of difference. Focusing on the customer experience has been critical for us coping and competing in the new reality we found ourselves in.”

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