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Customer service automation comes to the fore in UAE

Gartner recently predicted that by 2019 more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations, highlighting the fact that automated customer service is currently on the rise.

Zendesk, a customer service software company, in a bid to promote customer service automation in the UAE held a ‘Zendesk Presents’ event, dubbed: "leveraging customer service as competitive advantage’, at the Conrad Hotel. The event provided Zendesk with the opportunity to bring together business leaders to learn more about improving customer service and happiness.

One of the key objectives of the event was to present some of the findings from their annual customer experience benchmark report and share some key recommendations for companies which included: think omnichannel, provide self-service options for customers, optimise the first response time, know your customer and use the data  and offer live support channels (Chat, Talk, WhatsApp).

“Customers expectations have never been higher and satisfaction scores have never been lower. customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores have fallen by 2.2% over the past year. which is worrying considering our recent benchmark survey tells us that customers will detract to a competitor if they have a bad customer experience,” said Aoife Byrne, Regional Marketing Manager, Zendesk

As the importance of improved customer service continues to rise, Zendesk’s footprint continues to increase with more companies, from both SMBs and enterprise sector, utilising their services. Some of the Enterprise clients utilising Zendesk include: OSN, Careem, Noon, Sun Sand Sports, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group, Namshi and Mumzworld.

“We are increasing our footprint and our focus on the region and want to create a community around customer experience. We see events such as this as a key part of that strategy. Events are a great way to create a shared learning environment where like-minded business leaders can have robust conversations about where their challenges and opportunities are and seek out solutions and best practices from other attendees,” added Ms. Byrne.

She further explained that organisations in the region are looking to leverage AI and Machine Learning tools to solve many of the high volume, repetitive inquiries, avoiding the requirement for any human interaction. Using tools like this to help customers self-resolve issues, enables customer service teams to double down and focus on the high priority cases, that may require more
attention. These tools can be deployed on live channels like Live Chat and WhatsApp, or across traditional channels like email.

“We see our customers leveraging our out of the box Natural Language Processing (NLP) product AnswerBot, to surface knowledge articles directly from their help centre into an email or chat, but some customers go one step further and engage our Chatbot partners to build more customised and advanced bots, via our open API framework,” explained Eoin O’ Cuilleanain,
Territory Sales Manager Middle East, Zendesk.

“Customer expectations are increasing and as a result we're seeing strong growth in the region as businesses look to offer a truly omnichannel experience to their customer base. Now more than ever before, GCC companies seem to be putting their customer at the centre of everything, and they realise they can't do this if they have different versions of the same customer across siloed technologies. We pull it all together for them, giving a 360-degree view of the customer,” he added.

Mr. O’ Cuilleanain further explained that, one of the reasons Zedesk experienced such strong growth over recent years is because they have continued to innovate faster than any of their competitors, launching more products to help their customers deliver exceptional customer experiences. Additionally, as an agile, open and extensible platform, they've been in the fortunate position where businesses can implement and deploy their technology in weeks, not months.

Speaking to Ms. Faten El Azhary, Head of customer support department Beam Wallet, one of Zendesk’s customers; who has been using their services for two years. She noted that Zendesk has empowered the company’s customer support team over the years by allowing them to improve, customer satisfaction, efficiency and customer engagement. Ms. El Azhary added that the thing she loved most about Zendesk was the fact that it enables its customers to follow market and competition requirements.

“In one year, Zendesk has come up with a new analytics tool which covered all the concerns that we had on their old version. The tool has flexibility in using all data that exists in the system to create all required reports using certain formulas and queries,” explained Ms. El Azhary.

She further explained that digital transformation is extremely important for customer service because, “customers are now relying on anything online to save their time, and the winning businesses are the ones that are capitalising on this. All organisations which collect customer’s data from: purchases, location details, clicked ads, searches on google and much more can change their
business focus 360 degrees and accordingly present products and solutions that can exceed customer’s expectations,”