Top officials pose for a group photograph at the event in Dubai.
With a government that has launched an ambitious 50-Year Charter development plan while prioritising technology adoption and citizen happiness, Dubai presents the perfect backdrop for businesses to leverage technology for creating happier employees and happier customers for a happier bottom line.
Between launching a Ministry of Happiness and a Ministry of Artificial Intelligence, UAE is a country placing happiness at the core of their development and progress, while harnessing tech innovations to keep them 10x ahead of other nations.
This was stated by Sajid Azmi, CEO of Yegertek, during an exclusive interview with Gulf Today.
“Globally, nations are rushing to embrace next-gen technologies like AI and IoT, and harness their potential to allow economies to gain a competitive edge, and advance at an accelerated pace.”
“The same is true of businesses. Faced with the uphill task of remaining relevant and ahead of the curve in today’s fast evolving business landscape, companies are increasingly looking at technology as a differentiator and savior.”
“But the one thing unique about the UAE’s approach to digital transformation-led progress has been their equal emphasis on citizen happiness,” Sajid added. “At a microcosmic level, companies are actively aligning with this larger objective and ramping up initiatives for greater customer and employee engagement to drive ‘delightful’ experiences for all. But more importantly, this development coincides with a watershed moment in global business operations, where CX (customer experience) and CE (customer engagement), as opposed to the traditional ‘price-product-reward’ models, are becoming drivers of brand loyalty, customer retention & customer acquisition.”
“As a technology provider specializing in customer engagement solutions, Sajid believes that customer expectations are changing, driven by the advent of disruptive technologies and innovations. “Customers have a variety of options at their disposal in the present-day overcrowded market, in nearly every segment. “
“From travel companies to airlines, from food to hotels, from transport to malls, as choices become aplenty, loyalty becomes a two-way street. A Walker Study has found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.” “This is why businesses that prioritise customer engagement to create exceptional customer experiences will be the only ones that will continue to command brand loyalty in return. And in turbulent times, this is an edge that organizations cannot afford to ignore, as it can mean the difference between a brand that “is” and one that “was”, he added.
Echoing Sajid’s sentiment is Forrester’s 2019 Customer Experience Index, which suggests that the traditional loyalty programs are currently falling short of changing customer expectations. “For decades, businesses have relied on customer loyalty programs to offer incentives for consumers to stay committed to their brand. However, technology and today’s ‘real-time, anytime, anywhere’ economy have made these traditional loyalty models highly ineffective to retain customer interest. Today you need to be in your customer’s shoes; feel and live their brand journey; and then deliver a personalized experience. And this is rapidly becoming a non-negotiable expectation from businesses”, said Sajid.
“Technology has radically transformed ways in which customers interact with brands. The contemporary customer is in the market for personalized experiences across touch-points and channels. According to Sajid, this personalization imperative provides the perfect incentive for the convergence of customer engagement and customer experience to drive brand loyalty. “Brands have access to data pertaining to customer behavior, purchase patterns, motivational factors, as well as emotional triggers. When analyzed, these can generate actionable insights, that help brands to deliver predictive and personalized content & experiences, much to the delight of customers”, he explained. But, apart from offering a good value proposition and data-driven personalization, a seamless omni channel experience is also a prerequisite of successful customer engagement, added Sajid. “Mobility is big already, but it a great mobile customer experience needs to become a business priority. Uber is a great example of disruption to an existing industry by creating a simple, consistent and optimized experience”.
“Today, whatever the industry, technology and customer retention are the common denominators. From aviation and hospitality, to retail, education, tourism or even an atypical industry like charity donations, customers are increasingly seeking personalized, seamless, consistent and responsive brand experiences.