https://adgully.me/post/4585/iyer-premkumar-on-why-gozoop-bets-big-on-the-middle-east-market

Iyer Premkumar on why GOZOOP bets big on the middle-east market

In this insightful interview, we delve into the realm of Online Reputation Management (ORM) with Premkumar Iyer, President, HAWK, a GOZOOP Group Company, shedding light on its evolution and significance in the digital landscape. As the face of GOZOOP HAWK, Premkumar walks us through the agency's pivotal role in shaping ORM practices over the years, emphasizing its proactive, strategic, and data-driven approach. GOZOOP Group bets big on the Middle East, having established a strong foothold in the region. "This long-term involvement has enabled us to understand the market's cultural nuances and engage local expertise, particularly in mastering Arabic language nuances," he says. Excerpts:Can you provide an overview of the evolution of Online Reputation Management (ORM) and how GOZOOP HAWK has contributed to its development over the years?Online Reputation Management (ORM) has always been a crucial element in the digital landscape, though it often didn't receive the recognition it deserved. Around 2010-11, ORM was primarily associated with search engine optimization. However, as customer behaviours and platforms evolved, brands had to adapt, prompting agencies to reassess the significance they placed on ORM.This shift occurred in tandem with the increasing internet and social media penetration in our daily lives. Additionally, the changing customer demographics, with Millennials and Generation Z becoming primary target groups for brands, played a significant role. These generations are inherently inclined to share their experiences online, paving the way for the expansion of ORM. It's expected that ORM will continue to grow in importance.GOZOOP HAWK has been a leader in acknowledging the importance and value of ORM. Always challenged the template-based reactive approach towards a more proactive, strategic and data-driven approach. Our capabilities have been a step ahead of everyone and we don’t restrict ourselves to traditional metrics thus making us the most impactful setups that the industry has to offer.ORM has become increasingly important in the global landscape. What are the key differences and challenges in managing online reputation in various regions and how does GOZOOP HAWK address them? Can you share any global perspectives on this?ORM has gained critical importance globally, though its recognition and terminology vary by region. Internationally, many brands don’t specifically identify their activities as ORM. Instead, these practices often fall under the broader category of customer service. Typically, these responsibilities for them are managed by their contact centres or customer service partners.We have clients from India and the Middle East. Leveraging the GOZOOP Group’s decade-long presence in the Middle East, we have established a strong foothold in the region. This long-term involvement has enabled us to understand the market's cultural nuances and engage local expertise, particularly in mastering Arabic language nuances.Addressing cultural and linguistic barriers requires a local presence. Currently, we are actively seeking and exploring partnerships worldwide to overcome these challenges. Our goal is to adapt our ORM strategies effectively to diverse global markets, aligning with local customs and communication styles.Reputation repair and building trust are essential for leading brands. How does GOZOOP HAWK approach crisis management and reputation repair to help these brands regain credibility in the digital age?GOZOOP HAWK is arguably one of the best when it comes to crisis management. Our suite for managing crises is built upon years of experience in Online Reputation Management (ORM) and monitoring for high-octane brands and public enterprises.Our approach involves developing a tailored safety net around brands, incorporating an early warning system. This system is key in timely crisis identification, allowing us to conduct a pre-crisis analysis and then using our proprietary framework we determine the best course of action.We are one of those few ORM-first setups that have its PR team and the largest stringers’ network in the country. This, coupled with our deep Influencer network, position us as exceptionally effective partners in crisis management. We are named GOZOOP HAWK for a reason after all.HAWK has built a strong reputation in the field of Customer Experience (CX). Could you share some of the most noteworthy success stories and case studies where HAWK made a significant impact in improving online customer experiences and loyalty for businesses?For a leading gaming brand in our portfolio, we've been intensely focused on developing the latest technology to streamline operations and enhance customer experience (CX). Over the last six months, our efforts have led to a reduction in actionable volumes. This achievement has not only freed up operational bandwidth which allows us to handle unexpected spikes, but has also realized a 40% cost efficiency for the brand.A key component of our strategy has been the use of AI in process automation and consumer data analysis, which has been instrumental in conserving valuable resources and bandwidth, thus allowing our team more time for customer service operations.A leading OTT app that we manage ORM for launched international content, specifically Korean dramas, dubbed in Hindi. To build excitement for this new offering, we adopted a unique strategy: transforming all conversations on the platform into Korean, including interactions with users. This approach piqued immense curiosity, engaging over 252,000 users who were intrigued by what kind of responses they would receive. The excitement pleasantly increased as users began responding in Korean, creating a lively and interactive atmosphere.This strategy not only sparked anticipation but also fostered a sense of surprise and engagement among the users. It added a dynamic and thrilling aspect to their experience on our social media pages, generating significant buzz and enhancing user interaction with the brand.As a leader in the CX industry, what is GOZOOP HAWK's vision for the future? Could you outline the company's roadmap for solidifying its leadership and staying ahead in this competitive market?GOZOOP HAWK's vision is to become a dominant force in all facets of customer service. To achieve this, we have significantly bolstered our listening and analytics capabilities, anticipating that these areas will drive the next wave of growth within Online Reputation Management (ORM). Coupled with a robust Crisis Management Public Relations team, we are well-positioned to make significant advancements in the industry.Our growth is not limited to domestic markets, but we're gaining traction internationally and are actively expanding our services beyond the subcontinent.To support our ambitious goals, we are actively recruiting at various levels. Plans are underway to establish new operational centers across India.Industry insights are invaluable for businesses looking to enhance their ORM strategies. What trends and emerging practices in ORM and CX do you see shaping the industry, and how is GOZOOP HAWK positioning itself to leverage these trends?The evolution of the ORM and CX industry is poised to be significantly influenced by several emerging trends and practices and GOZOOP HAWK is strategically positioning itself to capitalize on these developments:Integration of ORM with digital strategy and the overall digital marketing strategy, ensuring that all digital efforts are aligned and contribute positively to the brand’s online reputation.Artificial Intelligence is set to revolutionise the customer service sector. While it won't replace human customer service professionals, AI will introduce remarkable efficiencies. Its most significant impact will likely be in data analysis, offering deeper insights and improving decision-making processes. The challenge lies in a brand and an agency daring to experiment with AI's full potential.Integrating Customer Service is a growing need to synchronise traditional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and ORM data. Currently, discrepancies between these datasets can lead to inefficiencies and a disjointed understanding of customer interactions. Bridging this gap is crucial for providing a more cohesive and effective customer service experience.With the recent rise in deep fake videos and images going viral. I feel the industry will need listening tools to take image and video recognition more seriously than what they are right now.It’s also necessary to actively build and manage online communities around the brand, fostering a loyal customer base that can act as brand advocates.HAWK specializes in empowering businesses with actionable insights. Could you elaborate on some of the innovative approaches or tools HAWK uses to gather and analyse data to provide these actionable insights for clients?As a setup we are tool-agnostic in our approach; this also gives us the edge, and when it comes to generating insights we use our own framework called DIVE which blends the digital and social worlds well. We also use the ACAF (Ask, Categorize, Act and Follow-Up) model extensively while processing all the customer service queries.How does GOZOOP HAWK ensure that the solutions it provides are adaptable to the constantly changing digital landscape, given the ever-evolving online platforms and customer behaviour?There is no formula to this honestly. Adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape is a complex challenge, with no one-size-fits-all solution. At GOZOOP HAWK, our adaptability stems from a culture of constant curiosity and innovation that permeates the organisation from the top down. We have successfully cultivated an environment where staying ahead of the curve is a collective pursuit.In essence, our adaptability is a product of our organisational ethos, driven by leadership and embraced by every member of the team. This mindset is what allows GOZOOP HAWK to consistently offer solutions that are attuned to the dynamic nature of the digital world.GOZOOP HAWK's commitment to fostering unwavering customer loyalty is impressive. Can you share some strategies and best practices that HAWK employs to help clients not only acquire new customers but also retain and build long-term relationships with existing ones?Here's my attempt to provide a response with a degree of ambiguity. Brands have to stop looking at ORM as a cost centre, ORM can be a profit centre too. ORM when handled by a skilled and focused team can generate a lot of business avenues for a brand coupled with great retention.Our brands experience a higher generation of organic business through ORM compared to the impact of organic search.
https://adgully.me/post/3829/demand-increases-for-project-professionals-with-ai-skills

Demand increases for project professionals with AI skills

Dubai:  Project Management Institute (PMI), the world's leading organization for the project management profession, is empowering millions of global project professionals worldwide to adopt, embrace, and leverage artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and generative AI (GenAI). PMI is developing the tools, resources, and learning opportunities – including a free, introductory online course entitled “Generative AI Overview for Project Managers” – project professionals need to leverage AI powered technology while preserving the human touch in project management. According to McKinsey, GenAI and other technologies have the potential to automate work activities that absorb 60 to 70 percent of employees’ time today. But tools cannot automate interpersonal skills, the invaluable and very necessary skills project managers bring to projects. Communication, problem-solving, collaborative leadership, and strategic thinking – skills PMI calls “power skills” – will continue to be crucial to project success. In fact, PMI research finds that organizations that place a high priority on power skills are significantly better at completing projects that meet business goals. Additionally, they waste less investment due to poor project performance compared to the global average (4.8 percent vs. 5.2 percent), and far less than organizations that put a low priority on power skills (8.8 percent). “I see an incredible opportunity to elevate the leadership role of project professionals in their organization, thanks to the AI-driven disruption,” said Pierre Le Manh, President & Chief Executive Officer of PMI. “Project professionals are natural learners, problem solvers, innovators and they get things done. Now is the time for us to lead the AI transformation of organizations.” STAY CURRENT AND SHARPEN SKILLS AT THE AI IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT PAGE ON PMI.ORG To keep up with the latest developments in AI technology, project professionals must prioritize continuous learning. The Artificial Intelligence in Project Management Resource Center on PMI.org is the destination for learning to navigate a new era of efficiency, insight, and growth. The page, complete with AI insights and learning opportunities, will be updated consistently with new, thought-provoking survey findings, thought leadership, industry analysis, academic research, and community-contributed content and publications. The varied data sources – inclusive of PMI's vast community of academic partners, enterprise partners, and millions of project professionals, combined with proprietary research – will set this content apart and make it the go-to resource for project professionals and organizations striving to leverage these tools to improve project success. PMI will post two new articles in October 2023. Key insights from these articles include: Project managers can leverage AI for project productivity and enhance power skillsAccording to the 2023 PMI Annual Global Survey on Project Management, the top three ways project managers use AI are reporting (34%), decision support (33%), and communication (26%). While AI can take on productivity tasks like planning and budgeting, project managers are also using AI as a tool to sharpen specific power skills, so their human interactions and strategic decisions are stronger. AI Adoption will only increase, so project managers need to upskill quickly to take advantage of this enormous career opportunity?The 2023 PMI Annual Global Survey on Project Management found that 82% of senior leaders said AI will have at least some impact on how projects are run at their organization over the next five years. However, unpublished PMI Customer Experience (CX) research found that only 18% of project managers report having extensive or good practical experience with AI tools and technologies, and 49% have little to no experience with or understanding of AI in the context of project management.  Building organizational resilience, leveraging technical skills, and upskilling teams will help organizations remain competitive. AI is a major disruption that requires businesses to transform. While technical skills are an important part of widespread AI adoption, it is just one piece of the puzzle. For AI to work, organizations need resilience. The BRIGHTLINE Initiative and Thinkers50 book Building Resilient Organizations, states that organizations must have a clear vision, a flexible mindset, and empowered teams to foster widespread collaboration.  BUILD FOUNDATIONAL KNOWLEDGE WITH A NEW FREE, INTRODUCTORY COURSE – “GENERATIVE AI OVERVIEW FOR PROJECT MANAGERS” To help project professionals gain the foundational knowledge they need to master AI in project management, PMI launched a free course to serve as a gateway to learning titled “Generative AI Overview for Project Managers.” It provides learners with practical knowledge for using AI that they can apply to their projects immediately. After completing the course, professionals will earn 5 PDUs and a digital badge issued via Credly. This course is just the beginning. PMI will continue to release learning content focused on AI in project management, all created for project professionals by project professionals. The PMI community will test the learning content, ensuring it reflects the experience of project professionals who have relevant experience using AI in project management. EXPERIENCE AI IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT FIRST-HAND AT PMI GLOBAL SUMMIT 2023 As AI takes a foothold on the project management profession, project professionals will need to embrace experimenting with these new tools and connecting with peers for lessons learned. To pave the way for professionals to do this, PMI is reimagining how project professionals can balance AI with human ingenuity at its annual event, PMI Global Summit, 25-28 October in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The event’s program features AI-focused sessions, exclusive learning opportunities, and immersive activities. Attendees will learn from AI experts and thought leaders unpacking the power of using AI and be challenged to broaden their perspectives on the use of AI. Register for the event today here. “AI is on the rise, with Goldman Sachs reporting AI investment could be near $200 billion globally by 2025, making it clear that project managers need to embrace and lead this change,” said Sam Sibley, Global Head, Emerging Products & Innovation for PMI. “With the right combination of how to best use AI on projects and the project manager’s human touch, you can do more than ever to meet every challenge that comes your way. PMI’s commitment is to support and guide project professionals at every career stage to be at the forefront of this new AI-enabled world of work.” AI brings the potential to unlock a better future with endless opportunities to improve project success rate, benefits realization, and the societal impact of projects. For project professionals who fully embrace AI and enhance their work with its capabilities, they will see career advancement opportunities. To unleash the impact of AI on the future of project management, visit the Artificial Intelligence in Project Management Resource Center.  
https://adgully.me/post/2139/istyle-opens-uaes-first-apple-premium-partner-store-in-dubai

iSTYLE opens UAE’s first Apple Premium Partner store in Dubai

Dubai: iSTYLE today announced that it will formally open UAE’s first Apple Premium Partner (APP) store on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 6 pm in Dubai Marina Mall (Level 1) with a grand opening event. The new Apple Premium Partner store is the perfect destination to shop the entire ecosystem of Apple Products and accessories in a spacious and welcoming environment. The store's professional team speaks multiple languages to give customers the best-personalized service for all their Apple requirements.“Established in 2005, iSTYLE has 13 Apple Premium Reseller stores in UAE, with Dubai Marina Mall being the first Apple Premium Partner store, taking the customer experience to the next level for all visitors. We cater to the needs of all types of customers, including business enterprises. We encourage you to drop by one of our stores, where iSTYLE’s professional team can tell you more about incorporating Apple hardware and software into your digital lifestyle” said Nicolas Daher, General Manager, iSTYLE- Middle East and North Africa.“We conduct workshops, trainings, and group demo sessions regularly, where our customers can meet up, learn something new and share their experiences. Along with the products, we offer multiple services like AppleCare+, Trade-in & B2B solutions. The authorized Apple service center at the new store will take care of customers' post-purchase requirements” said Julia Manzyuk, Retail Manager, iSTYLE UAE.
https://adgully.me/post/2043/dewa-initiates-pilot-use-of-chatgpt-to-enhance-the-capabilities-of-rammas

DEWA initiates pilot use of ChatGPT to enhance the capabilities of Rammas

Dubai: After launching it last February, and as part of its strategy to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies across all its operations and services, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced the pilot use of ChatGPT, since April 2023, on its website through Rammas, DEWA’s virtual employee, to enhance customer experience.“The wise leadership pays great attention to leveraging AI technologies across all sectors. At DEWA, we are keen to enrich the customer experience through smart services that save their time and effort using the latest AI tools. This supports the UAE National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031, the Dubai 10X initiative and the Smart Dubai initiative, which aims to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. This is also part of our efforts to use AI in all our services and operations to reduce the number of visits to our customer happiness centres and contribute to shaping a new digital future for Dubai through Digital DEWA, our digital arm, that aims to make us DEWA first digital utility in the world with autonomous systems for renewable energy and storage, with the expansion of the use of AI and digital services,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.“We always strive to improve customer experience and provide our services according to the highest standards of availability, reliability, efficiency and quality. This step to use ChatGPT in Rammas confirms our ongoing efforts to leverage the disruptive technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to accelerate digital transformation and provide advanced digital services with added value that enriches the experience and happiness of customers,” added Al Tayer.Since its launch in the first quarter of 2017 until the end of April 2023, Rammas has answered more than seven million enquiries. ChatGPT will contribute to enhancing its capabilities due to its superior ability to interact with users and better understand their needs. It will also improve its ability to learn, understand, and analyse customer enquiries based on available data and information to respond promptly and accurately.DEWA is working to enrich its services with ChatGPT. It is the first utility in the world and the first government organisation in the UAE to use this modern technology as part of its continuous efforts to enhance its leadership locally and globally.
https://adgully.me/post/2035/the-new-frontier-of-car-subscriptions-welcome-to-subscribe-me

The new frontier of car subscriptions: Welcome to SUBSCRIBE ME

Dubai: SUBSCRIBE ME, a groundbreaking car subscription platform transforming the industry, launched on the 2nd of May at the Arabian Travel Market 2023 in the presence of Michel Ayat, chief executive officer of AW Rostamani Group - Automotive; Sanaa Ouahmane, director of AWR Mobility; dignitaries; SUBSCRIBE ME team members; and visitors. Offering an unmatched digital experience, this customer-centric app will provide unparalleled freedom, accessibility, and convenience to drive the car of your dreams in the UAE from a diverse fleet and enjoy complete transparency with SUBSCRIBE ME’s adaptive subscription model.Customers can download the app in just minutes and embark on a thrilling journey tailored to their unique preferences. Choose from an impressive array of vehicles across segments, all while enjoying crystal-clear pricing with no hidden fees, long-term commitments, or bank loans.Embrace the freedom to swap cars with ease and indulge in the peace of mind that comes with dealer-maintained vehicles across the entire fleet. SUBSCRIBE ME’s all-encompassing service package covers insurance, maintenance, car servicing, road assistance, pick-up, and delivery, allowing you to focus on the drive ahead.As a part of the AWR Mobility division of AW Rostamani, the company leverages the group’s wealth of knowledge and expertise to provide customers with an unparalleled experience. By forging strategic partnerships with car dealers and rental companies, SUBSCRIBE ME amplifies its reach and expands its target audiences, creating a robust network of collaborators. A soon-to-be trailblazer in the automotive industry, SUBSCRIBE ME proudly supports the UAE and Dubai governments’ commitment to excellence, innovation, and digitalisation.Get ready for the ultimate fusion of style, convenience, and flexibility with SUBSCRIBE ME. To learn more about and begin your car subscription journey.
https://adgully.me/post/1997/ikea-saudi-arabia-bahrain-partners-with-webengage

IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain partners with WebEngage

Riyadh:  WebEngage, the leading full-stack Retention Operating System, today announced that it has partnered with the world’s leading Swedish home-furnishings retailer IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, a subsidiary of Alsulaiman Group, to enhance its customer engagement. With the aim of providing a sustainable, affordable, unique, and customized furnishing experience to its consumers, IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain will deploy WebEngage’s retention stack and streamline its data-driven customer engagement strategy.IKEA, known for its well-designed and functional products, has established a community of loyal customers by keeping their experiences at the heart of its offerings. Aligned with their vision, WebEngage will collaborate with IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, organizing their data to deliver exceptional customer experience and personalized engagement across multiple channels.Commenting on the partnership, Ahmad Al-Fagih, Digital Commerce Manager, IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, said, “At IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, we are committed to enhancing customer experience and creating a better everyday life for our shoppers. Our partnership with WebEngage will enable us to harness the power of hyper-personalization and omnichannel engagement to deliver a delightful experience and strengthen our relationship with our customers.”Hetarth Patel, VP - MEA and Managing Director - UAE, WebEngage, said, “IKEA's distinctive approach to consumers is a result of the company's core values, and we are truly excited to shoulder it with them. Through its intelligent, data-driven, and completely automated retention technology, WebEngage will enable IKEA to create unique consumer experiences across all touchpoints. We are thrilled to be partners with a pioneer in its segment and believe this association will enable IKEA to streamline its customer experience strategy effectively.”Since its entry into MENA, WebEngage has added over 60 new clients each quarter, in what can be deemed nothing short of a “retention revolution”. Partnerships with dominant brands such as Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, Titan, eXtra Stores (United Electronics), Al Musbah Group, Vezeeta, Wego, TravelWings, B. TECH and Ajmal Perfumes have further reinforced WebEngage’s growing leadership in the MarTech domain. The meteoric growth phase recently culminated in the $20-million Series B funding round led by Singularity Growth Opportunities Fund and SWC Global, with participation from existing investors India Quotient, Blume Ventures, and IAN Fund, among other VCs.With this partnership, WebEngage has cemented its commitment to the enterprise ecosystem, a segment earlier dominated by players entailing excessive costs and prolonged implementation times. WebEngage’s full-stack Retention Operating System is used and recommended by 800+ marketers across the globe.
https://adgully.me/post/1388/kpmg-survey-customer-experience-as-the-number-one-brand-differentiator

KPMG Survey: Customer Experience as the number one brand differentiator

 KPMG Saudi Arabia, has published the results of its 2022 global annual Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) survey. This 13th global edition, and the second to run in Saudi Arabia, is based on inputs from 1,550 consumers in Saudi Arabia measured against inputs from 89,000 consumers across 25 countries worldwide.The Saudi version of the survey included 96 brands across nine different sectors and provided the respondents with the ability to evaluate those brands based on their personal customer experiences with them. The survey was based on the CEE methodology, developed by KPMG’s global CEE Centre of Excellence, and is made up of six pillars; Empathy, Personalization, Expectations, Resolution, Integrity and Time & Effort. Those pillars represent the core of this research as they make up the fundamental components of an ideal customer experience. In terms of overall CEE performance, the non-grocery retail sector emerged as a leader among other sectors in Saudi Arabia with a score of 8.08 in 2022 and beat its last year’s performance; Followed closely by the grocery retail sector with a score of 8.05. Such results indicate notable progress in those two sectors and point to the essential role they play in consumers’ lives. Moving down the chart, the financial services sector marked a noticeable decrease to a score of 7.94 compared to last year’s 8.07, indicating growing customer expectations that brands in the financial sector need to consider. Travel and hotels, restaurants and fast food, and entertainment and leisure followed with close scores of 7.92, 7.91 and 7.90, respectively.Finally, telecoms, utilities and logistics sectors trailed the ranking with scores of 7.82, 7.70 and 7.66, respectively. In the area of Net Promotor Score (NPS) index, non-grocery retail, grocery retail, and the financial services scored the highest among the other sectors. In contrast, logistics and entertainment & leisure obtained the lowest NPS scores. “As we know, these sectors have been highly commoditized over the last few years, and ‘opportunities to delight’ have become significantly rarer,” commented Adib Kilzie, Head of Customer Experience, Cloud and Enterprise Solutions at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.“Today’s customers are better informed, better connected and more demanding than ever before. In some cases, customer experience has overtaken price and product as the number one brand differentiator. Although many organizations are investing record amounts in customer-related initiatives, not all are seeing the desired ROI in the absence of a clear CX strategy.” Having the right customer insight through segmentation and persona development remains as a leading challenge among businesses; a challenge that is likely to hinder the business’ ability to personalize their services and orchestrate exceptional customer journeys.“Although most businesses appreciate that need and its impact on their market share and profitability, they continue to face challenges in data collection and customer insight. The market has witnessed a rise in the use of Voice of Customer (VoC) solutions, surveys and questionnaires; however, many businesses have not been able to leverage the needed real-time data collection and decision capabilities,” Kilzie noted.Companies are now acting purposefully, deciding what to take with them into the future and what to leave behind, he stated, adding that this points to a significant transition underpinned by new ways of working for most firms.“The hierarchical silos of an industrial past are giving way to an agile culture for a digital future,” Kilzie concluded.