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CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

MEA companies are significantly increasing their investment in CX

By our News Team | 2022

Unique circumstances mean that African-based businesses still frequently still lag their international competitors in CX, study finds.

More than half (62%) of companies in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) intend to increase their investments in customer experience (CX) solutions by up to 50% by 2024. A further 22% intend to more than double their spending on technologies such as analytics, personalisation and smart assistants. 

These are the key findings of a recent survey conducted by the US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with support from SAS, the global analytics and AI solutions company. The study covered Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Customer Experience

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

According to the researchers, the planned increased spending on CX in the region means that return on investment (ROI) expectations are correspondingly high. Within the next 24 months, MEA companies expect their ROI to double, from 19% to 38%.

“When it comes to the quality of their CX, companies in the MEA region often still lag behind their international competitors,” says Andreas Heiz, regional Director of Customer Intelligence Solutions at SAS. 

“Technology can help create more momentum for CX. To achieve this, companies need comprehensive data expertise, a so-called Minimum Lovable Product (instead of Minimum Viable) and a suitable leadership culture.”

In the MEA region, so-called ‘CX champions’ are primarily skilled at developing and managing CX by integrating customer experience initiatives into an enterprise-wide digital strategy. More than two-thirds (72%) of MEA respondents believe their company has already successfully implemented this integration.

Cross-cutting, collaborative approach

The delegation of responsibilities to cross-functional teams that make recommendations to managers is an important factor in ensuring a positive customer experience, the researchers found.

The proportion of survey participants from Europe and the Middle East and Africa who are aware of this is around 70% in each case. Documented CX workflows, which approximately 65% of EMEA companies have established, are critical here.

Similarly, solutions and platforms that facilitate collaboration are required to create a single source of truth and centrally manage CX processes.

Fifty-six percent of companies in the MEA region believe their organisations provide collaborative software and platforms that enable cross-functional teams to manage CX processes from a single point. This is lower than the European average of 63% and the global average of 64%.

One of the most likely reasons for this is that companies in MEA face unique challenges, including their distinctive organisational cultures, when attempting to build momentum for CX collaboration. 

Additionally, businesses on the African continent face other challenges. “Many African businesses have yet to eliminate the tedious, repetitive tasks that prevent their customer-facing employees from providing excellent customer service,” the research team said in a statement.

“Furthermore, in order to keep their business licenses, most African companies must strictly adhere to ISO quality standards and other regulations. Such demands leave many business leaders with little time or energy to devote to anything other than their core responsibilities.”

More than 68% of MEA participants in the survey believe that direct access to a human and live chat will be important CX technologies in the region over the next two years. Other success factors include personalisation technology (67%), cloud-based computing (66%) and edge computing (66%).

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