Hi Karim, tell us about yourself and your background and how you got to the CX space?
My CX journey started 13 years back, as a contact center agent at a busy contact center in Cairo, up to building contact centers, customer support teams & designing customer experience journeys from scratch in different markets.
I used to work in Dubai for 10 years in the CX field with marvelous brands like Emirates NBD Bank, Emirates Airlines, TravelStart, Aspire Lifestyles & Meraas Holding.
I have been working at start-ups for the past five years with a great passion for customer experience, start-ups & entrepreneurship.
Currently, I am the Customer Experience Director at almentor.net, an E-learning and professional people development network serving the Middle East and Africa. Offering video courses and motivational/informative talks in Arabic and English.
At Almentor, our mission to Inspiring and Empowering you to achieve your professional and personal learning and development goals by offering you the Knowledge and Expertise of the Top Mentors and Instructors.
Online commerce was booming in 2020, and so did consumer reviews. – How can brands better utilize this data to improve their customers’ experience?
Either an online or offline business, customer reviews are critical to any business. The customer is the only reason behind the success of any organization. Before utilizing the data, itself, leaders should start recognizing the importance of adopting customer experience as one of the main pillars of the organization.
Then data will be valuable and will make sense, brands should pay attention to every single review. The quantity of insights leaders would get to improve their products are tremendous.
My advice, to implement social listening tools and invest more in customer support via different channels. Nowadays social media play a vital role when it comes to revenues, retention, loyalty & word of mouth.
In your POV – What is the ultimate checklist for a good customer experience strategy?
In my point of view, brands’ CX strategy starts internally between all departments.
Internal CX is the main driver for an exceptional customer experience.
The mindset of all teams should focus on the journey of the customer among all touchpoints, design an omnichannel CX framework, bring the right tools for measuring customer experience, and invest in customer support functions.
How much has the role of the CX Director changed in the social distancing era – what role digital transformation has in this crisis?
I can see a huge change in the role of CX Directors during the pandemic, offline brands started to sell online, and they faced so many challenges with delivering a food experience due to the absence of the role at so many organizations. We started to see companies focusing on digital transformation, either to survive or keep interacting with customers.
Now digital transformation is playing the main role at any organization, while it is sad to live in a social distancing with no choice, I still can see customers, companies & governments are all aiming to be a part of the digital transformation initiatives. We are expecting this approach to continue even after the pandemic.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in 2020?
Continuous improvement & development strategy is the only way to survive during tough times. We should always try new technologies, be more open to new ideas & innovate.
2020 was the year of webinars and online events; what was your favorite one?
I have attended dozens of events; I like all events hosted by CX Network as most of them are relevant to what I am looking for. Apart from that, I enjoyed some Clubhouse events and how they build such a great model to connect people differently from any traditional social network.
It looks like working from home is going to stay with us for the foreseeable future. How should Executives gear up to the changing times?
At Almentor, 70% of my team used to work from home before the pandemic. Currently, 100% of the team is working from home. Executives should promote work from home to all employees with at least 1 day per week at the office to maintain human interaction. It works!
Customer experience at Almentor
Can you tell us a bit about your role in Almentor? How do you apply customer experience benchmarks in your day today?
I look after CX initiatives at almentor.net, we are interacting with more than 20K customers on monthly basis via different channels like website, social media, online chatting & outbound calls.
Our CX benchmarks are based on CSAT, social listening tools, sentiment analysis, customized surveys, product reviews & quality assurance checks. We gather all data on a daily, weekly & monthly basis. Then we analyze all data and start to liaise with all stakeholders like the executive team, products team, technology team & content teams to improve the overall experience.
Besides that, we work on customer journey mapping to measure our customer experience with all touchpoints.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
My favorite CX metric is the Net Promoter Score (NPS).