Interactive Intelligence Releases Findings of Its Middle East Customer Service Experience Survey
11/21/2013

Survey gives valuable insights into customer service experience strategies of Middle East companies

Online PR News – 21-November-2013 – Dubai – DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ), a global provider of unified IP business communications software and services, has released findings of its Middle East customer service experience survey. Following a global survey done during the early part of this year, the regional survey of 121 contact centre professionals was conducted during June and July 2013.

Several key findings of the survey included the following:
• Not surprisingly, the large majority of respondents (78.5%) rated customer experience to be extremely important while 18.2% stated it to be important.
• First call resolution, professionalism and a timely response are perceived to be the most valued parameters in customer interactions in that particular order. This is in line with the global survey results which reveal that a knowledgeable representative and a timely response are the most valuable components of a great service experience.
• Over three fourths (76%) of the survey respondents already have a customer service strategy in place, though surprisingly there were still 24% that either did not have a strategy or were not aware of such strategies.
• Organizations perceive the contact centre to be vital to providing excellent customer service. 66.1% stated it to be very important and 24% agreed that the contact centre was somewhat important in this regard.
• Not surprisingly then, the contact centre remains at the heart of most organizations’ strategies and defines the customer experience for 51.2% of respondents. Sales and Marketing departments also exert influence and 33.1% of participants stated that IT too is increasingly playing a role.
• Companies tend to use a combination of metrics to measure the success of their customer service campaigns. Of these, the most popular methods are Customer Feedback Forms (57.9%) and Customer Satisfaction Score or CSAT (43%), while Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs and Customer Effort Scores (CES) are employed to a lesser degree (each less than 15%)
• Organizations also use a combination of technologies to support customer service. These include Customer Relationship Management (70.2%), customer feedback tools (52.9%), call & voice recording (35.5%), social media analytics/monitoring (34.7%) and computer telephony integration or CTI (33.9%)
• While email and telephone remain the primary as well as the most time consuming channels for customer service, social media engagement is now supported by more than one third of businesses and almost a quarter have now begun to offer customer support though mobile applications. This indicates the progress of the region compared to that of the globe wherein social media and mobile app support account for only 8% and 7% of the time organizations dedicate to customer service.
• This emphasis being given to social media will no doubt work in the favour of regional businesses as customers are now more inclined to sharing their experiences with each other through social channels. Companies should be further motivated by the findings of the global study which has shown that more customers (54%) are inclined to sharing details of an excellent interaction through social media than those who would do so in the case of a horrendous experience (36%)
• Complete integration across all customer touch-points has been achieved by only 28.9% of respondents while over half claim to have this implemented to lesser degree
• Organizations can also leverage customer service to generate new revenue streams. 38% of respondents believe customers in the Middle East will be willing to pay for reasonably priced support and 18.2% agree that payment is indeed justified for high level services. The global survey indicates that this is already being implemented worldwide with over half (53%) of organizations offering their customers a higher level of service for a premium fee.

Notes about participants:
• The majority (35.3%) were from technology organizations while Manufacturing, Banking and Financial Services and Business Services accounted for 11.8% each
• 46.3% of respondents worked in IT roles. Customer Service (18.2%) and Sales and Market (16.5%) accounted for the remaining.

Shaheen Haque, Territory Manager, Middle East and Turkey at Interactive Intelligence says, “As a provider of business communications software for contact centers and enterprises, we were eager to understand the importance that enterprises in the region are placing on customer service and the strategies and methodologies that are currently being employed to optimize customer service interactions. The survey has thrown up some interesting results and it is encouraging to see a sizeable number of enterprises integrating the latest technology and social media into their strategy.”

Technology is absolutely essential to managing a successful and efficient contact center. Interactive Intelligence’s Customer Interaction Center® (CIC) helps organizations deliver exceptional experience. It is an award-winning, all-in-one contact center platform for multichannel interactions, available as a cloud-based service, on-premise, or as a managed service that allows the contact center to take a highly personalized approach to customer care.

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About Interactive Intelligence
Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) is a global provider of contact center, unified communications, and business process automation software and services. The company’s unified IP business communications solutions, which can be deployed on-premises or via the cloud, are ideal for industries such as financial services, insurance, outsourcers, collections and utilities. Interactive Intelligence was founded in 1994 and has more than 5,000 customers worldwide. The company is among Forbes Magazine’s 2011 Best Small Companies in America and Software Magazine’s 2012 Top 500 Global Software and Service Providers. Interactive Intelligence employs more than 1,400 people and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company has offices throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Interactive Intelligence can be reached at +1 317.872.3000 or info@inin.com; on the Net: www.inin.com.

This release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are described in the company's SEC filings.

Interactive Intelligence is the owner of the marks INTERACTIVE INTELLIGENCE, its associated LOGO and numerous other marks. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

Product Information Contact:
Mr. Shaheen Haque
Turkey & Middle East Territory Manager
Interactive Intelligence Middle East
Dubai, UAE
Direct phone: +971(4) 4347217
Mobile: +971 (50) 4573186
Email: shaheen.haque@inin.com