May 18, 2020

LinkedIn, interconnection, and transforming recruitment in the MENA region

Ali Matar,
3 min
LinkedIn, interconnection, and  transforming recruitment in the MENA region

LinkedIn recent released figures announcing that it has hit the 500 million members milestone across 200 countries and 22 million members in the MENA region.

Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Emerging Markets, Middle East and North Africa talks about 'interconnection' and how it is revolutionising the MENA’s recruitment industry and facilitating knowledge-sharing

Globalization has served as the world’s engine of progress over the past half century. Life today is better for most people thanks to the depth and breadth of cross-border interactions. "Interconnectivity" largely possible due to social media and the Internet is not just a passing phase, it is a trend that we are living and breathing every moment.

Boasting some of the highest social media penetration rates in the world, people in the Middle East and North Africa are not only well connected, but also savvy to the potential of what a highly connected global community of professionals can do, and the value that is created for each member of the workforce.

For instance, LinkedIn now has half a billion members in 200 countries connecting, and engaging with one another. Not just this, LinkedIn’s UAE members have been ranked as the most connected in the world, reporting an average of 211 connections per individual.

What does this mean for UAE and the MENA region? Simply put, It means that each LinkedIn member has direct access to 10 million active jobs, 9 million companies,  and more than 100,000 articles published every week, that will help you gain and share knowledge with others.. Not just this, with each connection you make, the total reach of your professional community grows and so do your career opportunities. Every connection reflects an average of 400 new people you can get introduced to and begin to build relationships with. It encompasses 100 new companies who may be looking for the skills and talents you offer; and it represents connections to an average of 500 jobs.

The impact of half a billion professionals connecting and communicating is very real and this is evident in a research that LinkedIn had conducted at the start of 2017 as part of the MENA Recruiting Trends of 2017 which said that MENA business will continue to use social professional networks such as LinkedIn to identify and hire new talent, further strengthening the reign of social media and helping build the ‘Connected’ talent pool ecosystem. The report also says that 2017 will be a very busy year for MENA recruiting leaders as 81% of them feel that talent is the number one priority in their organization and over 60% of teams are preparing for an increase in hiring volume – again a very good example of how the region is viewing technology as a medium to connect with talent.

As far as UAE is concerned, it is becoming a thriving hub for business and industry. We have data that shows that almost 60% of the UAE’s workforce is currently employed by local companies. This is demonstrative of the investment local companies are making in the youth of the UAE and shows how some sectors such as banking, aviation, telecommunications, hospitality and retail are staunchly supporting UAE talent. We expect this trend to go only upwards, with UAE further strengthening its position as a global hub.

With its strategic location and an enticing promise of a better life, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has acquired an enviable position of being a land of endless opportunities. As businesses from all over the world set up operations here, there is an unprecedented need to build a workforce that supports the economic development. The region’s job market is evolving as a result of many external socio-economic factors. In this environment, companies are now assessing their recruiting strategy and ensuring it is aligned with the priorities of today’s professionals. Companies are also investing in channels for the public to research jobs before they apply and empowering employees to contribute towards recruitment needs.

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Jun 12, 2021

Re-defining the economics of CX in the new customer journey

Roger Beadle, Co-founder & CEO...
6 min
Roger Beadle, CEO of Limitless looks at how CX can directly Influence revenue generation in streaming services

There’s no shortage of customer service channels for the enterprise to select from today. Regardless of the many new metrics that have emerged – such as customer success, or empathy – cost reduction is still a primary driver in selection criteria.

There are many articles dedicated to how companies can turn customer service and customer experience (CX) from a cost to a revenue centre. The problem is, if you stop there and don’t look beyond cost reduction, you’re limiting the scope for CX to become an even bigger economic contributor in the enterprise.

There is every opportunity for customer service and CX to significantly influence the front end of business, particularly amongst direct-to-consumer subscription-based products and services, such as popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, as well as sports subscription services like DAZN.

In these products and services and others, there are new customer journeys that may drive business growth and revenue. They start earlier and may last a lifetime, so getting things right at the start of the journey is key so that customers have the best experience from day one.

Not only will this help in making customers less likely to reach out for issues-based support further down the line, but these customers will be much less likely to churn, and much more likely to take up new services as they are offered throughout the lifetime journey.

So, what does the new customer journey look like for these services?

Opportunity waiting for the likes of Netflix & Disney

While consumers may have previously regarded customer service as a way to mitigate the inconveniences in their lives, the customer journey is expanding in scope every day. Today there are many more touchpoints available that put CX in a position to drive revenue.

For one-off purchases, traditional CX deployments have not changed significantly in the past few years. However, if you look at the change in the CX relationships we’re seeing with subscription-based products and services, particularly media-based streaming services, it’s clear that these companies lead what quickly become very multifaceted relationships with their customers. These have serious potential to evolve over time for increased economic benefit.

For any sort of subscription-based business, customer lifetime value is paramount, and the requirement to actively manage a continued positive customer experience is critical.

Every interaction is an opportunity, and every data point is a chance to offer more value. Introductory offers can convert to longtime customers. Longtime customers may take up opportunities to upgrade to more premium products or services. They may also appreciate incentives to invite family and friends to become customers. Consumers who like a particular service, for example, may appreciate a recommendation for another similar or complimentary service.

It all starts with customer interaction, and the customer experience journey becomes an opportunity to strategically affect the user base and resulting revenue - which is a far cry from the limitations of call center cost reduction or churn metrics.

How do companies support the new customer journey?

More and more, customers look at the new customer journey as engaging with brands as part of their lifestyles. Many companies are making brand ambassadors available before the traditional customer journey even starts, which is a marked change from a purely transactional relationship associated with a one-off purchase.

These ambassadors, who are often independent users of products or services, are providing trusted pre-sales advice, and that same trusted advice can also function to nurture the customer journey in a subscription-based relationship. Call it ‘GigCX’ or ‘crowdsourced customer service’ or even ‘peer-to-peer customer service’ - it doesn’t matter.

The key is in providing impartial, trusted advice from real users. Think about it: who would you rather get advice from? Someone who has used a product or service extensively, or someone who has been trained to provide customer service surrounding that product or service?

For services such as streaming media, advice from trusted experts with real product know-how could be invaluable. This may not be limited to technical issues, such as what to do when you can’t access your favourite show, or how to access services across various devices. It could be parents helping other parents who are concerned about how to restrict adult content from child viewers, or simply customers who have similar taste in programming who can comment on the benefits of upgraded or premium products. The point is, these experts are easily available at any touchpoint in the customer lifetime journey, creating more chances to add value.

It’s also about tipping customers from ‘passive’ to ‘promoter’ in the NPS scale. It’s an opportunity to turn neutral customers who may be vulnerable to competitive offerings into loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring others, fuelling growth. It may ultimately help drive even further revenue by creating customers that are helping to sell the brand itself.

And, while chatbots and automation may play a key role, they are often not able to handle the more complex support needed in the new customer journey. Conversational AI is rarely as conversational as it claims to be, and in the new customer journey, most companies are finding that a mix of automation and people-centric service is an ideal way to nurture the many new touchpoints created.

It’s no longer about trying to replace human capital with automation: it’s about orchestrating a uniquely personalised CX, and proactively engaging during the customer lifecycle to enhance the experience, and to create more long-term value.

At the moment, we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the power to affect the economics introduced by the new customer journey. We’ll no doubt see this evolve rapidly particularly amongst streaming companies as they use human-centric connections in CX to support the full potential of customer lifetime value.

About Roger Beadle
Roger Beadle is an entrepreneur and business leader who is reinventing how customer service is delivered via the gig economy. After establishing several businesses in the contact centre industry, Roger co-founded Limitless with Megan Neale in 2016. Limitless is a gig-economy platform that addresses some of the biggest challenges faced by the contact center industry: low pay, high attrition and access to new talent. Previously, Roger and Megan helped to build one of the largest privately-owned outsourced contact center business in Europe, before selling the business to the global conglomerate Hinduja Group. Roger is an outspoken proponent of digital ethics, worker’s rights and the ‘good-gig:’ which encapsulates gig work for incremental pay versus full time work, skilled gig work, no unpaid time/downtime and zero expenses.

About Limitless
Named a Rising Star at Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 program, Limitless is a gig customer service platform, combining crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges – rising costs, increasing attrition, variability in demand and the need for diversity. Brands like Microsoft, Unilever, Daily Mail Group and Postmates are using Limitless’ SmartCrowdTM technology to connect with their most engaged customers, and reward them for providing on-demand customer service that can flex in line with demand. Limitless is one of the world’s first global tech platforms to introduce localised platform terms to protect the rights of its gigging workers. Backed by AlbionVC, Downing Ventures and Unilever Ventures, Limitless is empowering people worldwide to earn money for providing brilliant customer service for the brands they love.

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