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Middle East: Customer Service Principles Every Business Needs to Know

Middle East: 7 Customer Service Principles Every Business Needs to Know

Read this blog to learn the seven customer service principles every growing business in the Middle East needs to know.

How can you help your customer services team meet rising customer expectations? Here are seven customer service principles to help you level up your help desk operations.

After almost a year of social and economic disruption, we published the 4th State of Service report. So what was the top customer service trend? Changing customer service expectations and the new strategies they demand.

Even before the pandemic, customer expectations were rising. But what began as a gradual shift towards personalisation has greatly accelerated. Customer experience is now the competitive differentiator.

That’s why service support has inverted from an obligatory cost centre to a deeply strategic investment. The goal is to build lifelong customer trust and drive sustainable growth.

The message for growing businesses in the Middle East is clear. You need to give your employees tools to deliver intelligent, connected customer experiences at scale. In fact, 89% of service decision-makers in the UAE say they’ve invested in new service technology since the pandemic to help meet this goal.

To help you support a customer-led service culture, we’ve put together seven customer service principles every growing business needs to know.

1. Customer service is a team effort

Customer service is a team sport. The agents on the winning teams can see every historical customer interaction, so the next one is always better than the last.

Left alone, siloed service agents will struggle to deliver the level of personalisation and contextual awareness expected of them. And if you’re leaving a sole individual to handle all service duties, customer satisfaction rates will likely plummet.

With a single 360-degree view of the customer, employees can access the insights they need to deliver personalised customer experiences. This takes the pressure off smaller service teams and increases the likelihood that every customer will receive a fast, satisfactory outcome.

77% of service teams in the UAE have brought in employees from other departments to work in service and support roles.


2. Create a customer feedback repository

In the UAE, 78% of service agents can remotely access all the data and information they need. It’s an encouraging number, but truly connected services require everyone to pool customer knowledge in one place.

The more you learn about your customers, the better you’ll be able to understand what they expect from you. And through this knowledge, you’ll be able to deliver experiences that nurture lifelong loyalty and trust.

Better yet, a continuous feed of up-to-date customer insight can even help you automate routine service tasks and inform chatbot scripts. And with the time saved, your agents can focus on more complex cases.

3. Remember the human touch

Of all the customer service principles in this blog, this is one you really won’t want to forget. Knowing how to identify when a customer needs the human touch can make the difference between loyalty and desertion.

Automated chatbots and self-service portals can help give customers the answers they need when they need them. However, they’re not always appropriate.

If your customers are frustrated or need help with a complex issue, they’ll likely appreciate the human touch. But remember, 82% of customers expect complex problems to be solved by talking to a single agent. So make sure everyone has the insights they need to get it right the first time.

65% of service teams in the UAE track the first contact resolution rate as a KPI.


Who is getting customer service right?

Umrahme, a division of Holidayme, is an online travel agency specialising in B2B and B2C travel packages for pilgrims.

The agency helps millions of pilgrims make the sacred journey to Mecca each year. It’s one of the fastest-growing businesses providing Umrah-related products.

But managing millions of bookings relies on:

  • Multiple touchpoints and partnerships
  • Coordination by highly responsive teams
  • Fast access to accurate, real-time information

So, to help connect every touchpoint, partner, and business function, the agency leveraged the customisation capabilities of the Salesforce Platform.

Through company-wide visibility of every customer, Umrahme’s service teams can now have the right conversations, in the right place, at the right time. Its market share also grew from 25% to 80% in just a few months. And data-driven automation has helped reduce attrition and improve email campaign performance by up to 10%.

The 360-degree view of the customer is immensely powerful. But as a platform, Salesforce is also a real enabler. Our team recognises its potential to help them be more efficient, and as an organisation, we’re excited to keep expanding the functionality to help us transform the customer experience.

Bechir Omran
Head of Growth, Holidayme

4. Be honest about your limits

The best service teams know their limitations. They know they won’t always have the right answer and that sometimes, everyone makes mistakes. And that’s OK.

But that doesn’t mean you should abandon cases without closure. Always maintain an open dialogue with customers and keep them informed of any updates to their case. And if you can, introduce help desk software to help identify and assign the right cases to the right agents.

Transparency goes a long way in building customer trust. It ensures customer time is never wasted.

5. Practice empathy

It may be the simplest customer service principle on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Service support interactions are inherently sensitive. At best, your customers need help, and at worst, something’s gone wrong.

Empathetic interactions can help disarm any friction and show the customer that you’re on their side. If your agents put themselves in your customer’s shoes and remain patient, their empathy will naturally show.

Who else is getting service right?

Seera Group, the Middle East’s leading travel and tourism company, aims to help bring in 30 million holidaymakers a year.

But to stay competitive, it knew it needed to deliver the best possible data-driven experiences. Using Salesforce Service Cloud, Seera Group unlocked a single, 360-degree view of the customer – including its 1.5 million travellers. Every customer interaction is now part of a seamless, connected journey.

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Since deployment, the group has improved staff productivity across its 1,000-plus service team and driven up customer satisfaction by 10%.

We want to offer customers a great experience whether they’re contacting us by phone, email, mobile, social media channels, or in-store. With Service Cloud, we can offer a seamless service even if a customer starts their journey online and then comes in store to complete the booking.

Abdulrahman Mutrib
Chief Technology Officer, Seera Group

6. Keep product knowledge sharp

There’s a reason why businesses use Salesforce to help connect sales, service, marketing, and even product teams in a single platform. It feeds knowledge.

Think of it this way. If your service team isn’t working closely with other functions, there are likely to be blind spots in their product knowledge. But more than just connecting every team, you can make product training a key part of your customer service operations.

For example, you can onboard new employees through product boot camps and update agents on every new product as it is released.

7. Every second counts

Did you know 87% of service teams in the UAE measure average handle time and 83% measure average response time KPIs?

When 83% of customers say they expect an immediate human interaction when contacting a company, it makes sense. Customers hate to wait.

By empowering your agents with help desk software, they can personalise the customer experience as efficiently as possible. This drives employee satisfaction while ensuring every customer gets a fast and efficient outcome.

This company is getting service right, too

STARZPLAY is an on-demand video streaming service headquartered in Dubai. It’s home to more than one million subscribers in 21 countries across MENA and Pakistan.

But STARZPLAY has its sights set on bigger things – becoming a household name. And to get there, it needed to deliver curated, personalised content for each region. Reducing churn would also be as important as attracting new customers.

Through Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Social Studio, STARZPLAY segments users based on their interests, personalising content across regions and delivering seamless, omnichannel service experiences.

Since swapping spreadsheets for Salesforce, the content creation team has significantly improved productivity. Added agility, flexibility, and scalability have also greatly improved process efficiency. This resulted in much higher engagement and conversation rates.

Media on demand is so fast paced. Salesforce gives us both the agility and flexibility to curate great content and get it on screen fast – before subscribers even know they want it!

Henry Neira
Director of Information Services, STARZPLAY

Customer service principles to remember

Are you ready to enhance your customer service experience? Take the Salesforce Service Cloud Lighting Guided Tour to learn how to connect every interaction and build the kind of experiences that drive loyalty, trust, and growth.

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Learn how to connect every interaction and build the kind of experiences that drive loyalty, trust, and growth.

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