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Giving SMEs an edge in customer care

sandhya@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 2, 2018
Giving SMEs an edge in customer care
Forrester data from 2017 has revealed that 72 per cent of businesses list customer experience improvement as a top priority.


Callix offers call management services and data analytics to SMEs

Customer retention is of supreme importance and effective measures need to be deployed in business strategy to achieve it. UAE-based startup Callix aims to give that edge to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Arif Saiyad, founder-CEO of Callix, said: "There is an evident requirement for effective customer service, especially in the SME sector. Customer retention has emerged in recent years as an equally important business focus area as customer acquisition. Changing customer demands are also driving businesses to ensure a seamless and unified experience across various interaction channels."

Forrester data from 2017 has revealed that 72 per cent of businesses list customer experience improvement as a top priority.

Saiyad arrived in Dubai five years ago and realised that SMEs, startups and e-commerce platforms play an important role in the city's economic growth. With this in mind and to support these businesses by providing an effective yet affordable customer service solution, Saiyad established Callix in the UAE in 2017. His awareness of the Dubai market led him to create a customisable solution offering multilingual service, tailored business analytics and engagement plans to answer every business need.

Callix is privately held by ASA Ventures and is working towards expanding internationally, by collaborating with strategic partners in Egypt and France. ASA Ventures seeded up to $500,000.

Saiyad's venture capital firm ASA Ventures is in the business of providing seed level and early stage investments to technology startups.

Before Callix was introduced in the UAE, Saiyad created a similar concept '247' - a 24-hour call answering service for any company or individual - in Portugal. It was later bought by a larger call centre company.

When ASA ventures moved to the UAE, there was an evident need for the concept to be replicated here, only this time with more features and targeted for a specific market segment. Furthermore, with the help of technology, there was more to offer customers, added Saiyad.

Callix was equipped to provide insights, call data and interactions in different languages. Customer happiness has fast become the priority for businesses in order to stay in the game. Bigger companies are able to sign contracts with huge onshore and/or offshore call centres that most SMEs cannot, so Callix gives them affordable access to quality.

The startup aims to give SMEs an edge without draining their investment. The Callix contact centre is equipped to handle inbound and outbound engagement contracts, and the custom-built software enables the contact centre to feed data back to the client for actionable business intelligence on customer demands, key issues, outlet performance, stock planning and more.

"Callix strives to improve SME operations and prospects by ensuring that all calls are answered and no opportunity is lost. Capitalising on human interaction instead of impersonal digital personas, businesses can ensure quicker answers, accurate solutions, strategic up- and cross-selling - all key drivers of customer happiness and repeat business," said Saiyad.

"At ASA Ventures, we believe that small and medium-sized companies should have access to tools and services that will not only provide their customers with top-notch service but also give them the opportunity to effectively convert potential business from phone calls. We believe in developing the SME segment by providing solutions that are relevant to their needs. Supporting businesses from the micro-market state ensures success for the next wave of global businesses from the Arab world."

Before venturing into the customer service realm, Saiyad led several successful entrepreneurial initiatives in Portugal, Switzerland, India and Dubai. The biggest one remains Arif Saiyad and Assosciados (ASA) Ventures, which was established in Portugal. After his arrival in Dubai, ASA Ventures - his venture firm - seed funded a website that later became mobileshop.ae, an e-commerce platform that turned Arif's $30,000 investment into $3 million almost overnight. He still holds a 45 per cent stake in the business.

Kheirya Elesawy, operations manager of Callix, said: "I believe in the success of Callix because it is an innovative and unique service in the market. If you look closely at the SME sector, you will know there is a need for services that are not only cost-effective but also seamless, unified and productive. Without draining the SME's investment, Callix is equipped to handle a high volume of calls with quality customer service. Furthermore, Callix's custom-built software has the capabilities to feed its customers with smart data."

- sandhya@khaleejtimes.com


Sandhya D'Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.

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