An AMEinfo exclusive
Mid last September, Dubai-based customer engagement and loyalty tech start-up Yegertek announced it received undisclosed funding that raised its valuation to $6.25 million, setting the stage for the next phase of its expansion.
Yegertek leverages the Microsoft CRM ecosystem, and emerging technologies in Machine Learning (ML), AI, Chatbots, and Beacons, helping it become a disruptor and challenger in developing loyalty-focused experiences and delivering data-led CRM, e-commerce, and mobility solutions.
Among its many clients are Harvey Nichols in Qatar, eCabs, which is a major leading cab-hailing service in Malta, a leading casual dining restaurant across the GCC, and a top jeweler headquartered in Dubai, to name a few.
AMEinfo invited Sajid Azmi, Founder and CEO of Yegertek, to provide some key insights into his company operations that led to capturing both the interest of investors and clients, four years following the company’s inauguration in 2017.
The birth of Yegertek
“I was the CIO of Geant hypermarkets – Retail Arabia which was later acquired by Carrefour, and at the time, we were looking for loyalty solutions in the market,” Sajid began.
“After meeting with many partners and vendors, I realized that there are solutions out there but they were extremely expensive because the providers were few and had a sort of monopoly on the market.”
In 2017, Yegertek was founded to fill that gap.
The tech stack
Together with his co-founder, Zain Shaikh, the two decided to work on the tech stack that can easily integrate into enterprise accounts, but also the SMB segment.
“The first real differentiator we implemented in the second year of operations was to adopt open collaborative technology, allowing companies to largely own the data where we configure our loyalty engine, and their internal teams are ultimately able to build additional enhancements to it,” Sajid explained.
“Because some did not want to work with Microsoft loyalty solutions platforms, we went for a multi-stack solution, and the open-source tech stack we built won us an F&B deal across 7 countries in the GCC.”
Since the customer journey is built differently for each ecosystem and targets dissimilar business goals, Yegertek builds loyalty solutions that cater differently for say a dining restaurant than for grocery delivery, or for a jewelry retailer versus a high-value fashion business.
“It’s at the front end of the journey where the business and us sit together and ask ‘Do you wish to have omnichannel, or offline journeys, apps, auto-recognition technology’, etc.,” Sajid said.
“Most customers in the region have a mobile facing tech, where the CX includes interactions with gadgets or entertainment without impugning the users’ privacy.”
What are the top CXs in demand?
Sajid said that top of mind in CX journeys is security.
“Customers need the confidence that their data is secure and private, not intruded upon,” Sajid indicated.
He added that immediately following are reliability, consistency, and simplicity of services.
“Great value but with an average experience or service compares unfavorably with good value, service and price point, consistency across omnichannels, and speed,” Sajid revealed.
He said that ROI for companies is based on brand loyalty creation, essentially how people become brand ambassadors in the social engagement space.
“How you engage with customers offline and digitally is a key factor in keeping them coming back, and spreading the good news about your company.”
Solving the Puzzle
Yegertek will reinforce its presence in the UAE and make a big push in Saudi and Africa, as its next go-to-market strategy.
“We are also enhancing our product offering. We recently created a product called Puzzle,” Sajid said.
Puzzle, a proprietary clientele solution, enables sales associates to offer a truly unmatched customer experience by leveraging the power of data and smart insights to unravel the puzzle around the CX and ensure a VIP experience in-store, and offline.
“The product is going live with 25 jewelers and by end of October, we will be live in 160 stores,” he said.
Using comprehensive, and customizable dashboards, Puzzle uses a variety of data points before each client visit, understands your customer’s previous purchase history, product preferences, and size of purchase, along with preferred communication channels.
Through the power of ML and data mining, sales teams sit in auto-pilot mode as Puzzle seamlessly provides smart suggestions and empowers the team to make the right product pitch.
“All our CX solutions are in-store, out of store, or at home. When they come to the store, we are integrated to the POS system to not only gauge customer satisfaction but also track shopping preferences habits, and purchasing habits,” Sajid said.
That’s CX for you. Yegertek is going beyond that. Say hello to supplier loyalty.
Let’s say you are a manufacturer of FMCG products and deal with a distributor (supplier) who works with retail stores where people go buy these products.
The manufacturer is dealing with the distributor, but he wants to build a loyalty layer for the retail store and end customer. You, as a manufacturer, want to create a rebate model to promote the product in-store.
“It’s similar to FMCG brand that sends its merchandisers to store managers, trying to position the brand better in return for better pricing on wholesale purchases. In our case, it could be credit notes with built-in benefits, or even training, rewarding, and certifying stores’ blue-collar workers towards creating brand loyalty for the brands’ products,” Sajid said.
Employees are not only potential customers, but when talking to customers, loyal staff are those that will better promote your products.
“Our solutions allow for the creation of an app ecosystem within the company that announces leaders, gifts digital vouchers, promotes the employee of the month, creates one’s own collaboration page within the organization, etc.,” Sajid explained.
“This solution uses the same CX tech stack because employees are also considered customers.”
Can loyalty go beyond that? What is the next dimension in loyalty programs?
“Loyalty programs are treated in silos right now, but we’re looking at hybrids of these. So, what if your suppliers’ customers are also part of your loyalty. What if your customers’ employees are part of the loyalty? What if your employees’ families are part of the loyalty?” Sajid and his teams are asking.
“Fact is, loyalties need coalitions to survive,” he ended.
And if it’s the same tech stack doing this, then the possibilities for brand loyalty and ambassadorship are endless.