Customer service is a subset of Customer Experience – a holistic perception of a customer’s experience with a brand or business. To the average person or a customer, what they rave about is customer service – their immediate perception of an interaction with a said customer service/care representative but its way more than that. Customer experience is the core value of a business. A great customer experience is the major key to a successful business.
Unfortunately, Nigerians in Nigeria still struggle with providing professional, quality and effective service, as consumers, business owners, service providers and we all still give and accept mediocre offerings. Many have attributed this bad customer experience to being peculiar to the Nigerian culture and I simply say – that’s excusing bad behavior. Understanding this, The Credo team organized a Customer Experience Forum which was held at Ocean Basket Restaurant in Victoria Island on the 22nd of January 2021. The forum hosted Media Personalities, influencers, Service Providers, Customer Experience Experts and Behavior Experts.
With aim to thrash out our responsibility in steering up our acquaintances, friends, family, colleagues, etc. to make quality a culture in relationships and work culture, participants were quick to agree that the conversation surrounding customer experience in Nigeria is a multifaceted one and shaping more positive mind and actions will help foster quality interactions with everyone around us.
Recently, I had an interesting encounter with FarmCity – a restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria. From my experience or my perception of their business, they can easily be classified as one of the best restaurants in Lagos state in terms of well-made Nigerian meals and the availability of 24hours delivery service. Been a customer for over two years now and it’s been pleasant. Last two Saturdays, I ordered for one of my regulars from them – Afang soup. It was delivered but I wasn’t satisfied. It tasted so different that I began to think I had contracted Coronavirus. After questioning my health and mind for some minutes, I put a call across to them to register my displeasure. My conversation with someone whom I believe to be the branch’s manager went back and forth for a bit until we decided they had to send their dispatch rider to come pick up the soup so they could figure out what went wrong. They did come to pick up, called me back to apologize after agreeing the taste was different, then sent me another bowl of soup. The point is, I felt valued, listened to and satisfied at the end of the day. Apparently, they changed some of their chefs and we agreed they had to make some internal decisions.
For me, the above encounter encouraged me to continue patronizing FarmCity, not because there won’t be bad days, but because if and when bad days turn up, I trust their structure and attitude to sort the problem without making me feel like I’m being too difficult. I have the same bias for Jumia and Gtbank as well.
And because humans are diverse and dynamic , you will find people who will swear on whatever they hold dear that FarmCity, Gtbank or Jumia has got the worst customer experience. What is left is ensuring that the percentage of your satisfied customers outweighs that of your dissatisfied customers and it doesn’t just happen. It’s a deliberateness in a business plan. Below are few points from Credo CX Roundtable to imbibe a customer centric culture:
- Focus on the customer
Think of the customers even before they know about your business. Focus on the people and how your structure make them feel. One of the most important differentiation for organizations is their customer experience.
- Create a service vision
Your service vision starts with the leadership and HR has a vital role to play. What kind of people do you want in your organization to achieve the type pf culture needed. Drive it all the way down
- Empathy is important
What are the leaders doing with the team? The work place should be safe place. Empower your staff in every way possible.
- Collaboration as team is important
Working in silos should be discouraged. Each employee understanding his or her part in the customer value chain is important
- Understanding customer expectations and human interactions
Emotional intelligence is a critical component of interpersonal and professional effectiveness.
- Looking at the bigger picture
Invest in trainings – Empower your staff
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