If you sell things online or offline, you need to get to the end of this article. The average person has a very low expectation of service delivery. So when you provide excellent customer service In Nigeria, you naturally win some emotional value. Customer service is important because it leads to customer satisfaction. By providing top-notch customer service, businesses reduce customer acquisition costs; and cultivate a loyal following that refers customers, serves as case studies, and provides testimonials and reviews.
Customer satisfaction is one of the most important indicators of consumer purchase intentions and loyalty. High-standard customer service can win your clients’ hearts and make you recognizable within your target group.
In today’s world, very few people remain loyal to a company that offers bad experience. An outstanding customer service is the heart of every business. With options everywhere, showing your customers that they are not just dollar bills. Show them that they have individual importance. Accordingly, this will drive customer loyalty and long term success to your business.
Types Of Customers
I am certain that as you go through this list, you will begin to relate. There are different types of Customers;
1. Potential Customer
They are referred to as the business’s “Target Audience”, the group of persons who are capable or likely to buy what you are selling.
6 ways to identify your potential customers
- Get familiar with your demography: It contains the age group, gender, location, marital status, occupation and annual income level. A fashion brand that makes Ankara shorts are sure to be patronized by both male and female.
- Evaluating the Psychographics: These are the personality traits, social norms, values, interests and lifestyle. In order to make your product be a success, you need to evaluate how your product and services makes a difference to their lifestyle.
- Do Research on Successful Competitor Brands: Before embarking on a business venture. Survey on companies into that same business is very advisable. A wise woman once said, you can learn from others’ mistakes. Look at what they did not consider that could bring profit to your own company and create a niche.
- Analyze your product to see who will buy from you: Most people either under-estimate or over-estimate their product. The focus should be a small crowd at a small scale. To leave them asking for more than running at a loss.
- The world is a global village, potential consumers can-be found online. Just reading relevant blogs and forums. Customers visit top rated websites of industries they are interested in to participate in their forum discussions. This would save a lot of money, all companies that are always responsive on their social media handles, retain and gain new customers.
- Use unique and unconventional communication approach: Make use of interactive portals like live chat. Integrating live chat support on your business website would help you identify and connect with your potential customers in a more convenient manner; you can find out about the demographics and psychographics of the visitors landing on your webpage. Marketing your products and tailoring your customer service according to their preferences would be much easier with the help of live chat service.
2. Loyal Customers
Research conducted by Bain & Company and Harvard Business School report that “increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.” It found out that existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, on average, compared to new customer. Loyalty programs are advised because they are the best ways to attract, engage, and delight your old customers. Isn’t this more cost effective than converting new customers? A venture that can cost from 5 to 25 times more than selling to your current customers.
3. New Customer
Also as a business owner, you are aware that your client base is the lifeblood of your company. A steady stream of new customers allows you to grow your business and remain profitable. Thorough knowledge of your product or service is critical to being able to attract interested customers.
4. Discount Customer
These customers base their buying decisions primarily on markdowns. These people are most likely to switch brands easily once prices go back up, unlike loyal customers. They can-be divided into two groups:
- Need-based customers: Customers with the intention of buying a specific product.
- Wandering customers: Customers that are not sure of what they want to buy.
5. Former Customer
Former buyer/customer who has not made any new purchases within a specified period of time. They are generally better prospects for additional sales than non-buyers because they have shown a willingness and ability to buy. Three steps to a win-back program;
- Find out why the customer stopped buying. Search records for clues and then call the customer and ask what went wrong. Banks do this all the time with high turnover clients.
- Research the customer’s present situation. The customer’s business may have changed.
- Make the contact. Reach out to the customer to show you truly care.
Top 3 Industries With The Worst Customer Service In Nigeria
There are industries in Nigeria that run on a monopoly like themes and because they have the government as their support system.
- The telecommunication sector
- The banking sector
- The power sector
(a) The Telecommunication sector
Glo, MTN, Airtel and Etisalat have failed to meet the billing. Collectively, they rank the lowest for customer service in Nigeria. Many telecoms promise to help and then leave you hanging. Furthermore In 2019 alone, over 19,000 people lodged complaints to NCC against telecoms. Customers experience poor service right from the moment they purchase a SIM card. SIM registration is done in total frustration. It does not end there, the challenge continues for as long as you own a SIM card.
(b) The Banks
Banks rank second on this list for poor customer service in Nigeria. The CBN launched Bank Verification Number that sent Nigerians in their crowd to the banking halls. Long waiting hours and incorrect details were inputted because of lack of consequences. On another note, how long do you wait before a call center rep responds to your call? forever? Check out these experiences by real people on Zikoko.
(c) The NEPA/PHCN – Power Sector
This is the worst sector in Nigeria by my own rating. Everybody thought that privatizing the Nigeria Electric Power Authority would be a game changer. Unfortunately it has only gotten worse. Besides poor service, customer service representatives are also typically slow to respond and rude as well. When you report a problem with your meter, you are either accused for tampering or left in the dark for a while. Sad.
Four Common Customer Service Practices That Are Wrong
The happier you are with a brand, the longer you will stay with them. So, if you treat your customers poorly or ignore their complaints, then they are more likely to stop doing business with you. This is why companies that deliver a superior customer experience outperform their competitors.
Some examples written on a post by Steven MacDonald states that;
- Customer experience is set to be the number one brand differentiator in 2020 (and beyond)
- 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.
- Customers are willing to pay a price premium of up to 13% (and as high as 18%) for luxury and indulgence services, simply by receiving a great customer experience.
- 49% of buyers have made impulse purchases after receiving a more personalized customer experience.
- Customers that rate companies with a high customer experience score spend 140% more and remain loyal for up to 6 years.
Reasons for poor customer service in Nigerian companies
- No training for customer agents: Customer service training can help employees build confidence in dealing with customers. It should also ensure that your employees fully understand your products and services, increasing their ability to impress customers at every level. On the other-hand employees that have not been trained will run into serious problems with producing high-quality work in an efficient way. Less knowledge and training leads to a lower level of performance. This also leads to frustration at work.
2. Not being proactive with your customers or providing quick response/support: Being proactive means anticipating, taking action, and being in control even in an unfamiliar environment. Proactive organizations prepare and anticipate change. They actually enjoy and even initiate it, as it gives them an opportunity to outdo their competitors. Most of the disruptors in today’s business environment are bold proactive thinkers. On the other-hand reactive organization do not anticipate change. This undermines their ability to respond and thrive in a changing environment. In general, most reactive organizations undergo a series of stages – shock and denial, depression and anger, adjustment, and rebuilding-when faced with unforeseen circumstances.
5 ways to get started with proactive support
- Ask customers for feedback.
- Pay attention to what customers are saying online.
- Reward customers with offers.
- Admit mistakes before customers find out.
- Create content that answers common questions.
3. Not being available for the customers: Service availability is at the core of customer satisfaction and business success. There is a direct connection between the service availability and customer and user satisfaction. Here, poor service performance is defined as being unavailable. If an infrastructure is able to operate its most important functions without interruptions or problems, an enterprise can achieve continuity. If a business aims to achieve a competitive advantage, a high level of availability is essential.
4. Not listening to your customers and keeping to promises: Listening to customers may be a great way for you to gather vital information. And customer feedback is one of the best ways to gather business-specific data that lets you understand how your customers really feel about the product or service you deliver. This helps to prevent complaints in the future. Furthermore, research finds that customers’ whose complaints are handled quickly can turn into loyal customers and even brand advocates.
The effect of not listening to customer causes the following to companies
- Lose customers
- They get a bad reputation
- They are one step behind the competition
- Will miss marketing opportunities.
7 Tips to improve your listening skills for better communication
- Demonstrate your listening skills by paraphrasing
- Make consistent eye contact
- Adopt an open posture
- Ask open questions
- Remember past details
- Show that you are a good listener by nodding
- Listen to understand.
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Change is inevitable