Like your mother, like the bell boy


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Written for the new gig...

Can you relate with this?

“The tellers and customer service ladies of Bank EW are just plain rude; imagine going to withdraw your own money and being told to wait for hours or to come back tomorrow because the servers are down; I don’t remember them telling me that when I came to open the account!”

“My sister I cried to my creator from the bottom of my heart today. I was made to feel subhuman just because I went to one office to submit my CV”.

“I can only blame myself for taking my own two feet into that place. The reply I got was so cold and unhelpful just for the simplest of enquiries. It was a total waste of time and energy.”

“Why do these ISPs keep employing clueless and dumb people? Can you imagine the guy at the help desk telling me “I was not trained to activate this plan on a phone. I can only activate on PC. Please go and bring your laptop”. Source.

“My people I don’t even know why we waste our time on this the Police is your friend mantra in Nigeria. Do you know that I always have to make sure the money in my pocket is enough before going to the Police station to report a genuine issue? It’s like those guys work on a pay as you go basis.”

If you can relate with all these read on, if not please quit reading.

Colleagues we’re in that shoe now with our present job, we can either prevent people from further experiencing and saying the same or we can tow the status quo. Let’s do away with the “everyone wants to fix humanity; no one wants to fix themselves syndrome. It begins with you, change begins with us.

Just like relationships crumble if one party doesn’t offer to say I’m sorry, or a traffic jam gridlock persist if one driver doesn’t say “I’ll be patient, you may go first”. Things can only be better off if we decide and start to make an effort.

Like the hotel bell boy let’s learn to work like our only form of remuneration was based on tips arising from the level of satisfaction our customers get from our service. Let’s learn to treat our customers like we would treat our mothers

Let the below thoughts and often made statements be things of the past

a) Nkemakonam Ezidinma Ifejika opined on Facebook that for Nigerians anywhere in the world, customer service is a gene extracted at birth. That is to say Nigerians are incapable of being consistently polite and helpful. They are the kings and queens of mood swings.

b) In Nigeria there’s no place for merit. We can’t queue or be patient. Everyone wants to cut corners and get served before others. It’s like a “my family comes first” credo. And that’s why poverty persists because those in top positions don’t allow for the wealth to flow down to the bottom, hence everyone wants to be at the top and so corruption is birthed. We were brought up this way and so bring up our kids in like fashion too. A vicious cycle.

c) There’s a deep rooted rat race or jungle mentality in Nigeria that impedes development and breeds nepotism and tribalism. Like Mark Shuttleworth said: “Tribalism is when one group of people start to think people from another group are “wrong by default”. It’s the great-granddaddy of racism and sexism.

d) Nigerians are only bothered about the self, there’s no sense of concern for maintenance of public/company property. That’s why the civil service is in shambles. That’s also why the white man is brought in to instil discipline; we then fight to go abroad to enjoy the perks of a disciplined society we have denied ourselves.

In line with the above and bringing the matter back home mycustomer advocates the following

1) And end to the “applications are not working please call back” sing along. Especially when we don’t even bother to get them working in the first place, have no idea of their workarounds or can’t even be bothered to remember our passwords. Food for thought: Do you know that telling a customer that the applications are not working please call back is akin to telling a pensioner who invested a lot of energy and money to go back home and come tomorrow because the bank for some flimsy reason or another cannot pay today.

2) It’s good to pick 200 calls a day but it’s even better to pick 150 and deal with them decisively. We’re lucky to have a strong brand and a consequent low elasticity of demand but we should bear in mind that ultimately customer service goes a long way in determining customer retention and business profitability.

3) Stop leaving your mails unread. You stand to keep yourself ignorant (no product knowledge) when you do so consequently manifesting in frequently putting your customers on hold and running around the call center asking questions. You also leave the knowledgeable customer shaking his head on the opposite side lamenting your cluelessness.

4) An end to the “I’ll end call on you”, “I’ll block your line” incidents. Let’s learn to manage our irritations and show compassion to the slow to comprehend and confused. You become a better person, the bigger man when you learn to tolerate customers venting their anger on you yet reply politely to empathise and educate. It shows there’s substance in your character; consequently you’ll see that people will want to look you up for a repeat dealing.

I now hope that upon everyone reading this, this other incidence that some of us regularly experience will decrease: “customers asking for a way to get back to us directly as they are afraid of speaking to others because they have no confidence their queries will be resolved on a random call back.

“Like the hotel bell boy let’s learn to work like our only form of remuneration was based on tips arising from the level of satisfaction our customers get from our service. Let’s learn to treat our customers like we would treat our mothers”