Service Experience


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When Customers Stick: Customer Retention by the Numbers

From the small business to a huge corporation, everyone is earnest to know the secret to customer retention. Let’s face the facts: It is sure much easier to keep a customer than to obtain a new one. So, how does one earn repeat business for years and years to come?

Customers That Stick explores this issue in the following infographic where they use various customer retention statistics to break down the three most important aspects of customer retention – why customers leave, why customers stick, and why retained customers mean more money.

when-customers-stick

Source: Small Business Trends


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What has happened to our BRT services?

brt

Service experience at the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) venture is becoming worrisome. What are employees taught as organisational values and culture? Or are they recruited and asked to learn off the existing workers? There is a need for change.

While on the BRT queue some days back I needed to buy a ticket for my trip, I presented my cash- N1000 plus N50- to the ticket agent. His response was, “I don’t have change” then, he walked away to attend to the other customers waiting on queue. I may want to raise an issue with the ‘answer’ but that is for another day but his attitude was a concern. Right before my face, he was lying because he was holding a wad of notes of varying denominations.

I took the bull by the horn, walked up to him, pointed at the cash with him and stood my grounds. But really it was not my first experience but I pray it would be the last. But is this just a wish?

It is reported that the BRT-Lite is now carrying almost 200,000 people per day despite a capacity that does not allow it to satisfy all forecast demand. After its first 100 days the system had carried 9.7 million passengers and within its first 6 months of operation had carried a total of 29 million.*But are everyone of these customers satisfied with how they are served?

And I believe that these numbers have resulted in profits. But when the present government changes and a new one is sworn-in, can the BRT venture lean on customer’s loyalty to survive?

It is high time these transport service providers prioritised excellent service delivery to buy over customer’s loyalty. Because in reality, the customer is king -whether poor or rich- as long as the service is being paid for.

This is a call to the government agencies, paralstatals, ministries and others to start to develop, promote, cultivate and imbibe a great service attitude. Starting from the least in the ranks to the highest, they should be enlightened, educated and encouraged to practise this because charity begins at home.

Nigerians have a right to a great service experience irrespective of their status.

Let’s work together to make Nigeria, a nation with the best service culture in world by 2025.

*Source:  Lagos BRT-Lite Summary Evaluation Report. http://www.uitp-bhls.eu Page 1


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Service delivery

service batonIn this season, there’s a constant clamour for the rise of entrepreneurs and not applicants of white- or blue-collar jobs. Both the new school leavers and those that have long-tarried in the job markets are being encouraged to start a business to fill the gap of unemployment.

One may want to ask at this point, are these businesses established to outlive their owners or one of those investments meant to meet the current needs and nothing more?

I dare to say that if they are for posterity, then the service delivery value is the bedrock of success. So, what are the main factors to note for effective service?

  • Reliability
  • Quality
  • Passion
  • Diligence

Reliability:

How confident are your customers about your delivery? Do you give date of delivery, then fail and never inform them about a probable delay? I remember a tailor that sews shirt for my husband, he delivers on the first appointment but subsequent ones are most times never met and you would have to call to find out about the delay. At a point, just got tired of his service, though his handwork was clean and exquisite but he lacks reliability. As a result, we had to shop for a replacement. I do not rule out the place of unforeseen circumstances but a call would do the job. The customer maybe angry or disappointed but he/she would appreciate the information.

Also, do you lock your store/office at will for any flimsy excuse? And when customers come, you are never around.

Quality:

A shady job sends the customer away. Never compromise on quality because of price! People would rather pay once for a quality product or great service experience than repeated poor quality one. Even the low-income earners want good value for the little they can afford.

Passion:

Sometimes, business owners are more concerned about the returns than the service delivery. He/She is calculating on how much can be made? Nevertheless, when customers realize you are more passionate about delivering great service than the monetary returns, they would keep coming back and spread the word.  When I moved to a new location, the new saloon I started to visit was all about the money-even to loose a weave-on plait, I paid- and unfortunately, never got a good value for my money.

Diligence:

Even if it seems you are not hitting it, stay at it. Staying true to a cause- business/ trade- is worth it because better is the end of a thing than the beginning.