Service Experience


You’ve a right to be served right!

Credits: nairaland

I do wonder why the public transport service in Lagos, Nigeria has degenerated to this point. Lagosians without personal vehicles are not animals but humans with the right to be served well!

While waiting to catch a bus, saw a well- dressed woman running to board a bus. The “conductor” kept on urging her to hurry up while the driver impatiently waited a mile away for her. With one leg in and the other of the ground, the driver drove on. Guessed she was used to this scenario,  she managed to hurl herself into the vehicle and get a seat.

If one would probe further, the female passenger is learned and well cultured in her place of work but turns into another person once she gets to the bus stop because of the reality on the roads.

Just some meters away,  another commercial vehicle, popularly called ‘danfo’ broke down and all the passengers sat in without remorse while the conductor pushed the vehicle to start. This attitude showed that it was payback because of the way they’ve been treated.

Where did we miss it in Lagos?  Where is the heart of service?  Why are the customers treated like animals and the bus drivers and conductors like nonentity? Do we need a paradigm shift in public transport sector in Lagos about giving the right service?  Are the customers ready to make a demand for it.

As a passenger, you should never run to catch a danfo. When you flag the bus down,  ensure it stops before you board. Same when you want to alight, notify the driver when he is approaching your bus stop,  and politely request that he stops the vehicle before you step out.

If every passenger in Lagos would take a stand,  the bus drivers and conductors would make necessary adjustments.

Next time you want to board a Danfo,remember you have a right to be served right because you are paying for the service!



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Retail Business Start-up with little or no capital

Are you thinking of starting a brick and mortar business? Wondering on how to reach your target customers without having the capital to start-up?

This is just a little secret on how to go about it:

  • Do a product survey: Visit the stores around you, find out  items that are not readily available but there’s a demand for it- especially the household items. Just a friendly chat with the Client Service Officers could give better insights.
  • Get a few samples: Request to see the manager of the outlet and introduce these items. Sales-on- return should be your option for the partnering store, it makes them more receptive as this is at little or no cost to them.
  • Source items from Major dealers: Minimize middlemen while sourcing for items. This would maximize profits to be shared with your partnering store.
  • Ensure Product Quality: Never compromise on quality irrespective of the cost price. A quality and slightly pricey item is a thousand times worth more than a poor and cheap one.
  • Returns on Items:  Set a minimum profit margin to help assure the financial health of your business.To calculate profit margin: divide your net income by total sales.

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Farewell BHS! as final stores close their doors – So sad!

50-BHS-Get.jpgDepartment store BHS is expected to disappear from the high street today as its last stores close, ending 88 years of British retail history.

Administrators to the department store chain are set to shut 22 stores, the last of more than 150 branches nationwide.

Duff & Phelps and FRP Advisory have already overseen 141 closures over recent weeks, including BHS’s flagship Oxford Streetstore in London’s West End.

The department store’s collapse in April has affected 11,000 jobs, 22,000 pensions, sparked a lengthy parliamentary inquiry and left its high-profile former owners potentially facing a criminal investigation.

Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green has borne the brunt of the public fallout, having been branded the “unacceptable face of capitalism” by furious MPs.

Sir Philip owned BHS for 15 years before selling it to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1 in 2015.

Culled from


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Thriving in a Cash Crunch Economy



The word on the street is that “times are hard, people need to cut their coats according to the material and not size anymore” – a Nigerian version of the popular adage.

The reality is that as long as people live in a place, buying and selling would continue to enable people meet their needs. This means that in this season, every business that either offer goods or services will thrive in their rights.  One may wonder, “How?” when all seems difficult.

In a passing comment while discussing with a financial consultant, he said, “In the midst of the cash crunch, some companies still declare profits. ”

So, what are the secrets of the thriving business?

  1. Be the Customer’s heartbeat: Every buyer loves a good bargain.  Provide quality and affordable alternatives for pricey goods and services to meet the demand.
  2. Feel the Customer’s pulse: Engage your customers one on one to know their preferences and inclinations. One can’t satisfy everyone but you can easily know what most of your customers want. A business-tailored customer survey could provide all the answers that you need.
  3. See through your Customer’s eyes: When your Customer’s walk into your store, are they willing to spend more because of what they can see. This applies to household items especially. Most buyers buy more than they bargained for when there’s a wider range of goods and better alternatives available to see and buy.
  4. Act on Recurring but not available request: If there are repeated independent walk-in requests for an item/service you don’t sell or offer, it is an indication that there’s a lingering need in that location. Give it a trial. It maybe your business’ lifeline in these times.
  5. Get Involved: This is not a good time to stay on the sidelines. Be informed about your operational details, review processes to minimize waste and improve efficiency.


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The 4Ps that affect your shopping



In an evolving economy like Nigeria’s where consumers’ buying habits are being formed, what factors determine the decision on where to shop?

Could it be the ambiance of the store, its location, one’s relationship with the store owner or a store’s monopoly of goods supplied?

From observation and deep consideration, I found out that there are 4Ps that strongly influence a customer’s decision:

  1. Proximity: When setting up your store,you must ensure you are close to your target market.  For household items, a residential neighborhood is ideal; for school items,  a residential or business district where both working and stay-at-home parents can walk in would be great.
  2. Pricing: Reflecting on the current economic situation, customers would mentally compare the price of an item on your shelf with the price elsewhere. Right price keeps customers coming back.
  3. Placement: How are the items displayed?Are they within the eye  view of the customer? Are they easily accessible when  picking items off the shelf? Are items categorised in store –  with similar products arranged together?
  4. Payment :What are the payment options made available for your customers- ATM in your premises, POS or Mobile Money? Every customer  would most likely  spend more and buy other things not on his/her list, if more funds are accessible while shopping though with  the exception of a few that can strictly adhere to a budget.

So,  next time you are thinking of making your customer’s shopping experience a delight, you just may want to consider the 4Ps.

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What makes a brand?



The world is literally a marketplace- you are either selling or buying something at a price. Some trade in similar items while some create new products to meet seemingly new but existing needs and others try to sell same things in a different way by creating a niche and make bigger profits.

But one may ask, what makes a product unique? Permit me to say – the Brand! Why?

The reality is that a brand says more about the goods and services being offered- it tells a story!

  • Colour: Some colours are warm, friendly, cool or inviting while others are formal, choosy, classy, or modern. Likewise, there are ones that are directional, involving, beautiful and … The colour of your brand has great effects than you can phantom. It goes beyond your favourite/preferred colour but what message you want to pass across to your target public.

For example- Diamond Bank’s theme colour used to be black with some silver. It was really classy but it projected an image                 of formality and distance. Try them now; they have quite a lively combination of colours which is quite inviting.

  • Logo:  A logo is not just a symbolic representation of a company name. It should reflect creativity, style and authenticity. Just as a stamp is to a letter so is a logo to a company.
  • Name: Initially, I thought this could be ignored but Not at all!. Especially for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), indigenous owners form company names from children’s name acronym. Sincerely, that takes in the 70s and 80s not now anymore. The world is a global village and transactions can be between people in different parts of the world, so, your name should be what they can easily relate with.

          Also, your name which is your identity should reflect class and taste.

  • Motto/ Slogan: This is quite dicey but when the right words are used, it perfectly relates your mission and vision statements in a bit to the target public. Let it be short and precise.

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Four steps to achieving quality assurance in your contact center

contact-centerMonitoring and measuring quality assurance, as it relates to the customer service and customer experience that a company delivers, is increasingly significant for companies as the business world evolves, and as the customer is more informed, educated, and sophisticated.  Just to clarify, I am not talking about the quality assurance or quality control as you may see on those little round inspection stickers placed on the inside of a new t-shirt.  I’m talking about the quality assurance that monitors and measures if standardized, company-mandated processes and procedures are being followed when interfacing with a customer.

What points of a conversation may factor into whether a conversation adheres to quality assurance standards?  Here are at least four, and I’m sure any business can think of others that are specific to their needs:

The Welcome or Greeting: How employees answer a customers call (or email, text, tweet, post) sets the precedent for the rest of the experience the customer is about to encounter.  Examples of standard greetings like “Thank you for calling Smith’s Widgets” and “Hi, this is Jane Smith, thank you for calling Smith’s Widget, how can I help you today?” are simple phrases to greet and welcome a customer.

Expressed Customer Need and Agent Response: Most inbound customer calls are inquiries to buy, upgrade, trouble-shoot, or cancel.  Monitoring how agents field these inquiries will provide great insights into the overall quality of the conversations taking place.  Are agents able to answer questions appropriately?  If not, do they know exactly how to handle the call to get the answer?  And, if they do know the answer, are they delivering it appropriately, using cheerful tones that go along with what most perceive as a quality customer experience.  Once you identify if there are quality issues among agents, then you can implement workforce training programs to address these issues and redirect agents towards achieving quality standards and delivering a great customer experience.

Script Compliance: As company and/or government regulations get more robust and complicated, many companies have reverted to implementing a mandatory script for their customer service and contact center agents to use.  Doing so streamlines the customer experience, and thereby creates a built-in quality assurance monitor.  Scripts can be simple, depending on your business, such as simply making sure there is a standard greeting, appointment setting, upsell questions, and closing.  Or, they can get extremely complicated depending on the number of products and services offered, qualifying questions, etc.  Either way, the presence of phrases and keywords within a script are easy to monitor within a call recording, thus giving the data necessary to monitor quality assurance of conversations with customers.

The Goodbye or Closing: Similar to the greeting of a conversation, the closing questions, and final sign-off are imperative to get right.  After all, how you say goodbye is the final piece of the customer experience at that moment in time.  Make sure it’s a good one!

Overall, assuring quality standards are taking place is pretty easy to do.  Just don’t try to monitor conversations manually.  That is time consuming given the hundreds or thousands of conversations that may be taking place every day between your employees and your customers.