In all fairness, virtually every company in Nigeria is guilty of poor customer service representation. It is difficult to point to a single industry and say confidently that customers always receive the best form of assistance when need be.
Almost every day, people go on social media to make serious complaints about a company’s product, usually after a poor customer relationship experience. That has made me understand that customer service is the most crucial part of your business if you want to stay on track. Even with a great product or brand, you cannot afford anything short of excellence for your customer service.
For this article, we will focus on a few reasons why the service culture in most Nigerian companies must change.
Customer Retention Is Less Expensive Than Customer Acquisition
Experts say it costs approximately five times more to attract a new customer to your business than it requires to retain an existing customer. This logic, on its own, should highlight the importance of providing excellent customer service. Why risk losing a customer? It is costly enough to locate new customers, therefore, every business owner should do whatever it takes to ensure they stay happy loyal to them
Customer Service Represents Your Brand Image, Mission, And Values
As a business owner, you already have an idea of what your brand represents. Your customers can only make assumptions based on your advertisement, content, social media presence. However, your customer service is your connection to your customers. It has the responsibility to represent your brand to them since they have direct communication with your customers. They are in the best position to influence the customers and convince them of your competitors’ strengths. Therefore, if you want your customer service representatives to do their best work, they should feel respected and appreciated as this will, in turn, make them do an excellent job in serving your customers the right way.
Excellent Customer Service Reduces The Overall Problems Associated With Sales And Business
If you treat your customers like gold, you will undoubtedly reduce your business’s overall problems. If you treat them poorly, you will run into a problem at one point or another. These problems often lead to an untimely demise of your business.
Excellent Customer Service Improves Your Public Persona And Strengthens Your Brand
Customer service is essential to the growth of your business. Therefore, ensuring a high quality of customer service results in positive reviews and solidifies you in the mind of customers.
It Elongates The Life Of Any Business
Small businesses make up a significant percentage of the businesses in Nigeria and provide jobs for 50% of the populace. However, According to research, many small businesses fail before their 5th anniversary in Nigeria. Customer satisfaction is one of the most important factors critical to the success of a business. When you ignore the needs of your customers, and you don’t focus on going out of your way for them, you are cutting short the potential for longevity in business. If you are serious about your business, you have to focus on the core – your customers. Without them, your business will not last.
Networking Is Dead
“Networking as we know it, is dead,” says Scott Gerber, the CEO of The Community Company and author of “Super Connector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships That Matter.” I quite agree with him, or should I say maybe we are not doing it the right way.
People have over 500 connections on LinkedIn, and most do not even know a single one of them, well maybe one or two family members and a few friends. For example, I have 224 connections, excluding my family and friends on LinkedIn, and I am yet to speak with any them. These days we dwell so much on the number of connections we have, the number of business cards we were able to collect and give out, and the small talks we might have had in the process, that we abandon the sole purpose of connecting with people.
“Rather than growing a huge network focused on sheer numbers, building a strong network is about establishing a relatively small number of deep, high-quality, business relationships based on common values. The ‘why’ of connecting is focused on people first, opportunities second. Allow yourself to help others. Don’t feel like you are too generous or giving away too much with nothing in exchange. Keeping score won’t do you any good.” – an excerpt from the book ‘Networking is dead – making connections that matter’ by Larry Mohl.
To create strong relationships that can boost your personal and professional goals, you would need to focus on relationship building instead of being a networker. Networkers are short-term thinkers, very transactional oriented. These days, people use relationships for their personal gains and strategies. Meanwhile, a relationship builder realizes beforehand that social capital is the most important currency she will ever have. She is empathetic, emotionally connected, intelligent, curious, and a people lover. Unlike the networkers, she thinks more long-term in terms of value creation and naturally generous towards others. Building deep relationships can take a while; however, you will reap the benefits from them later on.
To be a relationship builder instead of a networker, you should think like one, according to Gerber, there are three kinds;
– The Thinkers; They are curious and have lots of ideas running through their heads. However, they are not always good at executing them. If you are one, you should make an effort to share those ideas with people. Look for people who can help or inspire you to put those ideas into action.
– The Enablers; They assemble people and share their ideas with them. An enabler is that friend that would always email you to introduce you to someone she thinks might be able to help you out
– The Executors; These are the accomplishers; they make people’s ideas happen. If you are one, find ways to expose yourself to as many new ideas as possible. Maybe, you can start reading new publications or following new hashtags related to your industry.
Before we conclude, here are some tips for you to enjoy the benefits of relationship-building;
- Change your approach,
- Develop your expertise,
- Build your relationships around a shared interest,
- Share what you know with people,
- Focus on a higher goal,
- Make sure you follow-up on all your contacts.
Like people say, “you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or be the boss of a company to be a successful person.” To get great things done, open yourself up to new ideas and people; build strong relationships.
What A Marketing Communications Strategy Is And How To Do It Right
What is marketing communications strategy?
Marketing communications strategy is the strategy used by a company or individual to reach their target market through various types of communication. It includes your message (what is to be said), the medium (where it is to be said), and the target (to whom your message is reaching).
You might be wondering: what’s a marketing communications strategy that always works, even without a budget?
Easy: build relationships with journalists to get press coverage, guest posts, and backlinks.
Marketing communications or Public Relations is the ‘Promotion’ bit of the “4P’s of marketing” you might have learned during your university days (product, place, price, promotion).
Since “marketing communications strategy” is a mouthful, most people just shorten it to “Public Relations” which essentially uses online channels and software to identify relevant journalists, pitch them suitable stories and earn free media coverage.
Usually, PR strategy means building top of mind awareness amongst your ideal customers about the product or offer.
How you go about this will depend a lot on your experience, industry, and budget. If your marketing plan has a budget of a million dollars to spare, you can reach out to your target market with a promotional mix that includes TV or Facebook ads.
However, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you want to promote your business without breaking the bank.
And there is no better way to do that than by managing your own PR campaign internally without retaining the services of a media relations company or a full-service marketing company.
Wait, do you mean “free as in ‘free lunch”?
Exactly! If you apply the methods in this post to your own marketing communications strategy, you’ll learn how to build lasting relationships with journalists and influencers, get free press, and acquire more customers through a sustainable organic approach.
Anyone from your team can easily play the role of a marketing communications manager. You don’t even need to hire a dedicated marketing communications specialist!
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