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Must-have customer service skills that every business needs

Customer service is more than serving people – it is about improving their experiences with high-quality assistance that emphasizes good communication

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Must-have customer service skills that every business needs

Key statistics

  • 66% of customers switch companies due to bad customer service – Accenture.
  • 82% felt their customer service provider could have done something to prevent them from switching – Accenture.
  • A customer is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service-related vs. price or product related – Bain & Co.
  • 58% will never use the company again after a negative experience – NewVoice
  • It is 6–7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer
  • 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them – 2015 Aspect Consumer Experience Survey

Customer service is more than serving people – it is about improving their experiences with high-quality assistance that emphasizes good communication, technological prowess, empathy, and writing skills. Great customer service skills aren’t just for people who work in the customer service department. Instead, customer service is a mindset that’s baked into a company’s DNA and culture. Businesses need great customer service teams to keep their customers; after all, almost 90% of customers started doing business with a competitor after a customer service experience. So what skills should you look for, or look to develop, in your customer service teams?

Patience

Patience is absolutely key. Customer service agents need to appear totally unflappable, showing patience when things aren’t going right on their end. An agent who has patience in customer service is more likely to have a calm customer than one who is demonstrating their frustration. The customer’s always right, right? The ability to swallow one’s pride and accept blame or negative feedback is crucial.

Must-have customer service skills that every business needs

 

Clear communication

Customer service experts absolutely must have the ability to communicate clearly and well. They are often the staff that customers speak to the most, and they are likely to leave a lasting impression. More than a quarter of satisfied customers recommend a business to their friends. To be satisfied at the end of a call, customers need to understand what is happening at each step of the way.

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While communicating clearly, you need to pay attention to the following:

  • Speedy response

Ensure that all tickets are either resolved or escalated within a certain period of time. The time you first reply is all-important, so clearly define expectations with your staff members, and with your customers.

[READ MORE: Essential soft skills that will help you succeed in your business]

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  • Be Concise and to the point

Remember that the reader of your email or text messages is reading many, many emails, so do them a favour and make your message concise and to-the-point. People, especially today, just don’t have the patience to read a lot of unnecessary verbiages. You’re not trying to impress with your great writing skills; you’re actually trying to help your customers.

  • Personalize your messages

All emails should have their own personality: Don’t be robotic with your messages – They need to know that their messages came from an actual person, so use your own voice and approach. You’ll be reflecting your company’s philosophy and persona in your own way, but when closing the message use a signature based on the resolution and tone of the interaction.

Product knowledge

It seems obvious that customer service agents need to have product knowledge, and many companies give agents scripts to share with customers about problems. But scripts only go so far; customer service agents need to be able to improvise based on their own knowledge of the product.

[READ ALSO: How to choose the right co-founder for your startup]

Positive language

If you want to make your customer feel comfortable and relaxed during their conversation with you, you must adopt a positive and friendly tone of voice. By being natural, enthusiastic, helpful, and attentive you’re providing good customer service. When you answer the phone with your greeting, smile as you offer your greeting: it’s true that a smile can be ‘heard’ through a telephone. By smiling as you connect with your customer you’ll begin a positive interaction and allow for a friendly and productive exchange. Research has shown that positive language is vastly more effective in creating a positive mindset.

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Use their name

The moment you hear a customer’s name, use it. It’s important that you use their name while having a conversation, so try to include it naturally throughout your conversation: don’t be too obvious and abuse the use of their name. Also, and this is important, ask for the correct pronunciation of their name: customers appreciate this; plus it’s just good manners. You may also want to ask for the right spelling, if appropriate. It’s always much nicer speaking to someone who calls you by your name: again – great customer service!

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Leave your customer happy

When you finish a conversation on a positive note it will leave a lasting and positive impression and a happy customer. To achieve a nice ending to a telephone call, before you hang up to ensure that your caller completely understands the information you provided. Ask your customer ‘Is there anything further I can do for you’? Answer all their questions to the best of your ability to ensure your customer’s total comprehension and satisfaction. Do they require any information in the future? If they need to call back, provide appropriate times when they should call, and who they should ask to speak to.

 

Must-have customer service skills that every business needs

Give your customers a way to provide feedback

No matter how proactive you are, you’ll never be able to get in front of every customer issue. To make sure you learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly experience your customers have, create an easily accessible way for customers to give feedback.

Whether it’s a phone survey at the end of a service call, an email survey sent directly from your CRM tool, or a form on the “Contact Us” page of your website, creating a means for customers to give feedback makes it easier for you to learn what needs improvement.

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Financial Services

CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund

The Nigerian Youth Investment Fund will be funded through the NIRSAL MFB window of the CBN.

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CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund, Economic Growth, CBN, Governor, Emefiele, CBN releases new capital base, sanctions for Microfinance Banks, Nigerian Banks broadly positive after naira devaluation, Naira hits N465 to $1, Central Bank begins disbursing $100million to hit at currency speculators

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed the implementation framework for the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund.

This was disclosed in a publication by the Development Finance Department under the auspices of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The CBN stated that the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (N-YIF) would be funded through NIRSAL MFB window, with an initial take-off seed capital of N12.5 billion.

READ: #EndSARS: FG creates new N25 billion Youth Fund, to increase to N75 billion in 3 years

The N-YIF aims to financially empower Nigerian youths to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023.

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Objectives of the scheme:

  •  Improve access to finance for youths and youth-owned enterprises for national development.
  •  Generate much-needed employment opportunities to curb youth restiveness.
  •  Boost the managerial capacity of the youths, and develop their potentials to become the future large corporate organizations.

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

What you should know
Recall that on the 22nd of July, 2020, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the sum of N75 billion for the establishment of the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund for the period of 2020 – 2023.
The fund was created to support the innovative ideas, skills and talents of Nigerian youths, and to institutionally provide Nigerian youths with a special window for accessing much-needed funds, finances, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.
  • The fund targets young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
  • Beneficiaries of NMFB, TCF and AgSMEIS loans, and other government loan schemes that remain unpaid are also not eligible to participate.
  • Individuals (unregistered businesses) shall be determined based on activity/nature of projects subject to the maximum of N250,000.
  • Registered businesses (Business name, Limited Liability, Cooperative, Commodity Association) shall be determined by activity/nature of projects subject to the maximum of N3.0 million (including working capital).
  • The tenor of the intervention is for a Maximum of 5 years, depending on the nature of the business and the assets acquired, of which interest rate of not more than 5% under the intervention shall be charged annually.
  • The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) will collaborate with relevant stakeholders to identify potential training for training/mentoring.
  • The youths that are duly screened (and undergo the mandatory training where applicable) shall be advised to login to the portal provided by the NMFB to apply for the facility.

READ: CBN raises alarm over fraudulent loan offers, investment schemes with charged fees

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As a huge percentage of youths are engaged in the informal sector, the NYIF will facilitate the transition of informal enterprises owned by youths into the formal mainstream economy, where they can be supported comprehensively, build a bankable track record, and be accurately captured as active participants in economic development.

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MSME

Paystack partners Google to empower SMEs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa

Paystack partners with Google to empower over 500,000 SMEs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.

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Paystack partners with Google to Empower SMEs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa

Tech startup, Paystack has disclosed that it partnered with Google to aid over 500,000 Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

This was revealed via its Twitter handle.

READ: Airtel is partnering Standard Chartered Bank as it expands its fintech business

Shola Akinlade, Founder of the company, stated that the partnership would enable the reliability of their work, “which would guarantee that all businesses paid via Paystack are thoroughly checked for legitimacy and credibility.

“In a low-trust environment like Nigeria, where many people are paying online for the first time, it’s important to deliver a safe, fraud-free experience, and this is a responsibility that Paystack takes extremely seriously.”

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READ: Nairametrics announces Strategic Data Partnership with Statista

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

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(READ MORE:Paypal to offer Cryptos by early 2021)

Why it matters: Paystack’s partnership with Google is to help SMEs to grow and digitise their businesses with new tools, financial support, and training. This would also help business communities in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa to rapidly grow.

What you should know: Google is an American multinational technology company that specializes in internet-related services and products.

READBTC bounty: 69,000 Bitcoins worth $700 million waiting for you

Nairametrics reported that the company had a partnership with Truecaller in 2018 to aid in the facilitation of online payments across Africa. The deal states that Paystack will use Truecaller’s database of verified phone numbers to authenticate payments for transactions executed on its platform.

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Business

Buhari approves free business name registration for 250,000 SMEs

President Buhari has approved free business name registration with the CAC for 250,000 businesses across the nation.

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Buhari approves free business name registration for 250,000 SMEs, IMF, tax, rate, Buhari’s Budget of Sustaining Growth & Job Creation (Full text), Nigeria generates N1.36 trillion from corporate tax, others as oil revenue drops , Nigeria-Algeria highway gets Buhari's approval , Earnings from rich petroleum resources not enough to cater for Nigeria – Buhari , Tax: Buhari appoints Muhammad Nami as FIRS boss, Subsidy economics

President Muhamadu Buhari has approved free business name registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for 250,000 businesses across the nation.

This was announced on Tuesday evening by the Media aide to the President, Bashir Ahmad.

READ: Nigerian firms risk delisting over failure to file annual returns – CAC

READ: CAC may reduce Business registration fee

READ: #EndSARS: Lagos State Judicial Panel has my full support – Buhari

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READ: SMEDAN to move 40 million informal businesses to formal sector, registers MSMEs

READ: AfCFTA delay: A bane to Africa’s $3.4 trillion economic bloc

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READ: Healthplus: NASSI asks FG to intervene

“President Buhari has approved free business names’ registration for 250k MSMEs nationwide; according to the CAC, 6,606 names in each of the 34 states, Abuja will have 7,906, Lagos 9,084 & Kano 8,406,” he tweeted.

“The free registration commences today, visit cac.gov.ng for details” he added.

READ: #EndSARS: Access Bank announces N50 billion interest-free facility for businesses

READ: FIRS gives tax defaulters a 30-day ultimatum

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What you should know

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This comes after Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the CAC had announced it would begin registering companies within 48 hours, approve names the same day, and ensure 5-day completion for other post-incorporation services not available electronically.

READ: Where to invest your N5m to N500m safely and securely

READ: CAC delists over 40,000 dormant companies

Bottomline

Since the end of the #EndSARS protests, the Federal Government has been working on packages that are perceived as necessary for addressing the issues of large youth unemployment, which is viewed as a catalyst for the massive turnout during the protests.

READ: CAC to reduce business registration period to 6 hours

READ: Nigerians indifferent to lower CAC registration fee

The National Economic Council (NEC) has set up a committee to meet the needs and demands of Nigerian youths behind the #EndSARS protests. The head of the Committee is Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with one of the frameworks being “A social security framework for the youths and Nigerians to deal with the problem of unemployment and poverty in the country.”

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The free business registration coming this period will help businesses that can’t afford the registration fee to get their business registered and timely.

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