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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.

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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]

  • 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.

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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.

Patricia

[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.

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!

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.

 

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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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Business

LIRS further extends deadline for filing annual tax returns by one month

“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.” – Ayodele Subair

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LIRS further extends deadline for filing annual return by one month

The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has again extended the deadline for filing of Annual Tax Returns from May 31 2020 to June 30, 2020.

This is part of the state government’s effort to provide relief to taxpayers in light of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With this development, annual returns for individuals, both employees and self-employed persons, can be filed anytime before June 30, 2020.

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In a press release signed by Monsurat Amasa, the head of LIRS’ Corporate Communications Department, the agency urged taxpayers to take advantage of the magnanimity of the government and file their returns. The LIRS’ Executive Chairman, Mr. Ayodele Subair, explained the extension thus:

“As the Lagos State Government keeps abreast of global best practices in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and eases the effects of an economic downturn on taxpayers and residents of the State, LIRS had initially extended the deadline for filing annual tax returns for two months, from the statutory March 31st of every fiscal year to May 31, 2020.  

“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.”

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(READ MORE: COVID-19: Lagos issues new guidelines, considers full reopening of economy)

He further explained that taxpayers can file the annual returns from the comfort of their homes and offices using the LIRS eTax platforms. They can also generate assessment and payment schedule, and other tax administration matters on the same platform. Updates on business operations and alternative payment platforms are to be found on the verified handles, and the LIRS website.

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Business

Where to invest in May

Post-COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerians need to send their money on the right errands in May 2019, if they will not be caught napping the expected recession.  

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Money

This May, post-COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerians need to send their money on the right errands, if they don’t want to be caught napping during the anticipated recession.

When listing out assets that should make up the ideal portfolio in May 2020, founder of Nairametrics, Ugochukwu “Ugodre” Obi-Chukwu, explained that investors should consider choice stocks in the Nigerian and foreign stock exchanges, as well as investments in money market instruments where some decent profits can be made.

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Ugodre said this during the maiden edition of the Nairametrics Monthly Investment Guide Webinar.

According to him, this will also be the time to look into Agri-Tech investments, using crowdsourcing platforms, after which you can sit back and watch your funds grow over a time span of 5 months to a year.

According to him, it is also important to invest in foreign currencies and crypto-currencies to balance one’s portfolios.

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He noted that foreign direct investments have reduced over the last couple of years due to reduced trust in Nigeria’s economic policies, and the desire of foreign investors to cash out their funds with ease. This also explains why portfolio investments grew by 38% in 2019.

He said, “Foreign investors love portfolio investments because when they put their money in, they can easily take it out as well.”

(READ MORE:   CrowdFunding: Who is qualified according to new SEC Guidelines)

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Finding the right stocks

On the stock market, he noted that quite some stocks improved in the month of April and could improve in the coming months. He listed 20 suggested shares, including six stocks which he described as COVID-19 proof.

Agritech,Errands you can send your money in May 2020  

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Dangote Sugar Refinery, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, GSK, Neimeth International Pharm, Nestle Nigeria, and Cadbury Nigeria Plc are fast-moving consumer goods companies that are expected to be resistant to pressure from the pandemic.

Patricia

He advised investors to track stocks that are liquid, have good financials and good corporate governance, in order to limit risks borne by investors. Valuation of the shares, he said, could be done by comparing stock value and earnings per share.

Working around cryptocurrency volatility 

While making a presentation on “Why Bitcoin should be in your portfolio,” Yele Badamosi, CEO of Bundle stated that foremost cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, had maintained a steady appreciation over the last decade giving investors high yields.

Although the market is highly speculative and unregulated, its high returns and high risk indicate that investors with high-risk appetites could find the market more attractive.

To avoid being on the wrong side, he advised users to consider time-based rebalancing, or tolerance rebalancing to reduce risks and rebalance one’s portfolio.

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

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“There are reputable people in the space, but it is important to do your research, start small, and buy regularly. Be wary of get-rich-schemes and unrealistic guaranteed returns,” he advised.  cryptocurrency,Cryptocurrencies and its usage in Africa, Errands you can send your money in May 2020  

 

With applications like Bundle Africa on Google Play Store, buying cryptocurrencies is as easy as selecting the buy button and having it saved in your bundle wallet.

What to expect in Q2 2020

According to Wale, an economist, who also spoke at the webinar, the demand for crude oil will remain low as several countries and businesses are still in lockdown, even though OPEC has cut down production.

Interest rates may remain low, though, despite this, Nigerian business entrepreneurs cannot expect single-digit interest rates.

Foreign reserve and government reserves will remain under pressure in the coming months. The World Bank says that this is the worst year so far, going back to the great depression and this is what I think as well. This is probably going to be the worst economic crisis we have seen,” Wale said.

He added that with the exception of industries in the Healthcare sector, telco companies, digital technology companies, and food producers, other sectors could very well expect a big hit.

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Business

Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)

Unlike other apps that are laced with either unbidden and hidden charges, V is free, as there are no charges for customers whether they are transferring money to another customer of V or another bank.

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VFD MFB closes gap with bank customers, launches new app, Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)

The recent lifting of the lockdown has seen Nigerians rush to the banks to execute banking transactions that they have missed in the last five weeks.

Saying that this action or mis-action contravenes the physical distancing preached by the health agencies and government, is only stating the obvious. By doing this, they endanger themselves, and other family members whom they return to after their day at the bank.
But what if it was possible to do all your banking from your phone?

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V to the rescue
V disrupted the banking industry when earlier this year, it launched a highly optimized virtual bank app that enables users to carry out all banking transactions with ease and from their phones.
Users are able to create and set up a bank account with the app within 5 minutes and start carrying out transactions immediately.
Of course it doesn’t matter if you already have an account with the traditional banks. There’s always room for pleasant disruptions, aren’t there?

What they offer
VBank was launched as Nigeria’s first fully virtual bank to close the gap which hitherto existed between established traditional banks and their customers. That means there are no barriers between the bank and its teeming customers and potential customers.
Unlike other apps that are laced with either unbidden and hidden charges, V is free, as there are no charges for customers whether they are transferring money to another customer of V or another bank.

(READ MORE: VFD Group meets nutritional needs of residents of Olowogbowo community)

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According to Azubike Emodi, MD/CEO, VFD Microfinance Bank, experts behind V are taking a consumer-centric approach with an aggressive feedback collection mechanism to build an app that meets the objectives of the customer.
The app, which is available for download on App store and google playstore allows users to monitor expenses and income, categorize budgets, and set spending limits. V is available to download by searching for “V by VFD” on App Store and Google Play store.

Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)
What else could one ask for in a bank?
Another landmark feature of V is referral functionality (Veelage), which is also connected to monthly financial reward. It allows interested users of V to earn income and advance though the V community simply by getting account holders signed up with a unique ID and maintaining an average balance.

About this unique feature, Olukunle Salami, Business Performance Manager, VFD Group Plc would say that It is a 2-way value proposition that ensures individuals can earn consistently for several months beyond the initial referral point.

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Whoever guessed that we could earn from our bank?

 

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Patricia
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