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Here’s the formula for successful customer service for your business

These days, customers are smarter, leaner, price-conscious and hit on more by competitors.

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Must-have customer service skills that every business needs, How your business can provide superior customer support during the holiday season (Part 1), How your business can provide superior customer support during the holiday season (Part 1), Here’s the formula for successful customer service for your business

’If you will just be real, be friendly and be WOW, you are halfway up the ladder to customer loyalty and personal success beyond your wildest dreams,’’ Jeffrey Gitomer

Quick facts

  • Customers are the source of your paycheck.
  • Your friendliness and willingness to help is in direct proportion to your success.
  • One of the most powerful aspects of service: being different – it’s all in the first few words.
  • Word-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful form of advertising in the world.
  • ‘’Loyal’’ is the most difficult of customer service goals to achieve.

How your business can provide superior customer support during the holiday season (Part 1)

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These days, customers are smarter, leaner, price-conscious and hit on more by competitors. And because of poor service expectations, these customers are also: more demanding, less forgiving, harder to satisfy, less loyal. And so the challenge for the 21st century is not just serving customers – it is:

  • Understanding customers and putting yourself in the customer’s shoes
  • Helping an angry customer immediately
  • Being responsible for your actions when a customer calls
  • Being memorable
  • Striving to keep customers for life
  • Getting unsolicited referrals from customers regularly.

[READ MORE: Simple ways to prioritize customer service for your small business)

Just because they are satisfied does not mean they are loyal. Satisfied customers will buy from anyone. Satisfaction is no longer the acceptable standard of customer service. The standard and measure of success for the next millennium is loyal customers. Are you measuring up? Would you rate your customer service as something worth talking about? If not, your competition is breathing a sigh of relief.

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The Self-evaluation

Customers don’t make up stories about you or your actions – you create them. What stories have you created? How do you think of your customers? Do you realize that they feed you? Do you understand that your degree of service helps determine your wage and your success? How willing are you to help? When a customer calls with a problem, do you try to get rid of it, or are you the person who solves it?

Do you call customers back after the problem to ask if they were served okay and that all is well? How friendly are your company’s first words? How is your company being represented? How well are your staff trained to respond to the need, and ask for the sale? Do you know how much one customer means to your company? Have you ever lost a customer? Did you calculate the cost of the loss?

What are you doing to ensure the competitive advantage of repeat business?

What are you doing to build quality relationships with every customer? Quality relationships are where re-orders come from. If the customer is mistreated or decides to test the competition, that advantage may be permanently lost. These are common-knowledge statistics quoted about dissatisfied customers:

  • 91% will never return
  • 96% won’t tell you the real reason they left
  • It costs 10 times more to replace a customer than it does to keep them.

READ MORE: Customer Service: 9 ways to go from zero to hero in no time

A customer ready to repeat his purchase is a powerful business advantage

A re-order sale is 100 times easier to get than a sale from an ad, or a sale from a cold call. What strategy do you have in place to stay in front of your customers in times of ‘’non-sale’’ as much as you do in times of ‘’sale’’.

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Try this – Include relationship-building strategies in every re-order. After you take that order, ask each of the next set of customers ‘’why’’’ they bought from you and what you could do next time that would make ordering easier. Customers always have the best ideas to improve your business.

Patricia

Measure your ‘’friendly’’ factor

Friendly is at the epicentre of your business. The value of ‘friendly’ is beyond measure – it costs nothing, yet it’s worth a fortune. Survey your staff, survey your customers and vendors – get frequent (anonymous) feedback. Ask questions that get to the truth about happiness. Get the pulse from the heart.

Take customer problems seriously – not their language or tone personally. Help them, solve their problems, get real with them, make them say ‘WOW’.

The Self-Test formula for successful customer service

  • Be friendly first. Customer service starts with a friendly person who offers friendly words. How friendly is your business?
  • Attitude precedes service. What are your thoughts? Positive all the time? How are you guiding them?
  • Serve in terms of the customer. Customers only care about their situation not what your situation is. Are you serving them in terms of them or you?
  • Recognize customers for what they are – your paycheck. How do you treat your paycheck?
  • Listen all the way out. Make sure the customer has told you everything. Don’t interrupt. Ask questions to understand their problem better and to find out what it will take to help them – the way they want to be helped.

[READ ALSO: Why customers switch banks)

Some important tips for companies in view of customer Service Week 2019, Polarization: How to attract the right customers, while keeping the ‘’wrong’’ ones out, 9 hacks to attracting and retaining wealthy customers

Word of mouth advertising is 50 times more powerful than advertising

One person telling another what to do – what to buy, where to shop, what and where to eat, what not to buy, eat, use. You just have to create that memorable customer service. What’s the word in the street about your business? How many people call you out-of-the-blue to place orders? How many people tell you positive stories they ‘’heard’’ about you?

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What are the advantages of great service?

  • It builds goodwill: Consistent service creates and builds reputation.
  • It creates memorable experiences that will be retold over time and makes customers salespeople for your business.

Closing words

Service is a feeling. You know what it is when you get it – so give back the same thing or more. The simple secret is – don’t give any feeling to others you wouldn’t want to feel. You know when you’re doing a good job, you can feel it. You also know when you’re doing your best. It is an inside feeling of YES!

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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)

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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