The Guardians of Culture

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MegX Solutions & Uber

MegX Solutions provides training for Uber drivers in Lagos Nigeria for Skyborne Ltd

We all know that as Nigerians here in the diaspora, one of the most obvious ills that plagues our beloved country is the inability to deliver any level of quality assured customer services across the board in almost all areas of sales and service delivery. Be it in the private or public sector.

Being a provider of bespoke business solutions, we have dedicated an arm of our business to include a portfolio to provide solutions in this specific area; the delivery of customer services. The portfolio includes a core training and business specific portfolio to provide a 360 degree maintenance package incorporating case specific solutions around customer service delivery.

Our strategy involves being able to analyse areas of weakness, highlighting them and providing a better insight into its origins, we also capitalise on causes and effects to enable us propose solutions to mitigate the issues. Our ultimate aim is to innovatively provide effective solutions around how to imbibe and maintain the culture of a quality assured, standard and high level of service delivery across the board in Nigeria at this present time.

By its nature, service delivery in Nigeria has variously been described as “chaotic” “epileptic” “unsatisfactory” “shoddy”, “deplorable”, “sensitive”, “inflexible”, “non-cost effective” and so on and has been characterized by such negative attitudes and traits as insensitivity towards customers and their complaints, lateness; absenteeism, needless delay and red-tapism; palpable negligence, inexcusable incompetence, unbridled corruption, favoritism, lackluster performance and a general lackadaisical attitude to work (Okon, 2008).

I would personally include a lack of knowledge or an understanding of the values and importance of delivering a certain level or standard of service and how beneficial it could be to individual businesses and organisations across the board. Let us not mention the value we could acquire globally, the investment in our reputation and value that would come with the dignity in the ability for our national and international corporations, including our public service to deliver services in a timely, fair, honest, effective and transparent manner.

As grim and gloomy the picture seems to look, what we need to understand is that this is not an isolated incidence, it is not ‘Nigeria-specific’, no, even the West have started to see a decline in the quality of the delivery of customer services across the board, this is influenced by many factors such as Immigration etc. Organisation’s not being diverse enough to accommodate the needs of a diverse workforce, is what I mean.

Being given the opportunity to develop and deliver customer services for Uber drivers in Lagos presented a massive challenge. It was crucial that a detailed needs-analysis was required to pin-point the reasons behind the need for this type of intervention, for this particular business.

The outcome of the needs-analysis also provided the foundation for us to structure a bespoke training programme specifically designed for our audience, which incorporated audience-specific communication and delivery engagement tools which enabled us impart the knowledge in an effective and efficient manner.

Most corporate institutions in Nigeria, Banks being the most obvious, run mandatory customer service training programs for their in-house staff, mostly in-line with their organisational development or HR policies. There is also the added influence of International stakeholders who engage with these institutions on an operational level which could contractually entail they run these programmes.

In Nigeria, the delivery of some level of standard of customer service can be opaquely seen within the higher level of management, however it seldom filters down to the frontline staff who engage face-to-face with customers and clients on ground. They are often ill-equipped to deal with the disgruntled customer, or the anxious client and most of the time, through no fault of their own.

The consequences for providing an almost non-existent standard of customer services in such institutions go unnoticed. They seem insignificant, as clients who face, sometimes an unprecedented level of sub-standard service, present with heights of frustration and hopelessness that often goes un-acknowledged and unchecked.

As a customer service agent, dealing with such a situation this could be as frustrating for them as for the customer! as due to lack of knowledge, or the skill-set of how to provide resolutions around conflict, they are unable to manage client’s expectations, hence resulting in to a very unsatisfied customer who has now had a very negative experience. In more cases than not this could ultimately turn into a win for the competitors and a loss for the business. I ask again what exactly are the consequences?

So, you have lost a customer! The competitor DID win after all! Now sales are down! Clients are moving even at an even faster rate, to the competitors down the road. Profits margins begin to shorten. Decisions suddenly need to be made and implemented, in most cases, strategic plans are executed to stem the flow of the loss, but in too many cases over time, the battle is lost

.Companies fold-up, liquidate and outcomes are at the best of times inclusive of losses that are debilitating and devastating for the business, clients and stakeholders that are invested in the organisation.
Uber, Lagos Nigeria have a different business plan, one that transfers the consequences of the failure of the operation onto the drivers, the consequence of which could result in the driver losing his licence with Uber permanently. I know that sound a bit ominous as most people will only be familiar with Uber’s business plan here in the West. In Nigeria, well it works a bit different.

I will go into Uber Nigeria in part 2 of this blog, In the meantime, I am curious … is there anyone out there who has had a bad customer service experience in Nigeria, please share, as it would provide us with an idea of the scope and remit of the problem we are dealing with. It should be interesting …. I have had plenty … like the Aero Flight we took from Port-Harcourt to Lagos after my brother’s wedding in 2013 … Epic! Must tell you about that sometime too.

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