Celebrating the power of service
This week, service-oriented organisations in Nigeria will once again join their counterparts worldwide to celebrate the critical role that customer service plays in their respective businesses. The Customer Service Week is typically celebrated annually in the first week of October, which falls between the 4th and 8th of October this year.
The official theme for the 2021 Customer Service Week is “The Power of Service,” which recognises the commitment and dedication of service and support professionals worldwide. They make great efforts to provide top-notch customer service in the face of a daunting coronavirus pandemic, which has turned the rule books upside down since last year.
Even as the pandemic raged, some of these workers transitioned from working on-field and offices to working remotely. Ultimately, they had to learn to navigate the hurdles of workspaces shared with children and other family members to keep their respective organisations on the path to success. Their fundamental approach to managing the unusual situation was professionalism, patience, and a people-first attitude.
The Customer Service Week provides organisations with a unique opportunity to celebrate frontline staff for their role in gaining customer loyalty and review processes for better service delivery. It is also a period to thank customers for their loyalty and the Service team’s dedication to excellence.
In recognition of the power of service, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has always celebrated Customer Service Week every year as a customer-centric organisation, and 2021 is no different. The Bank recognises that good customer service is essential to earning its customers’ trust and loyalty. It is why the customer service team will never hesitate to respond to customers’ queries speedily and with a smile.
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Banking in Nigeria today is primarily driven by technology. So, the rules of customer service in banks have changed drastically. Innovative and technology-savvy financial institutions like FCMB have learnt that customer-facing strategies are no longer enough to retain customers and win new ones. The in-thing is to keep creating a customer-centric mobile-first banking experience that wows.
FCMB’s approach to customer service has been upgraded to providing a customer experience that involves a holistic customer journey, including customer service. The customer, I believe, is the ultimate beneficiary. Customer service in the Bank is no longer limited to the interaction with the customer seeking advice on service.
In this milieu, customer experience encompasses the broader journey across the organisation. It includes every interaction between the customer and the business’ communication channels – self-service, support, marketing and design, and feelings about the brand.
Stories of front liners’ exploits in championing the customer-centric focus of the Bank in many branches across the country are growing, and customers continue to express gratitude
Today, service personalisation, a significant pillar of customer experience, has become the mantra among FCMB front liners. It explains why existing customers remain loyal and potential customers are choosing to do business with the Bank. Stories of front liners’ exploits in championing the customer-centric focus of the Bank in many branches across the country are growing, and customers continue to express gratitude daily to the Bank for the assistance they are given in critical times.
Service personalisation requires that every service within the Bank is tailored to meet each customer’s specific needs. So, FCMB’s front liners are encouraged to be creative in meeting their particular needs without being rigid. They demonstrate this every day at work through empathy, quick resolution of issues, and tailored service. This has helped the process of creating customer-centric digital products, and the customers are happier for it.
The customer experience in FCMB is equally based on managing, meeting, and exceeding customer expectations. Meeting demands is not an easy task, but daily, FCMB front liners handle these demands with grace and ease. They continue to manage, meet, and exceed expectations every year and remain the true embodiment of this year’s Customer Service Week theme, the Power of Service. The Bank has gained a significant advantage through empathy by correctly identifying expectations in an industry where product functionality is no longer enough to compete. Frontliners, by understanding and being sensitive to customers’ feelings, pains, and experiences, constantly strive to drive deep rapport.
At FCMB, employees are respectful and always make sure customers are cared for, emphasised by staying positive and patient. Even when the customer is venting, the customer service staff listens carefully to understand the problem and offer a resolution. Adept at turning a poor experience into a great one, they respond quickly and positively to issues in the banking hall or through live chat on social media or other messaging platforms.
FCMB has continued to maintain and attract new customers, creating frictionless processes in a bid to minimise customer effort. This has been achieved by streamlining and automating processes within the Bank using bespoke technologies. FCMB is excited to celebrate the men and women behind the scenes across all functions during this Customer Service Week. Our focus is always on customers, so no effort will be spared in ensuring that our customers enjoy the very best of services.
Edun, the managing director of First City Monument Bank, writes from Lagos