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Category Archives: Customer Forum

SMEs need creativity in the way they provide solutions — Kalu

Ikechukwu Innocent Kalu, Chief Executive Officer/Lead Consultant, Customer Passion Point Limited. He is a professional with mix of competence and diverse experience in creating and sustaining value in various market segments spanning the Beverage, Telecommunications and Banking industries in West and East African markets.

He is a visionary entrepreneur, leader who inspires innovation and leadership to deliver sustainable value to stakeholders.

Having worked and learnt best practices over the years in a number of multinational organizations he brings his wealth of experience to bear as he supports SMEs through value creation consulting and training. His passion is to bring the much needed equipping, empowerment, direction and encouragement to SMEs to enable them create value and excel in the extremely challenging Nigerian business environment in a sustainable manner. Excerpts:

Sir, when we talk about value creation, capacity development and entrepreneurship, what comes to your mind?
I think it’s a shift in mind…


Delivering the WOW Customer Experience

Delivering the WOW Customer Experience

I have been expressing my thoughts on delivering excellent customer service, especially in our part of the world. As business people, we are advised to think global but execute locally, customise it into the local experience. In Sub Saharan Africa, it appears that excellent customer service is thought of as a western thing. So, the people do not expect it.  We basically accept whatever we get. Those of us who complain are thought of as being difficult. So, instead of the issues to be addressed, we are shrugged off like irritants.  

In my opinion, what that means is that excelling in customer service would be a very obvious business differentiator. All you have to do is make your service culture a consistent ‘wow’ experience, and your business will thrive despite the challenges. It is actually a business opportunity.

What would the perfect Customer Service person be…


Delighting Your Customers-Part 2

Having defined who a customer is and what Customer Service is, the foundation has been laid for this discussion. How can we recognize a business that takes Customer Service beyond elaborate mission statements and plaques on the wall? That is what this piece will be addressing. I will be asking four questions as we throw more light on the issue.

Is customer service woven into the strategic fabric of the organisation? What does that mean. When customer service is woven into the strategic fabric, then it becomes the pivot on which the organisation is built. Everyone in the organisation from leadership to gate-man are wired around delighting the customer.

However, the Nigerian factor always comes into the picture. So the CEO’s sister, daughter, son or girlfriend works in the organisation. Then a customer complains. What does the CEO do? Nothing, because his relative is involved. What is the unwritten message in…


Does Customer Service Really Matter to You? (Part 1)

The expression, Customer Service is freely and frequently used in the Nigerian business world. Most organizations have mission statements that promise customer service at some level or the other. You have qualifying words like exceptional, excellent, describing the customer service experience. It is clear that most businesses all understand the need for great customer service. I will even go a step further to say, they would really love to be known for great customer service. But the question remains, how far do businesses go to ensure that customer service is the way it should be?

The phrase Customer Service is not a mantra. It is not child’s play to be a business that is wired around excellent customer service. There is a whole lot of work that goes into ensuring a business is actually Customer Service oriented. Most businesses on this side of the planet are yet to understand it…


Reminiscing on Customer Service Week


Customer Service week has come and gone. I received so many emails and text messages from all the big businesses I patronise for one thing to the other. They were trying to appreciate me for patronizing them. All well and good.

However, I really wish I could feel that these businesses truly appreciate me as their customer in my every day engagement with them. I remember my experiences in recent times with these same organizations and I am so unimpressed by their mails and messages. I will recount a few of these experiences and maybe you’ll understand my feelings.

I went to cut a draft at one of the banks and stood on a queue all by myself for 45 minutes. No apologies, no explanations, nothing. Another bank, my mobile banking services have been disrupted because I changed my phone and I have not yet resolved it….