SMEs can now access the forex window for importation of items and this sort of levels the playing field of business importation in Nigeria. In this post, we share a conversation with a financial expert on what it really means and how it can be accessed. Nevertheless, this does not mean things like toothpick, hair-nets and certain things that can be produced here should be imported but rather things needed to make and produce here! Let us use this window to build the nation more and not to destroy!
When should I make my first hire(s) and who to hire is a very good question and can prevent you from making a lot of mistakes when hiring if answered properly. So many businesses in Nigeria find themselves overstaffed and I believe the root cause of over-staffing your business is the same as hiring your first employee at the wrong time or the wrong reasons. Finding out when the right time is to make your first hire can be very crucial for you and this post can help you find that out.
I find it fascinating that things such as hurricanes, storms, disasters of all sorts can be given names, even our customers from hell have a name —how much more our perfect customers. Perfect not in the sense that they are perfect in all their ways, as no such thing on earth is, but they are perfect for your business. I searched for a name for my perfect customer. A name that speaks about love and sacrifice for love, a name, when called reminds me of my intimate relationship with my customer, a name that means "MY OWN". Nkem —Nkemdirim, is that name. The name means " MY OWN WILL STAY WITH ME" or "MY OWN WILL REMAIN WITH ME" in the the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. Names add values to "things". Naming your customer Nkem will add value to your customer. It'll add value to your business / customer relationship! Try it and see!
In the first post of this series, Your Customer is Your Business, we had a good discussion on customer satisfaction and gave three qualities you need as a business owner to handle those ‘customers from hell, when, not if, you come in contact with them. We concluded that post by listing the disastrous 9 and in this post we’ll discuss the disastrous 9 and what to do to get rid of them in your businesses. We will divide the disastrous 9 into two groups: The first group will be called the intimate service group while the second group will be called the touchpoint service group. I call this first group the intimate service group because of the lack of intimacy between business and customer found in this group of disastrous 9 and the second, touchpoint service group because they all represent service touchpoints between the customer and the business. Customer satisfaction will not happen overnight I can assure you that, but taking the first step brings it a lot closer than you could ever imagine. Customer satisfaction can be achieved and we can help you achieve it!
Customer satisfaction is a term so widely used, yet, a reality so elusive to most. Some try to make it a reality in their businesses; some have already mastered the art of it; while it seems like the rest of the pile don’t give a care in the world about it. Every business needs to be meek towards their customers. What happens when you come in contact with “customers from the pit of hell” as I call them? Good question! You’ll most certainly come in contact with customers like these and we've shared certain qualities you need to handle them.
Companies who train and develop their employees pride themselves on that fact; that they are a learning organization. This is usually at the top of their recruitment adverts – to showcase the fact that they are a learning organization. This is good! This is very good! Having said that, we believe if companies can tailor their training and development workplace policies to their various organizational environment and challenges, they shouldn’t have to worry about giving poor and ineffective training. Don’t feed your staff with the wrong diet for growth. In this post are five simple and practical steps to getting employee training and development right.
I remember in my very first computer class in primary school, we were taught that one major attribute of a computer system is GIGO (i.e garbage-in-garbage-out). Basically, for those of us who have forgotten what GIGO means, it means a computer system, in simple terms, is just a box that gives you in return whatever you put in it. Hence, the term GIGO - if you put garbage in your system, your system gives you garbage. This same method applies to ICT in business. The effectiveness of your business processes will determine the added advantage ICT brings to your business. ICT is a supporting system to your business, not the main system. Except of course, ICT is your main business.
Customer retention answers questions like ‘how do we get these visitors to become customers’ and ‘how do we get these customers to become Customers (no, it isn’t a typo – there are customers and there are Customers; these Customers are not yet in the loyal side of the spectrum but can be on their way there if you play your cards right)’. Until you recognize these ‘visitors’ as ‘customers’, you will still treat them as visitors, and both your business and the visitor never reaches the business – customer relationship level. From the moment they step their feet into your business premises or they make a first purchase from your business, recognize them as customers and begin retention tactics.
In our previous post series on Customer Profiling, we mentioned that Customer loyalty and Customer retention as benefits a company can get from profiling their customers. In this second series of posts, we’ll learn a bit more about what Customer loyalty and Customer retention is; and also some practical ways to achieve them. Loyalty speaks more of a long-term – making your customer a lifetime customer – relationship between your business and her customer. Customer loyalty is having a legacy of customers.
As a Business owner (Start-up, SME or Large Enterprise), What’s my business with Customer Profiling? As a business owner, customer profiling should be number one on your ICT strategy. We need to understand that our customers are real human beings and not money dispensing machines; and as human beings, we each have our different and unique “love language”. Do you know your customers' "love language"?