Cultural Changes that we see within CX in the African continent
Kay - Welcome to the experience dialogue. In these interactions. We pick a Hot Topic. That doesn't have a straightforward answer. We bring them. Bring in speakers who have been there, done that, but approached it in different ways. This is a space for very healthy disagreements and discussions. But in a very respectful way, we have been justified by the nature of how. We conceive that we will, you will see the passionate voice of opinions, friends, having a dialogue and thereby interrupting each other or finishing each other's sentences. We wanted to make sure at the end of the dialogue, our audience leaves with valuable insight and approaches that you can take. Try and take in your workplace. We have been having deep and long conversations for the first time. We're going to be having a short and sweet discussion. And the topic today is primarily around cultural changes in the African continent. And with that there. Is so much that Covid has brought out in various ways. Except for the globe. There are individual differences that have been there in various continents and we want to focus specifically on the African continent and see how we'll see as different in Africa and then dive into it. And we cannot find any better speaker today than Ifeanyi Welcome. Welcome to the show.
Ifeanyi - Thank you, Kay, for that introduction.
Kay - The main reason why it was very interesting to have you in the show. If only is, you have to the success just for you, but you're also bringing other people along with you and bringing you into it. So that was excellent for us to be able to Showcase that in.our webinar, sopost quickly, we can start off saying, I would love to be would love to hear what are the actual cultural changes that you see within the African continent that people outside of it need to be mindful of.
Ifeanyi - Thank you for that question. So when in terms of cultural change, right? As you love us might be, you know up, you know from my interactions with folks in Europe and Asia, you know, I've had you know interactions around what you know CX means, you know to Advocate General African consumer and you know, a lot of folks believe that when it comes to customer experience people generally here. In Africa, I would expect, you know, Quality Service. They would expect time to their queries. But, you know, a lot has changed in the last 1 - 2 years, especially with the Advent of covid, right? consumer customer expectation, you know, I would like to highlight, say, if you so in terms of, you know, customers Expedition generally, so people here in Africa now don't just rely on reactive service. They expect, you know, brands of businesses to be proactive with the savings. Not necessarily waiting for them, you know, to reach out to the bronzer. Say he looks, we have, I have a problem, they generally expect. You know, Brands to be Innovative and intuitive with the approach to support and, you know, trying to identify areas where they're having challenges and you know, practically resolving those issues and also in terms of, you know, the customer Journey customers expecting sort of like it connected Journey map in terms of you know, how it dissolves ax approach, right, you know, it's no longer or you just use spoken to our sales department. Okay, Our customer success department will return as it is divided, you know. Which to customers, you know, trying to, you know, ensure that businesses can break, you know, that silence in between their process and show that, you know, clients have that seamless experience throughout their journey with the brand. So these are some of the expectations of customers and then when it comes to,you know, that Choice point, you know, customers also expect personalization, right? Is not just one General approach to, you know, reaching out to customers throughout select torture. you know, send a blast email to every customer. Say, look, we have this update, you know, trying to personalize interactions from support to General Communications, making sure that customers feel valued, making sure the fuel value. Because people here in Africa tend to say I want to speak to people from my country. They tend to appreciate, you know, Brands when they recognize their look and Mr. Social, so I am this,so they would appreciate bronze, you know, try to personalize the approach to Interactions. And also one interesting thing. I also found that you know, customers. Also, you know, expect customers are Brands to be Innovative and you know, too fast thinking in terms of their product to services and support. Not just, you know, deployment program Series where we are and will continue to improve and then they are not seeing Improvement. Do we want to reach out to you? To see? Look, I've seen such also in Social business. So in a social environment, why not have this right? Customers now come to you to tell you, Look, we need this. They know what they want and the demand for it. So they expect Brands to be very Innovative across their product offerings. And then one last thing in terms of data protection, right? We've also seen interesting historical data. We are customers, you know, from the force sales Soviet 2020 customers. Now expect, you know, you know, expert Brands to protect their data. So for us lie to us as payment, Payment Integrations. I've seen scenarios from, you know, consultation experience, with startups. I've seen scenarios where customers feel hesitant to, you know, use their card, their cartoon mobile apps, or maybe your web application because they are scared of losing their money. So bronze needs to, you know, sort of enhance their, you know, their approach in terms of, you know, making customers know thatof their, there they are on top of data. Protection policy, ensuring that
they are keeping their data safe. And that any information entered in the system. I kept seeing the need that you need to know that, you know, that you need to end that trust. now, we are browsing to antitrust. Some customers and you do what is required at different points in time? A day. I think these are the key five major cultural changes. I've observed during my interactions with Brands and customers and also from, you know, so very portable so saying
Kay - yeah, thank you for that. Couple of things that I'm noticing from what you just said, value. Bringing people value.um Bringing customers value seems to be Global. um, The second thing that you mentioned is also, that being proactive is something all customers are expecting right nowbecause part of it is an instantaneous response that they get in everything else in their lives. They wanted to see proactive outcomes within their customer support and customer success team. So, I think that's a global phenomenon where I see that the Africancontinent is evolving from what you just said, it seems to be around data and protection and all of that. So in terms of,if prime, a, CSif I have a serious, Global operation. And if it's any scale, Global serious leader, when they Bri have teams to see what Kind of things that they should look for from an employee experience perspective.
Ifeanyi - So when you say, what should they look for you, talking about, know, characteristics of the employee or the skilled trades. So what are you
Kay - I am primarily talking about? How, what is the? What are the things that leaders need to do to make sure that their employees are well? Sustained from within the African continent. Is there anything else? That's culturally different, that support leaders need to do Global support. It does need to be done specifically for their African employees.
Ifeanyi - So yeah, I would say yes. Why? Because you know, when you say Global sales operations, you talk about, we talk about, let's talk about Africa and India Normandy. So Africa is a regional culture. We have to serve a diverse culture. We have diverse cultures and we have people from different countries, including South Africa, and people from Nigeria. And you know, and we call today Petitions. In terms of interaction with Nadia various companies are also different because what they expect, how they expect to be treated also differ by for instance, in Nigeria out, speak from my own experience working for an international organization. I would expect that, you know, sometimes in terms of update timing by climbing to work, how many hours should I do? I need to work, you know, in other countries like in the example United States people work shift different tasks. Slightly in Africa, different people value their religion, right? People to remember, you might want to deploy to enforce new corporations. And then someone would say, look more on today's Sunday. I have to be in church. I can't afford to, you know, to, you know, to leave my religion and be at work, right? They value religion here, people, take it that seriously. And so if you, even if it's a global sales operation special needs, use to consider, you know, treats that they need to put in place then it will be around, you know, ensuring that. No, the Devalue the loop in between the look, the above the contents process and also look at the current environment, you know, and ensure that the ability to incorporate, you know, what people believe their lives of all these I can for instance and idea we have a lot of worries these you need to be able to appreciate how you know, give run this and make sure, you know you are taking note of that.
Kay - let them honor the local cultures and local things while providing Global support, right? So let me also add this recently.
Ifeanyi - I was talking to a Founder in Newfound of the West part of Nigeria and was helping to set up the sales operations and then because there are too many holidays in Nigeria. And how can I keep my Customers and say, look, this exists? This is what you should be looking at in Nigeria. And this is what is obtainable you have to key in? Otherwise, you'll be employees. Because people want you to recognize that today's a holiday and you have to grant that, right? And if you need to have someone, you know, it has to be that has to be open. Thinny shouldn'tbe something that you have to foreign Force, right? We should have the choices. It looks, I'm going to walk you're pay me extra for today. And you know, all those things that no matter to ensuring that you're able to keep your employees are motivated and engaged.
Kay - Yeah, so there is actually a follow-on question from our previous comment that you made, concerning proactiveness. So, I would love to, you know, like to just bring that question up now rather than later. So in terms of being proactive,what are the things that support leaders need to look for? And you can answer it generically and you can call out something very specific to the continent itself.
Ifeanyi - So, in terms of proactive, proactive, Outreach or proactive strategy in terms of the engine supporting your customers, I would give one good example, right? So let's come to less constant support. So you need to do it as a business leader. You need to be able to level data. Because from CRM yours, if you have a walk-in too well, automated you have all the trigger setting the right properties and you all constantly update those properties and ensuring that you're able to make sense of the coming in, right? I'm sure you would get a login. Inside. So you need to pay attention, you know bees are leaders who also need Keen support in looking at what the data is saying on a week-by-week basis. What are the top trends? What are the top issues and challenges? Our customers are facing user experience issues. It could be, it could be poor support, you know, from the dissatisfaction Matrix. It could be, you know, it could be product stability. It could be anything, right? So you need to, constantly, look at your data and see what data it is telling you, and then we'll take it back internally to meet with your engineering and product team and see. Here's something that you can resolve internally and ensure that you know, the custom expenses are smooth. So I'm pretty much sure that data will give little insight into you know. Go ideas of productivity and then the second part would be around the customer success approach. Like when you have died in the service business world, where you have a CSM, managing an account and then, you know, perhaps, they are different users, you know, currently using the particular, you know, a particular software and maybe they are some set certain goals that you have. You put it as a benchmark to see that within this given time. Different users should be able to have achieved ours and accomplish different tags. And then after me, You one week or two weeks that you have said and you go through the profile on the portal those and you're just to have to elect review of what the performance of your customers, and then you realize that your customers are performing today represent below what your, your actual expectation? Then you have to be proactive, you need to, you know, engage, you know, you need to further engage your customers and see new ways to understand why they haven't changed at any challenges that you have been and see how basically help them to achieve, you know, achieve those tax. And that way they will Be able to achieve their objectives.
Kay - I love how you tied in the proactiveness to the value. You know, part of being proactive is not just, you know, providing that value. So, you can take anproduct, a little girl to a customer LED growth. So, right down there. um, Do you see any differences between B2B b2c andin this area?
Ifeanyi - Sure, because when you talk about B2B and b2c, you know that they are different personalities like business, you know, your approach to supporting consumers, who, because early is different from one when you're supporting business businesses. So I'll also speak from my experience working at this half. Our Solutions are C customer success specialists where you know, I have to interact with decision makers, you know, senior managers and you know, ensuring that we can deploy our solutions to meet their daytoday operations. So the Expeditions are usually different from the way the expertise to support them is quite different. From the way customers expect you to support them. So, in terms of business, businesses are looking, at know, the listicle to their business.And, you know, customers are looking at, you know, what do I get right now? How do I have you? Make this happen? Right? But businesses are looking at, how can you, how can you, how can you drive value Falls in on a long-term basis, making sure that our own business, you know, not just supporting us making sure that we are also achieving their desired outcome of, you know, subscribing to your product, right? Not just some tiny thing. Perspective. But from a broader perspective. So when you are talking about the support approach, it has to be like an animalistic strategy like a bigger broader plan strategy to assure them that, you know, you can effectively engage different channels and ensure that they canmeet up with their own business demand. Then when it comes to customers, you know, the Apple 2 would be different because, you know, when it comes to customers saying no, it depends on your business model, right? So if you are looking at say regular or toxin, We'll talk like a regular customer, you know, it's just like taking a total purchase, engaging and interacting with them. And then, everything you know, in technology to ensure that you can keep the interaction going, but if you are talking about, you know, High net worth individuals, or you know, key accounts or, you know,High Revenue customers, then you upload to be different because you have to come up with an personalized approach, like, you know, having like it CS a is CSM, you know, engaging that that customer to ensure that they can get there. Observed outcome.
Kay - How do you know there's a lot of discussions around see us being responsible for Revenue, right? So growth through supporters who are how we call it, right? So, where do you go? You see that phenomenon happening in Africa?
Ifeanyi - So, yes, when it comes to revenue rights, the expectation is that customer success owns revenue. And also from my experience. Stations where sales will say they are also part of their revenue generation team and then it becomes like a one-sided thing. Maybe they take a few thousand customers and then CS 50%. But ideally, I would say that customer success operations or team wins Revenue. Why? Because they are the ones, you know, you know, after let me, let me, let me take it back. So when your cells bring in you, do the customer success, I expect to provide ongoing support and also, You know, ensuring that you are able to manage that relationship because and by managing the relationship, they are saying historical Behavior pattern that the CSM understands about the customer. And the third point from the service. Might, you know, maybe the last time, this salesperson reached out because it was the last time they requested for a renewal, or they wanted the invoice, but the CSM was a customer. Success managers keep abreast with customers and understand the customer and there has been no, there's been a relationship, you know, you know, in terms of the Of times, they've been with Equity, understand the customer better. And also, you realize that within that experience, you know, people might have changed how you manage it. You know, when you come to change management, people might have cleaned. And then the person who has the buying decision, the decision-making power might have left and if someone else and maybe the CSMalso developed an approach to managing that place on ensuring that you can retain the person. So I would say that the CS team needs to continue managing the relationship anyway. , When it comes to revenue and ensuring that you are able to renew their contract, then you can leave you at the admin lot in the long run bringing a sales team, you know, when they are, you know challenges with you know, baleen, Etc.
Kay - A lot of support leaders underestimate the amount of change management that's required. So, you know, I'm glad that you called it outum the other, you know, if you think about the flywheel, see, as kind of comes in the middle. You are tying into sales. We just talked about it, right? Marketing, product development. And I think you did mention on the product development where you talked about the data where we can, we have to harness the key issues that come out and provide it as feedback back into the product. So we have that continuous innovation Loop coming in from support to product. So we talked about that, it would be wonderful to where you think that flywheel is moving towards the continent. When I'm talking about the flywheel. the flywheel of Cs being in the centerand all the other teamstying in into the CSS teams. And recognizing that support is important for the growth of the company, right? So that's the flywheel I'm talking about.
Ifeanyi - So, I'll say that. We see a little bit behind from my experience, especially with you, with your new startup. you know, in Africa. So they still believe that you know, more of that, more of the, you know, that up is no Sport and in an customer retention lies with, you know, products, you know, having a great product, having a great marketing team, having a great still stream, right? So but, you know a lot of love of effort for the with love, being made to ensure that, you know, Brands understand the importance of support and you can see that you know, in terms of what I do personally as customer success and failure is I try to talk about about the importance of customer support and raising their awareness to the startups. Can start leveraging understanding the importance of customer success to business and how, you know, how to ensure that, you know, customers are retained. I often give this as an analogy to starting herbs. I always know when I meet with them, and we have this like argument, there's always fallout. And then I make him understand that you know, I look at the customer phone like a basket. It's just like you have the sales. the marketing team bringing customers into your bust into the basket and you don't have any protection on them. Customer success is that protection that keeps your customers and ensures that the engagement is ongoing. Interaction is smooth there getting the prompt service and, you know, they're getting everything that they need to, you know, too, be do remaining loyal customers and also make them, you know, and advocate of the brand.
Kay - So, there are a lot of Youth Watching this because you have beaten their leader, and I'm sure,You know, they want to hear the words from you. um, What advice do I want to rap with this question. What advice do you give to those who are aspiring to get into customer support and customer success?
Ifeanyi - Yeah, so from experience, you know, I'll take it back to the business and the industry generally, right, you know, customer experience. Most expectations are constantly changing. What you used to know yesterday, might not be what's obtainable today? So you have to keep updating yourself, you know, keep top of the, you know, current industry strengths. Not just saying. Oh, I just got fired yesterday. And now it's 256 presents tomorrow. What, you know, yesterday might be obsolete today. So you need to constantly, you know, engage with cs folks, you know, out there on LinkedIn and ensure that you know, you join those workshops webinars, you know, try to learn new strategies, new approach to CX and keeping yourself. If up to date as to, you know, what happened in the field of customer experience
Kay - be they're being proactive to that's what you're saying. So sure that you get to see us so you can be proactive with your customers. So Ifeanyi, It's a pleasure to have you in and share your here, your background, your experience, and get a glimpse of the African. Tenant, super excited to have you on the show. Thank you for your time.
Ifeanyi - Thank you so much for having me today. I really, really appreciate this time. Looking forward to more of these conversations.Absolutely by now. So can we confirm that the light is starting? Yes, it is. Okay. Soif I only thank you so much. I appreciate the time you took.