Almost everyone has had their fair share of bitter-sweet customer service experience in Nigeria. More often than not, the customer experiences we hear about in Africa’s most populous nation are unpleasant. The horror stories especially emanate from three major industries: the banking sector, the telecommunication sector, and the power sector.
Who doesn’t resent spending the whole day at the bank? Who wouldn’t be frustrated when a merchant’s POS or an ATM debits them multiple times or arbitrary bank charges occur on their account? No one enjoys staying on hold during a phone call, with annoying advertisements blasting into your ears, while you are burning your own airtime.
To avoid these bad experiences, the safe thing to do would have been to boycott the service providers, right? But the big questions are; for how long? How many banks or network providers or DisCos would you blacklist given that the problem is systemic?
However, as it is often said, the bad times make us appreciate the good times. Nigerian customers have been badly treated by many service providers for so long that they celebrate companies whose customer service operations are way better than others, and not necessarily great or innovative when compared to the corporate culture in saner climes.
Business Elites Africa has identified five of the companies doing a better job in the customer service space. Some of these brands have also incorporated Artificial Intelligence (AI) for efficient customer service delivery.
Top 5 Nigerian Companies with the Best Customer Service
AFP is a subsidiary of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s reputable construction company. The brand is a furniture production entity that prides itself into owning one of the largest furniture factories in West Africa, which is in Abuja.
It’s a no-brainer that AFP tops this list. Last month, the company won the 2021 Best Customer Experience Company in Nigeria Award at the Nigerian Customer Service Awards, a prestigious annual ceremony in Nigeria which honours companies that deliver effective and exceptional customer service.
The refreshing and impressive customers’ reviews on AFP’s website may not be enough ground to adjudge it to a customer-centric company but the validation by industry players would suffice. This year, the company also won the award for the Best Furniture Company in Nigeria at the Abuja International Housing Show 2021, making it the 5th consecutive time AFP would win in that category.
2. Zenith Bank
A survey conducted by KPMG in 2020 listed Zenith Bank as #1 on the list of ‘Customer Experience Leaders‘ in the Nigerian banking sector (retail category). The report shows that Zenith moved from the second position in the previous ranking to the number one spot, ahead of Wema Bank and GTBank respectively.
Like most banks in Nigeria, Zenith’s mobile banking provides seamless self-service delivery that allows customers to do simple banking operations from any location and at customers’ convenience. The bank, however, took its customer service a notch higher in August 2021 when it introduced an AI-powered Chatbot on WhatsApp named ZIVA (Zenith Intelligent Virtual Assistant).
ZIVA allows customers to perform all financial transactions and interact on a 24 hour basis on the encrypted WhatsApp platform. The service has the capability to respond to chats/queries, and customers are able to confirm cheques, pay bills, apply for loans, block their accounts, and request mini statements, amongst other banking services.
Here is what customers are saying about Zenith bank:
According to the Nigerian Banking Industry Expectation Survey released by KPMG, GTBank is one of the top three best among other Nigerian banks in terms of customer experience.
GTB has effectively upheld good customer service both online and offline. One of its services geared towards helping customers resolve issues by themselves is GTConnect, a fully interactive, automated self-service contact center where customers can do 90% of their financial transactions from the convenience of their home anywhere in the world.
GTBank is a Nigerian multinational financial institution headquartered in Victoria Island, Lagos. The bank provides online/internet banking, retail banking, corporate banking, investment banking, and asset management services.
Smile Telecoms Holdings Limited (Smile Group), based in England, owns and operates 4G LTE mobile broadband networks in the 800MHz band in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, providing clients with statewide Superfast mobile broadband services. In 2014, Smile created the first 4G LTE network in West Africa to revolutionise how consumers access the internet.
According to customers’ reviews on Africabz, Smile’s customer service is excellent and above board to users. The brand one of Nigeria’s fastest internet service providers and mobile phone operators. Below are some customer’s feedback about the mobile broadband network.
5. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC )
KFC is the world’s second-largest restaurant chain and its franchised outlets in Nigeria largely embody the customer service culture of other KFC outlets around the world, at least according to Top-Rated.Online, rates KFC customer services as top-notch. The website allows individuals to give reviews about their experiences to any brands or services. Below are a few of the customer’s reviews on KFC.
KFC’s original product is pressure-fried chicken pieces, seasoned with 11 herbs and spices according to the company’s founder, Harland Sanders.
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