ListenFirst Wins Silver Stevie® Award For Customer Service

Provider of a customer experience optimization solution that empowers customer support and success professionals with the knowledge and resources to delight customers, yesterday announced that its flagship software was awarded Bronze in the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service competition. Squelch was recognized in the New Contact Center Solution of the Year category. 

ListenFirst, the most comprehensive social analytics solution for the enterprise, who was named a winner of a Silver Stevie® Award for Customer Service in the Computer Software Category for the second year in a row was presented the award during a gala banquet on Friday, February 22, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. More than 700 executives from the U.S.A. and several other nations attended.

The Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service recognize the achievements of contact center, customer service, business development, and sales worldwide. More than 2,700 entries were submitted from organizations in over 40 nations to honor the innovations and individuals that drive the sales and customer service industry.

Squelch empowers customer support and success agents with actionable intelligence at the precise moment of customer interaction, enabling them to provide even more personalized and valuable customer experiences. The information customer-facing agents need to resolve customer issues often already exists within their organization, but these agents are forced to wade through multiple, disparate systems to locate the right insights — a time-consuming and frustrating endeavor for all parties involved. As its name suggests, the Squelch software slices through this “noise” by querying traditionally-disjointed data sets to surface what is needed and filtering out what isn’t.

“Customer-centricity is crucial to reducing customer churn and improving renewals and upsells, and companies now rely more than ever on their customer-facing agents to provide customers with the best experience,” said Jayaram Bhat, CEO and Co-Founder, Squelch. “At Squelch, we believe these customer support and success agents are a company’s heroes, engaging in key customer interactions at a pivotal moment where speed, knowledge, and empathy are essential. We’re thrilled to have our solution recognized for improving the customer experience ecosystem — maximizing productivity, personalizing every interaction, and improving both customer and agent satisfaction.”

Kuye who launched the first Naira denominated MasterCard enjoys the CEO seat of SANEF

The appointment of Ronke Kuye, a veteran of payments and a co-founder of CEBIH, to run SANEF is a significant step in the right direction.

The Bankers’ Committee has appointed Ronke Kuye, the former General Manager at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), as the first CEO of Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF), initiative of the CBN to accelerate financial inclusion in Nigeria. The appointment took effect on February 1, 2019.

Powered by the CBN, SANEF is supported by the deposit money banks, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems [NIBSS], licensed mobile money operators and shared agents with the primary objective of accelerating financial inclusion in Nigeria.

The CBN plans to have about 500,000 registered agents network across Nigeria on or before the year 2020. SANEF has recorded about 70,000 registered agents across Nigeria.

A registered SANEF agent is expected to render basic financial services like account opening, cash deposits, cash withdrawals, funds transfers, bills payments and government disbursement.Y

Kuye founded Payment Card Advisory Services after having recently retired from a successful banking career. She has over 25 years’ experience in operations, institutional banking, retail banking and cards and electronic payment.

Kuye’s experience in payment cards dates back to the inception of cards in Nigeria, from the advent of the electronic purse (Valucard) to the evolution of chip and pin cards.

Until June 2014, Kuye was the GM in GTB as head of the transaction services division. Prior to this, she was responsible for the e-business and card services where she set up a successful card business and alternative channels of payment.

Kuye’s notable achievements include the launching of the first Naira denominated MasterCard (accepted worldwide) in Nigeria, the first MasterCard World card in Africa, the first pin-pad devices used for pay and receive in bank branches and setting up of a successful Centralised Processing Centre (CPC) in GTBank.


Personalize the Customer Experience by Tracking Offline Conversations

As consumers are jumping across online channels to the phone and back, your sales representatives need to know exactly where a caller has been, who they are and, most importantly, why they are calling. Without this information the chances of achieving a sale are greatly reduced.

By personalizing the customer experience, leads will feel more valued and be more focused on making a purchase, which is why 94% of large enterprises worldwide are using their customer data to deliver personalized experiences.

Call tracking analytics generate real-time insights about each caller. Your sales team can view information on the customer they’re communicating with, such as the page they landed on, the keywords they used to find your website and if they have called before. You’ll be able to tailor conversations to specific customers and close more deals.

This can also be used to automatically route and filter callers, so they are sent to the correct person or department, eliminating call transfers.

For instance, if you were a retail company with a customer who had an item of clothing in their basket, but they decided to call before completing their purchase, they would be directed to the correct sales representative to help complete the sale.

Together this all forms a frictionless customer journey. Customers will feel reassured that you know exactly what they want and happy customers lead to better conversion rates.

Although larger enterprises have a bigger market share, they can still suffer from the difficulty of reaching customer service targets. However, by introducing call tracking, your business can gain comprehensive customer insights, guaranteeing that you are using the best omnichannel marketing strategies to increase customer satisfaction and sales.

Call Tracking is Crucial to Your Customer Service Targets

Understanding the lifetime value of a customer is crucial to encouraging repeat business. After all, encouraging current customers to re-purchase is easier as they have lower associated costs and are likelier to give higher satisfaction ratings. This metric is usually calculated through average order value, purchase frequency and customer time length.

However, the path to purchase is complex with consumers switching between online and offline channels before becoming a sale. So omnichannel tracking is necessary.

If 70% of consumers phone your business directly from a search results page, it’s clear your online marketing is driving offline sales. But how can you track an individual customer’s lifetime journey to prove their value?

Call tracking from provides seamless information on the entire customer journey.

For example, if you send an email to an existing customer promoting a new product and they decide to call directly from your listed phone number, it’s clear this online marketing channel is driving over-the-phone conversions. You can then calculate how valuable these interactions and conversions are from lifetime customers.2

Consumer expectations have changed drastically. Our patience has weakened with on-demand services (social media, email, live chat) and we expect instant results.

But in the day and age where it is 9 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one, meeting customer immediacy is a must for improving retention and return rates.

There’s still a perception among customers that filling out contact forms or sending an email means waiting days for a response. They know a phone call can resolve a query in minutes compared to a week’s worth of emails.

Treat customers like guests and employees like people

The magic formula that successful businesses have discovered is to treat customers like guests and employees like people. That’s something your business should definitely have, to make sure those clients return … If you broke some law regarding an employee’s compensation, for example, they can sue you…The foremost opportunity you will have to deter a customer from suing is when they been treated well….

You should also be aware that, when customers share their story, they’re not just sharing pain points. They’re actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better – Being Human is Good Business.

Enhance Your Status in Your Customer’s Eyes

When you or your team members introduce yourselves to customers, do you use your first name only, or do you share your first and last names? These days most people keep it casual and stick to first names only. In terms of status that’s a mistake. Instead, when you offer your first and last name it tells customers, “I am comfortable being held accountable. If you have a question, you should ask for me, which is why I’m volunteering my full name. I’m someone important enough for you to know.” All that enhanced status comes simply by adding your last name.

A fast way to lose status is to start talking to someone who isn’t ready and willing to listen. So before asking customers or coworkers a lot of questions, it’s important to ensure you have their full attention. Unfortunately, common attempts to get attention actually hurt our status. Asking someone if they have a minute won’t go over well if it’s obvious that the conversation will take more than 60 seconds. That’s why so much of what I share in my seminars and coaching tools is about being more thoughtful with word choices. Next time you’re about to have a serious conversation with a customer or coworker, begin with a simple, “How’s your time, are we OK?”

Relationships and fake trust

Lately, the language of client focus is adopting the language of relationships, fostering yet another layer of cynicism.

Think of “relationship,” “loyalty,” and “trust.” All once had significant emotional connotations—for “loyalty,” think “semper fi” or “till death do us part.” For “trust,” think the bonds of a handshake, or of fiduciary responsibilities.

Today, loyalty gets defined behaviorally as repeat purchasing behavior. “Client relationship management” software is sold on the basis of its ability to create client profitability analyses (to the software owner, that is, not to the client). Try to build great trust in your customer so as to foster greater relationship.
The antidote for fake trust at work is authentic trust.

Valentine Rose: Ways to make your customers know you value them

Let’s face it – without customers, we don’t have a business. So why do so few companies remember to show some love to their existing customers? Usually, they are too busy trying to attract new customers, even though it costs five times as much to attract a new customer versus keeping an existing one.

Valentine’s Day is all about love, so there’s no better time to think about how you can do a better job of showing some love to the people who essentially sign your paycheck. Here are three easy and cheap ways to make sure that customers know you value them:

  1. Respond to everyone on social media. Whether you are acknowledging positive comments or trying to make trolls go away, it’s critical that you respond to everyone who mentions your brand on social media – whether they formally tag your brand account or not. Today’s customers expect a response from companies, and responding shows that you care about any and all feedback. Most importantly, it shows onlookers – i.e., prospects – what it’s like to do business with you.
  2. Send a handwritten thank-you note or send a rose. With postage rates increasing almost every year and email a comparatively cheaper channel, consumers are seeing far more email in their inboxes than letters in their mailbox. That presents an opportunity for companies who are willing to make the extra effort to thank their customers in a personalized, meaningful way. “Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten note,” says customer experience expert Joey Coleman. “In an increasingly digital world, getting something in the mail that was clearly written by hand evinces a level of personal care and attention that is not frequently seen in the world of business.”
  3. Go the extra mile to help customers. Pet supplies company responds to negative product reviews on its website by suggesting other products that might better suit the customer’s needs. It also provides immediate refunds even if a customer hasn’t asked for one. This strategy immediately converts a dissatisfied customer into a happy one. Other companies have employed a “surprise and delight” strategy to go above and beyond customer expectations.

Things your bartender isn’t telling you


Do you know that, asking for “light ice” means a weaker drink. …Asking to “make it strong” means nothing. …This is code for “ugh, I’m not making that mojito.” …You‘re not tipping enough. … They hate it when you wave your money. … Eye contact is the best way to get their attention. …Vermouth goes bad. …They have a “comp tab” for valued customers.

Okay below are what they want you to do but won’t tell you verbally. We want you to get drunk. 

Ever notice how mixed drinks are served with a wider straw by default, and always served in a standard rocks glass that only holds six to eight fluid ounces? These are classic tricks of the trade designed to get you to drink more quickly—and open your wallet more often. So always ask for a tall glass and opt for the thin straw to slow down your consumption a bit.

Find out how being polite plays to your advantage—and why you should always skip snacking on the fruit garnishes—with these pieces of advice.

 Politeness Leads to Service: A lot of bars have comp tabs, which allows me to give away drinks. It’s smart business and helps build a base of regulars.

Do you agree with these? Feel free to drop your own comments and share as well.

Meets your customer’s need with a designed experience

What is necessary is to listen to your customers: understand their needs, expectations and jobs to be done, and design an experience that meets those needs. The same goes for your employees.

This is why you have to upgrade your user, not your product. Value is less about the stuff and more about the stuff the stuff enables. Don’t build better cameras — build better photographers.
Fabulous Customer Service’ sounds user-centered but it’s often just a company-centered focus masquerading as user-centered. The role of customer service is to support and enable users to not just feel better, but to be better.

You will achieve this if you understand that, Customers long to interact with and even relate to employees who act like there is still a light on inside. Customers who love you won’t be able to stop raving about you. But you have to earn the right to their story first.
The magic formula that successful businesses have discovered is to treat customers like guests and employees like people, so the truth is all businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you’re Woolworth’s.

Feel free to add your comment on the comment segment below and share as well.

Try to report or make public poor customer service experience

A complaint expressed via Twitter, especially with the hashtag of the company’s name together with ‘bad customer service’, is likely to get a very quick response.
Today, Twitter and Facebook are the go-to outlets for our protests, offering a convenient and faceless black hole of Insta-rage. It’s where you find pissed-off people tagging instances of #badcustomerservice, the charming SCREW-YOU-HOME-DEPOT crowd; and all those people who will never, ever, fly some aircraft again. But these are not places for action. They’re just venues to let off steam. “Sometimes all you need and the best you can do is vent,” Winch says. Transforming a wrong into a right is a learned skill that requires more than a quick tweet.

Once you’ve found the right person, whether face-to-face or via email, it’s show time. Start with something positive, because you don’t want them to think you’re just an angry person. This is usually a simple compliment (i.e. “I love your products . . . ”), and it never hurts to mention your shopping habits (“ . . . and I buy them all the time”). Then get to the point. Skip the drama, exclamation marks and hyperbole. Don’t allow yourself to be proven completely irrational.

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