Digitization and the Effects of Customer Relations

Digitization and the Effects of Customer Relations

By Egbulefu Chijioke Michael 

In Nigeria, some of us have been witnesses to the effects of Ponzi Schemes in the lives of people we know and those we do not know. This would have made some skeptical about trusting money into the hands of ‘unknown’ entities. Some of these schemes involve paying money to an unknown person with the expectation of getting your money back with interest from some other unknown person(s). Using this backdrop, it may be easier to explain the mistrust some Nigerians have for all these technologies springing up that involves money. It may be harder for them still to trust a technology with no visible human touch or that seems to lack one completely.

Before some people will trust their money to a technology be it in the form of shopping or saving, they will want the assurance that there is a physical structure they can visit and the ability to verify the people behind the technology because they will need someone they can hold by the throat when things go south.

Great companies and ideas and technologies have gone under not necessarily because these were bad ideas or bad technologies but simply because they were afflicted with terrible customer service relations

The rise of digital-only banks may face resistance from beliefs like this. Young people and digital natives may not care so long as the product delivers on its promises and the process works seamlessly. They will only need attention when there is a problem that they can’t fix on their own. For another fellow who has developed mistrust knowingly or unknowingly for systems and technologies they cannot really explain, they will require a lot more convincing. For those who brace themselves and use at all, it will be with trepidation and ‘double mind’. It is this category of people that will need the human touch the most. When they encounter a problem, they will need a contact person who is empathetic, very knowledgeable, courteous, very timely and who will give a very simple solution to a problem that the complainant nonetheless finds ‘complicated’.

We have come a long way but we are still a long way off. We are not even half as digitized in our services as some countries yet we have all experienced that one time that it seemed as if the customer service person knows absolutely nothing of what you are talking about and you may end up educating them on their own goods and services. With increase in digitization of almost everything and as people get ever used to having instant solutions, there will also be a higher demand for a customer service culture that is very knowledgeable and that appears to have all the answers to all your techie questions as soon as you need them.

Everyone both young and old want easier, more efficient and more reliable ways of doing things and this is basically what digitization and technology is. So, basically in the event that things do not run as they should, these users will require timely and reliable solutions. The human touch and a smile might make all the difference between failing and winning and all the difference that can turn a disgruntled user to a satisfied regular.


Egbulefu Chijioke Michael is  a FinTech Expert


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