In this article, we speak to Amaka, a Customer Success Representative at Obiex, about what it's like to work in Customer service and her experiences so far.
Let’s get to know you! Please introduce yourself, your name, your role, and one thing you like.
My name is Amaka Uchegbu. I work with Obiex as a Customer Success Representative. I like cooking.
What's the part about working in customer support that you enjoy the most?
Amaka: Helping customers with their problems and guiding them through the solution.
What's the part about working in customer support that you dislike the most?
Amaka: When messages keep piling up, and more complaints keep coming in about the same issue, especially when I'm responding to customers that we are working on the issue.
Don’t they have a single bone of patience in them?
Amaka: I know, right? It’s crazy. During those moments, I feel a bit anxious and start crying because it feels like I'm not making much progress. But hey, it's all part of the job, so I don't complain too much about it.
How has being on the customer support team changed you as a person?
Amaka: It has taught me to be more patient and empathetic. Some customers can be aggressive, and some even come with insults for us and our family members.
Amaka: No jokes! They curse us out on a daily. But I've learned not to take insults personally and to put myself in their shoes.
That makes sense. Do you have any cool or funny stories from your time in the customer support trenches that you'd like to share?
Amaka: There are stories o. But I think the funniest ones are when customers start asking me personal questions after seeing my pictures on the intercom.
Really? What kind of questions?
Amaka: They start asking for my personal phone number, and I’m usually like, “Bro, do you want to sack me? Do you want to lay me off my job?”
There are other funny stories too. But I’ve forgotten, abeg.
Can I ask you my own personal question?
Amaka: Lol, bring it on.
What do you like to do for fun when you're not attending to customers?
Amaka: Hmm… I could be doing different things, really. I could be breezing through Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter. I could also be seeing a movie, listening to songs, or cooking. I love cooking!
Ouu, I’m sure I could get some cooking tips. Talking about tips though… Do you have any secret tactics for dealing with tough or angry customers?
Amaka: When I encounter an angry customer, I start by staying calm. It's important not to take their rudeness personally. Instead, I empathise with them and try to understand their perspective.
If they're still upset, I may give them some space and return later. If the problem requires technical help, I always get persistent in pushing our technical team to resolve it promptly.
Can you share an interaction with a customer where you used this tactic?
Amaka: Sure, recently, we were reaching out to our drop-off customers to understand why they left and to help them resolve any issues they may have. One customer had trouble verifying his BVN on the Obiex App because, even after he had gone to the bank severally to rectify it, his OTP was still being sent to his old number when they requested it.
So, I checked if he had completed the necessary steps and did a manual verification on the call. I told him we had fixed it and that he could use his Obiex account to make transactions again. He was thrilled that we could solve something that was so challenging to him in minutes, and I was glad to help.
That was such a good one!
Amaka: Yeah! He apologised for not reaching out earlier and dropping off instead, and I assured him that it wasn’t a problem. Then I suggested to him that he could always reach us on our different support channels for assistance.
Aww, how did the experience make you feel?
Amaka: It made me joyful because I could hear the genuineness of his happiness and satisfaction in his voice. His feedback totally made my day.
Have you ever received any other sweet feedback from a customer that totally made your day?
Amaka: Absolutely! I've had loads of sweet feedback from customers that made my day. It's just awesome when they express their love for our brand. Making them happy brings me so much joy!
Don’t we all just love sweet customers? But, despite these occasional joys, juggling the emotional rollercoaster of customer support and your own sanity can be tough. How do you manage that?
Uh-oh, this is going to be deep…
Amaka: Lol! I promise it’s not so deep. The thing is that I don’t have a specific answer to that. I still ask myself how I manage. I just know that one thing I do is cry a lot.
So, when I have tough moments, I cry and listen to uplifting Christian music.
Then I sprinkle a little “God abeg! Anyhow wey you wan do am, just run am.” in the form of a prayer. At least, make I no go craze.
Ah! I reject it for you!
Amaka: Amen o…
Amen. So, what keeps you going and giving your best, even when the going gets tough in customer support?
Amaka: Well, it's all about making things easier for our customers. I genuinely enjoy helping them and ensuring they have a smooth experience with our platform. When I see positive feedback and know I've made a difference, it energizes me to keep going. So, it's really the joy of helping and being appreciated that keeps me motivated!
Word! That being said, what advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in customer support?
Amaka: If you're looking at going into customer support, the most important secret sauce you should have is patience. Another thing is that you should acquire communication skills because omo… you go explain tire.
If you don’t understand customer issues inside out before responding – you’ll end up confusing them more. And, of course, you have to stay cool as a cucumber; don't let stress get the best of you. I love it here in customer support. I love it so much.
Even with all the rollercoaster? Care to share why?
Amaka: Oh, sure! My awesome team makes up part of the reason. We're a tight-knit crew, balancing work and play like pros. Another reason is that helping people has always been my jam, so this role fits like a glove.
So, you are practically made for this role?
Let’s use the final question to clear the air. What is one misconception about customer support that you would like to correct?
Amaka: A lot of people think that customer support is easy, but that's far from the truth! Because what we encounter daily while handling customer issues is not for the faint-hearted. I remember when our colleague from another department tried it for a few hours and couldn't handle it. Her first call for that day was from an upset customer who cut the pleasantries and went straight to insults. It’s so overwhelming. So, that idea that it's a simple job is nothing but a mad joke.
In fact, during an icebreaker in one of our Obiex meetings, the moderator asked, “If you were not in your team, which other team would you want to be in?” Guess what?
No one chose customer support?
Amaka: No single soul! I just thought to myself, “Oh, so you people know that customer support is not for the weak.” So, yeah. We might make it look easy because we know the ropes, but it's definitely not as simple as it seems!
Thank you, Amaka, for spending this time with us. And Happy Customer Service Week!
Amaka: Thank you!