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Omolara Adagunodo — “Customer Service Representatives Are Born Before Being Trained”

With 10 years’ experience in Customer Service, Omolara Adagunodo, the Head of Customer Service at Jumia Travel is customer service personified. Her smile and charm are contagious that it could disarm and calm any exasperated customer. In this interview, Adagunodo talks about the challenges of CS in Nigeria and much more.

Omolara Adagunodo - Head of customer service Jumia Travel

What would you consider to be the challenges facing CS in Nigeria?

The first challenge facing CS are the customers. Nigerian customers should start demanding service. If the customers demand service then organisations will have to deliver. The simple law of demand and supply applies here, if we learn to demand service at all times, the organisations will learn to supply it. Nigeria has been called a country without a service culture for so long, and the only way to stop this below-par service nature is to actually make sure we request service at all times from all service companies. At the airports, on the buses, and even in the market!

Some people believe that customer service shouldn’t just be a unit or department. Rather it should be a culture, a lifestyle. Do you share this sentiment? If yes, how so?

Certainly! I believe that Customer Service representatives are born before being trained. Truth is, it’s either in you or not. When I’m recruiting I look out for the passion and qualities of a true customer service person rather than the experience. You might have 10 years of customer service experience and still not be a customer service person.

What are the prospects of pitching a career in customer service? Is it just about talking to customers on the phone?

The sky’s the limit in a customer service career. Talking to customers on the phone is merely the beginning. You can go on to get further training and specialise in CX, Customer Service Strategy, Service Delivery Management, and Project Management etc.

No doubt, your company celebrated this year’s CS Week, would you like to talk about some of the highlights?

Absolutely! We took some time out to celebrate our Customers and Customer Service Team with engaging sessions for the whole company. The aim of this event was to make everyone aware that Customer Service is what we all do. We had some role plays, acting out customer experiences and dress up sessions. It indeed was a fun time out

What does excellent Customer Service mean to you?

Excellent Customer Service is attained when we are able to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes and do what is best for them. Either they are aware of it or not.

On a lighter note, have you observed that there are more women in CS than men? Is your line of practice gender bias?

Well, we all know that women are more empathetic than men.

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