The Reasons We are Building a Customer Support Infrastructure for Africa
The past six months or even four years of my life has been dedicated to building customer support products fit for the African business.
Operating as a value-added reseller for big technology companies for over ten years, our projects, most times than not, required us to extend the software we were reselling to meet the customer’s requirement (Though in some case, we develop custom software from ground).
These expensive enterprise software did not meet the needs of the businesses. Ironically, it was the businesses that insist on using these applications, despite the costly pricing, not fitting user-requirements and steep learning curve for end-user.
It became more important by the day, to build and localise software products specifically for regions. As cultures are different, so is purchasing power, regulations and processes, which vary from company to company and country to country.
So why are we doing this?
Our purpose is to help businesses nurture and grow a relationship with its customer. We don’t want businesses to go through the high cost ( both financial and time) of building on an already expensive software to meet their business and regulatory needs. A business should be able to sign up, connect their data and start interacting with their customer in little or no time.
Our true end-user, the unsung hero, is the support agent, who solve the problems of the customer. Customer care agents are on the frontlines, taking the beating for the team, facing the customers fury, for a fault not theirs. Customer care teams have to frequently apologise and defend the business shortcomings, as it is their job to turn customer complaints to happiness.
A few years ago, I was running incident management in a situation room, while talking to callers over the phones, we could hear gunshots in the background, the support team had to give assurance to callers, even when knowing response wont be quick or soon.
We can’t undermine how much these situations impact the personal lives of support agents, especially when they feel helpless. We want Customer care teams to receive appreciation from the customer and the business. We want support agents to be happy and full of gratitude daily.
We are giving control back to the customer, who is frustrated by the support infrastructure of the service provider. Bad service is not all about a broken product, it is about broken communication between the customer and the provider.
Freshworks CEO Girish Mathrubootham is a huge inspiration. Girish built a global company from Chennai, India, and took it to the New York Stock Exchange. Another inspirational leader is Sridhar Vembu, Founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation, a bootstrapped but profitable company.
These corporate leaders used their companies as vehicles to empower their people, to make employees believe in themselves, reach their aspirations and become financially-enabled.
As an African, a Nigerian for that matter, we are used to putting a lot of effort into work without getting a commensurate reward. It’s hand-to-mouth, cheque-to-cheque, daily life is a struggle.
We are building a company for humans to reach their highest potential, to become an Alpha individual.
Our Soft Stack
Our Products will evolve continuously and adapt to the needs of each business. Our platform will enable support agents have wholesome interactions with the customer. Finally, our company will be a vehicle for our people to attain prosperity.
We want every employee, partner and investor to grow in profit and productivity. All of this we are building with grit, empathy and purpose, this is our soft stack.