I went looking again for pictures to lift for the Nigerian phone story about managing VIP customers in third world markets. I didn't have permission to use fabulous pictures of Nigerian phone kiosks (here), so thought I really should not post them without permission.
What I found instead was this incredible site, a community of Nigerian telephone users, responding to the question,
Have u ever lost touch with your cellphone for a whole day, or for a greater part of a day? Maybe u misplaced it, or left it at home. How do u feel and how do u cope without the use of your phone for those periods? Lets share...
If this isn't qualitative research, I don't know what is. (These are just the sorts of stories I try to elicit in research)
What's even more interesting is just who does have a phone in Nigeria. I went looking at the CIA fact site , which is a great resource for this type of snapshot.
Numbers don't always mean much in isolation, so I've created a couple of little graphics. This first one shows the percentage of people who have a land line, a mobile phone, or internet access. That's Nigeria there on the left, with the single digit percentages.
So less than two percent of the population have a telephone (as of 2003). These people have to be considered wealthy in any sort of segmentation analysis.
We often think of the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, when we think of profitability distribution by segments. In North America.
But the rule in Nigeria is clearly more like the hockey stick rule. The top 10% of the country's population controls 40% of the income. You can see this in the next graph.
Bringing this back to the customer experience for a moment. Remember we started this conversation because CRM Guru had a question from a contact centre person about managing VIP customers. Once you really start to see who these folks are, it becomes fairly clear that anyone with a telephone is a somebody in Nigeria.
So the question about the top spenders in that top group becomes rather interesting... these folks would be the creme de la creme. Trying to port a North American segment management strategy into this environment is just plain silly. Or perhaps arrogant.
What would make them feel special? What would their expectations be about service recovery? About special arrangements? Probably a bit different than yours and mine.
Addendum May 10
I asked some senior technology people to comment on Edwin's question, below, and Rick Makos of Teradata kindly sent along some material.
Sorry for the late reply, but I thought I would attach a number of the pieces of Sales collateral for Teradata CRM, as well as how National Australia Bank (NAB) is using our CRM solutions. We built our CRM solution in partnership with NAB as you can see from the attached articles it has generated a significant amount of value for NAB. We have a very different - Event Driven approach to CRM, it is also extensively used in the Telcom market place.I am also speaking at the upcoming CMA conference next week on the shift to more event driven techniques for customer management, if you would like to learn more I can send you the details of the presentation. We are also demonstrating the solution live in our booth at the conference.
(No, this is not just crass commercialism, and we have no business relationship with Teradata)