Femi Adebanji is a sought-after international customer service speaker and organisational excellence speaker (Leadership, Change, and Motivation) with a passion for helping organisations transform their service excellence levels, build truly customer centric cultures, create high-performance business cultures and evolve into brands of distinction.
With over 15 years of business leadership and customer strategy experience, he has consulted on numerous critical business performance improvement initiatives for companies in South Africa and internationally. He is Senior Customer Experience Strategist at Baines & Partners, a firm that specialises in Customer Experience consulting and Customer Service turnaround strategies. He is also Research Director at Pinnacle Consulting, a corporate learning consultancy that provides customised and off-the-shelf customer service training, and diverse skills development training solutions to organisations of diverse sizes across all industries.
As a dynamic and insightful keynote speaker, he has had the privilege or working with clients such as 3M, Hewlett Packard, International Centre for Parliamentary Studies, Vodacom, Office of the Presidency, Barclays Africa, Tiger Brands, Unilever, FNB, SARS, The University of Cape Town, Standard Bank, Old Mutual, Nedbank, and many more.
His expertise, knowledge and insights will not only transform the customer experience within your organisation but equip you to turn service excellence into a strategic advantage and entrench your competitive positioning in your industry.
His customer service talks and keynotes provide unique insights and strategies on Turning Customer Experience into A Competitive Edge, Using Service Excellence to Create Market Dominance, How to Leverage the Power of Customer Perception, Building and Sustaining A Customer-Focused Culture, Service Excellence Through Social Media, Creating A Culture of Internal Customer Service, Leadership for Service Excellence, Driving Sales Through Service, Recovery Strategies for Unhappy Customers and much more.
Drawing on his nearly two decades of business, entrepreneurial and management experience, Femi also delivers business talks on How Organisations can Create and Sustain A High-Performance Culture and Leadership, How they can remain Agile, Adaptable and Thrive in a World of Constant Change and The Secrets of Successful High-Impact Sales. Through his dynamic, engaging, and thought-provoking keynote speeches he helps organisations create environments where they can build market share, improve employee performance and break through to unparalleled levels of service excellence performance.
With client feedback such as “YOU ROCK! Femi’s career as a dynamic, insightful and fresh customer service speaker has been featured in interviews with international leading publications such as Wealth Magazine, the Business Day, Entrepreneur Magazine and on many mainstream radio stations. His high-energy business talks and TV interviews on the “Good Morning Africa’s” Business Leadership series on Dstv, have been flighted in over 20 countries on the continent.
In his role as Partner and Senior Customer Experience Strategist at Baines & Partners, he offers specialist expertise coupled with latest strategies and techniques to help organisations create high-impact customer experiences that makes them distinct and competitive. At Baines & Partners, he is involved in the design and improvement of overall customer experience in organisations and helps businesses implement customer service turnaround strategies.
Femi has also been invited to feature as a panelist at the African Leadership Academy’s Enke Project with past panelists being the likes of Alan Knott Craig Jr, McIntosh Polela and Nathan Roberts.
Formerly, as divisional head of investment strategy within the Momentum Group, Femi and his team grew client assets under advice from R1 billion to just over R5 billion within 2 years; while quadrupling their client base in the process. During this period, he consulted on strategy issues to premier clients such as BHP Billiton, Rand Merchant Bank and Discovery.
With over 15 years’ experience in building successful businesses (both within the corporate space and as an entrepreneur), leading diverse teams and working with businesses to unlock their performance potential, Femi now shares his insights with corporates and organizations all over South Africa and abroad, on how to design and develop high-performance customer-focused cultures, motivate their employees to deliver better services experiences and ultimately unleash business greatness!
Femi holds a Master’s Degree in Financial Economics and a Post-Graduate degree in Economics.
“You Rocked!” BARCLAYS AFRICA
“Femi was a hit with our Sales Team!” 3M
“Thank you for that amazing presentation and the motivation! Wow!” CAPE TOWN TOURISM AGM 2015
“Femi was really brilliant on Friday; He is one of the best speakers that we have ever seen!” OLD MUTUAL GROUP – SME Corporate Segment
“WOW! What a great speaker!” MARKETING INDABA
“Femi is bringing some serious energy to the CTTAGM” CAPE TOWN TOURIST
“Please thank Femi on behalf of the Corporate Affairs, he was amazing in both cities, as an MC and a facilitator. On behalf of the Corporate Affairs department, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to Femi for both his professionalism and dedication as an MC and a facilitator, he really was awesome and professional. We received an overwhelming positive feedback on the panel discussion and on him as an MC.” TIGER BRANDS
“Brought energy and passion to the whole room.” WBHO
“Dear Femi, just wanted to say thanks for a great morning on Tues. I have had the wonderful privilege in life of seeing some of the top leaders like John Maxwell, and Robert Kiyosaki, and I certainly thought the way you handled that entire subject in 2 hrs was fantastic and well packaged, and I had a wonderful learning experience. Thanks again!” TONY GARWOOD – TRG INTERNATIONAL
“What a great speaker! 10 out of 10” COSCHEM
“Good morning Femi, “I have just gotten off the phone with UCT and they are raving about you – they thought that you were ‘stunning’. They will also contact me with regards to a second session” UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
“Thank you so much for your lively and fun presentation and interaction at our Women in Leadership breakfast in Cape Town on 26th November. Our clients thoroughly enjoyed it, as did we. Warm Regards”, SYMPHONIA LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Business Talks and Keynotes
BE DISTINCT OR BE EXTINCT
In the “Distinct or Be Extinct” talk, Femi shares unique customer service insights that sets successful organizations apart from the rest. The fact is that competition has ramped up significantly over the years and unless there is something distinct about the service you offer (or how you offer it….), you might not be able to retain your competitive advantage for much longer. Great businesses are based on service. They differentiate their offering on service and not necessarily price alone because research has proven again and again that consumers are willing to pay a premium, provided they “get great service”. For consumers, it’s never just about the product, it’s all about the “experience that comes with buying the product”. In a world where social media is integrated into our lifestyles, customers no longer just buy based on your advertising – they now base their buying decisions on what other consumers say about your brand, your products and most of all your service! Based on your service, a client’s feedback can make your brand either a “hero or zero” to potentially hundreds of thousands of people in literally a few seconds! Knowing how to positively leverage this dynamic is what will make businesses distinct from their competition and keep them positioned for success! With his trademark, humorous style, he cites stories and examples of organizations that have successfully embodied a true service culture, and how they kept on being successful in spite of tough market and economic conditions. He shares his unique “Knock-My-Socks-Off” service success insights that customer service professionals can apply to ensure that they deliver a truly memorable experience to their customers again and again and again. He outlines how service professionals can make a powerful positive impression in less than 30 seconds and set the tone for closing the deal. The talk also focuses on how a team can create a “high-impact service culture”, because when the culture exists, the right behaviours will follow. And whenever employees display the right service behaviours, success is always a guarantee.
MAXIMISING CUSTOMER LOYALTY
Today, many businesses are experiencing a shrinkage in market share as they lose customers to their competitors. For any organisation to be profitable and successful, it must be able to keep its customers loyal. To do this, it must not merely satisfy its customers but delight them in such a way that they keep returning to do business. Loyal customers are the lifeline of any business. Per research over 50% of customers will stop doing business with a company or brand, not just because of price or quality considerations, but primarily because of the negative experiences that arise from dealing with the employees of the business. Research has also shown that it can cost a business up to five times more to attract new customers than to retain current customers – costs such as advertising and marketing, sales representatives’; time and training, and other administrative costs. Experts also estimate that by simply retaining just under 20% more of its existing customers, a business can boost profits by almost a 100 percent. The reality is that today’s consumer is better prepared, more savvy, and they want it all – value for money, a great price and above all world class service experience. When a business cannot deliver on these expectations and deliver well, customers switch and they switch quickly. Consequently, research is increasingly showing that it is no longer enough to merely satisfy customers. Making customers loyal to your products or services and turning them into raving advocates for your brand now means that companies must exceed customer expectations and deliver exceptional experiences to customers, consistently! Maximising customer loyalty and customer retention is the key to long term business success. In this dynamic and engaging talk, Femi will share key insights and strategies that will increase customer loyalty and implement an effective customer retention strategy that is based upon a customer-centric culture. They will also be equipped with action plans that they can implement to ensure your customers look forward to doing business with them again. The insights shared in this talk will allow businesses to drive up customer loyalty, increase market share and drive up bottom line profits.
INTERNAL SERVICE EXCELLENCE
Organisations can only truly be effective in delivering exceptional service to their external customers if their internal customers are treated with the same standard of service. Everyone in the organisation plays a key role – irrespective of whether they are front-line or not. For instance, without ongoing support from internal business units such as HR, Finance, IT, front-line service staff would become extremely limited in dealing with external customers on an on-going basis. Furthermore, there is the issue of culture. The experience customers get when they interact with your employees is almost always a reflection of the culture within your organisation. For organisations to deliver exceptional world class service to their customers they must first start from within. They first need to create a culture of world class internal service before they can deliver world class service to their external customers. There must be a culture where everyone in the organisation treats their team members and colleagues as ‘internal customer’ – customers whose expectations need to be met and exceeded. Achieving this goal means that everyone in the organisation not only understand and appreciate the impact they have on the customer value chain but the impact they have on their colleagues within the customer value chain. The quality of service delivered to colleagues and other departments within the organisation ultimately impact the quality of service the external customer receives. And the quality of service the external customer receives not only impacts their perception of our brand but will determine whether that customer will return and will eventually impact bottom line profits. High-performing organisations understand that there is a direct relationship between their ability to deliver world class service to their external customers and the quality of the internal service standards that exist within the organisation. They know that they cannot be customer-focused unless they are first people-focused. Everyone in the organisation plays a key role in the customer value chain and they need to support each other to ensure that the external customer who eventually receives the product or service, is not merely satisfied but delighted.
THE POWER OF CUSTOMER VALUE
Delivering exceptional customer service experience is more than a series of steps of “how to guides”. It ultimately comes to appreciating the customer’s desire to choose do business with your organization as opposed to your competition; and that appreciation is reflected by asking ourselves, “how do I deliver value to this customer?”. Value is never about how a business perceives value, but rather how its customers perceive value. When customers make a purchase decision, they are not merely looking to purchase a mere “product or service”. They are constantly seeking value relative to the price they are paying. They want brands that have proven their worth, they want to deal with sales reps they can trust, they want convenience relative to location and access and they want to experience outstanding service in the process. When a business can fulfil every step of these requirements, they stand out from the competition and give themselves the best opportunity to build a loyal customer base with the highest potential for repeat sales. Every time a customer engages with your company they are asking themselves, “What benefits have I received and what costs have I paid to get those benefits?” Delivering superior customer value must be a primary focus of every business that wants to be perceived as a “brand of distinction”. In this keynote, Femi explore the dynamics behind customer purchase decisions from the customer’s perspective and how organisations can present a compelling “value-proposition” to their customers.
ADAPT AND THRIVE
Change is an inevitability that will face or take place within any organization and in today’s rapidly “changing” world, those organizations that do not know how to successfully navigate the change experience will lag their competition and even worse still, may ultimately fail. Knowing how to successfully manage the change process is a powerful key for unlocking innovation and creativity within any organization; and embedding a culture of innovation and creativity within a business is one of the factors that set a business apart from the competition. Furthermore, when organizations have the tools to embrace and adapt to change, this almost always results in new performance levels and consequently, business success. In “Adapt and Thrive”, Femi shares practical insights that businesses can use, particularly during chaotic and disruptive times, to comprehend, adapt to and capitalise on change! He details how businesses can successfully leverage off the change experience to identify and capitalise on potential growth opportunities, well ahead of the competition. In “Adapt and Thrive”, Femi details the fact that successful change management is not simply about tactical and strategic plans for engaging the change process. Instead, successful change management relies on the effective combination of strategic planning as well as factoring in the “people side” of change. In other words, for any change management process to succeed, it must align the change objective with the human side of the change equation. Femi will also share how individuals within organizations can overcome the fear of change by knowing how to shift their attitudes, beliefs and responses. Using inspiring stories and drawing from his own experience he will highlight a much under-appreciated fact – WITH CHANGE COMES OPPORTUNITIES! By showing how organizations can shift from a “challenge-focus” to an “opportunity-focus”, Femi shows how organizations can successfully embrace change and thrive even in disruptive circumstances! “Adapt and Thrive” is a talk that is ideal for any organization that is facing significant change and is looking to successfully overcome the challenges that are an intrinsic part of the change experience. In his usual energetic style, Femi will take the audience through an exciting journey that will empower them to successfully embrace the change experience in a manner that allows them to capitalise on potential growth opportunities and put them ahead of the competition.
The business landscape is rapidly changing, competition has ramped up significantly, technology is simultaneously creating and destroying opportunities, what worked yesterday is no longer effective today and per research, by the year 2020, the lifespan of the average business will shorten from 45 years to less than 10 years. In a dynamic, highly competitive and rapidly changing world, “being an average player” is a sure recipe for disaster. Organizations that survive and thrive are keenly aware that their competitive edge lies in their ability to create, nurture and build on a high-performance culture. Even challenging economic climates pose numerous opportunities and advantages provided businesses can switch gears to high-performance championship thinking, build innovation into the DNA of their organisation, and encourage a culture of results-driven and transformational leadership. For businesses to leverage off the growth opportunities even in the context of a challenging business environment, it will become imperative to do the following: Firstly, become clear of how to embed a “High-Performance” culture into every facet of their businesses. Secondly, begin to see “value-driven innovation and creativity” an integral part of their business. Thirdly and possibly most importantly, shift paradigm and start seeing service excellence as a powerful business differentiator and competitive weapon. In his dynamic interactive style, Femi will share with the audience practical and workable strategies to create and sustain a winning performance-driven business culture. He will share the keys that separate great businesses from the multitude and how they keep on being great despite massively disruptive change, decreasing business margins and tough competition. The number one factor that sets extraordinary businesses apart from the rest is simply this – their business culture – what their people value, what they do and how they do it. Furthermore, based on first-hand experience from building and successfully running business both in corporate world and as entrepreneur, Femi will share powerful insights for creating successful performance driven business and EXACTLY HOW to create and shape an innovative organisational culture – a blueprint that works irrespective of the size of the business!
LEADING THE CHARGE
EVERYTHING rests on leadership. Business success requires managerial leaders that must not only be able to strategise and be insightful decision-makers; however OUTSTANDING business success is driven by quality leadership that can motivate employees to higher levels of performance and delivery, inspire employees to commit to the organizational vision, and establish the type of performance-driven culture that becomes the true source of the organization’s competitive advantage. This dynamic and content-rich talk will share with the audience how to achieve exactly that. “Leading the Charge” focuses on empowering management-level employees to excel in their leadership roles and evolve to become high-performance leaders – influential leaders that inspire the rest to raise their game and exemplify actions and behaviours that ultimately facilitate positive bottom line business results. This talk will share insights that will empower leaders to speak to the “hearts and minds” of their followers and drive up commitment to the extent that their followers will be willing to “go to hell and back for their leader” – after all, that is the true mark of influential leadership. Based on over 15 years’ experience of leading and managing diverse teams towards the attainment of specific business goals, Femi will share insights and concepts that leaders can use to “lead the charge” toward business success. He will share what works and what “definitely does not work”! He will share the inspiring story of how high-performance leadership was instrumental in empowering himself and his team in turning around a failing business unit with less than R1billion in assets under advice to grow to just over R5billion in assets under advice, within 24 months.