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Getting “good” customer service in Nigeria is like pulling teeth…yes, that painful. I often wonder why something that’s otherwise a no-brainer has caused so much grief to shoppers and service providers on this side of the continent. It really doesn’t cost a lot to be courteous, friendly and helpful…that is essentially what customer service is about. Service providers are either downright rude and respond to you like you’re bothering their very existence and if you don’t want to buy then buzz off OR they constantly apologize for everything! Oh but you know they’re really saying…
In my quest to better understand why customer service is an issue, I sat down with a few entrepreneurs, and below are some of the responses as to why the conceptualization of great customer service eludes us…
- As a people, we are generally rude…just badly behaved
- There is no real competition…
- Customers “just try themselves”
I laughed at the last point because I have had my share of “difficult” customers so I totally understand…and the word difficult is putting it lightly. Some customers try it…like really test the patience of a saint!
I think this goes back to us as a people being badly behaved and believing that because we are paying for something, the other person is less than human and should deal with whatever is dished out. NO! This is wrong…some customers stoop to the level of personal insults and physical abuse…careful or you may get laid out when you least expect it. Lol, how many times have we seen situations where the madam will slap her driver and the driver will slap madam back and quit. Violence is never the answer so don’t try yourself, respect for people should be upheld.
Notwithstanding, there is always a lesson with every customer…and the crazy ones give you the ammunition you need to get ready for the next crazy who walks through your doors. A longer-term solution would be continuous training for all employees…business owners included because some are just as badly behaved! Making it a part of the company culture and ensuring that courtesy penetrates all areas of the business.
When dealing with members of staff, how do you explain the color orange to a person who was born blind? You cant! I always say we need to be the change we want to see… start with treating your employee’s with respect and showing them what good customer service looks like. This should be a continuous process that cannot be jeopardized no matter how seemingly ineffective it looks at the beginning.
It’s amazing the things you learn through pain and struggle…patience is a virtue that I have acquired by virtue of my job and lots of prayers. Wouldn’t trade all the ugly experiences for the world but here at BathKandy, we are determined to crack this customer service mystery and provide the best doggone customer service in the country.
Please let us know how we are doing and leave a comment below.