“I came to your provisions store and bought a couple of provisions, milk milo, etc. Going home, I realise that the butter was bad. First, you sold bad, expired butter, I stressed myself and came back to your shop to return the item only to be met with insult and treated like a liar. This will make me stop coming to your shop. Aside from that, I will share this news with all my friends about how badly I was treated. You lose a couple of customers, and then you lose some more. Maybe, a few years or months later, you go out of business”.
 
Many young Nigerians are entrepreneurial, and this is very good for our future. The bad news is 80% of these small businesses will fail within the first 5 years due to inexperience and poor business practices. Many factors that can affect this like poor planning, brand management or marketing, etc. But the most important thing that can cripple a company, business, or entrepreneur here in Nigeria is bad customer service. 

Providing good customer service that will make your customer satisfied is what will differentiate you from other businesses and retain customers for yourself. But what is good customer service, and why does something so simple happen to underperform in Nigeria. 

If you need an example of poor customer service, just look at the people who work in the banks and offices. These people happen to be the rudest, most impatient, and impolite of all customer service reps in Nigeria. Even though less educated, the trader in the market is more likely to treat you with respect than the counter boy or girl at the bank. 

Customer service is the relationship between a business and its customers. It is more like a continuation of service after the purchase of a product. It involves answering a customer’s queries regarding a product before, during and after their interaction with your product. Good customer service can leave customers satisfied with your products/services and make them come back for more. 

With the increasing competition present in the Nigerian business industry, you have got to have something that makes you stand out and treating your customers right could just be the thing.

“You run a dry-cleaning service. I come into your store and would like to have my items dry-cleaned. I look small even though older than you, so you treat me like your younger sister and expect me to come back to the store tomorrow”.
If our young people want to flourish in their business, they need to learn about good customer service. Google is there, you can always start from there. We need to start treating customers, every customer with respect, answering their questions and enabling them to spend their money on our products stress free. 

“I go to an office to see someone, maybe the manager of a company. I walk in and I meet the receptionist who is like the face of a company. I meet a very rude young lady sitting down, who doesn’t say hello to me or ask me why I have come to visit them today. I may have had a tough time getting to the company and meeting this rude receptionist shapes my view of the entire company. The manager whom I am going to see may be very decent and hardworking, but their employee is nothing to write home about”. 

It is true that some customers are rude, but customer service reps should approach every customer with a good attitude. Whether it is giving them your full attention, maintaining eye contact, smiling, acknowledging and responding to their queries, saying please or thank you. Very simple things like can make a difference in a business. 

Business is hard work. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to ruin your hard work with bad customer service. If you’ve got a rude employee, horrible receptionist or customer service agent, either they learn or they’re out. The success of your business shouldn’t hinge on a person’s irritable attitude.

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