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Toke Makinwa vs Lagos Restaurant! Your Customer is King; Negative Effects of Bad Customer Service

The Internet was on fire a few days back when OAP and vlogger, Toke Makinwa revealed she was treated shabbily at a restaurant in Lagos.

The summary of what happened according to her is that she was treated shabbily because a fellow diner, obviously with more clout than her, asked that she should not be attended to.

Her story reminded me of what happened when I visited a saloon some years back.

They were attending to me. We agreed on a style and they had started doing the cornrows for the weave and in enters a lady. I noticed
immediately she entered, my hair dresser left my hair, without any explanation.

I wasn't happy with this behaviour, but i excused it, thinking they wanted to go through some things real quick with her.

I waited patiently for about 20 minutes and she still did not get back to me. At that point I protested. I protested because I noticed they had started doing the woman's hair, leaving me in the process.

The hair dresser said she was coming, she wanted to quickly do "her madam's hair" that I should wait.

Oh!! The woman owned the place? I thought to myself, "the woman should have opened the place for herself then and not for the public".

At this point, I was angry. I got up to leave. The girl at this point was confused. She ran to my meet me outside as I got into my car, apologising.

But it was too late. I drove with my untidy hair (they had not finished with the cornrows. Any woman knows this look is very embarrassing) and vowed never to step foot there.

Oh!! Did I add that it was my first time there? Did I also tell you that the saloon owner ignored me the whole time?Yes she did.

Nigerian companies and companies around the world should take customer service seriously.

To me, next to finance, it is the backbone of any company.

If this is a segment of your business you haven't taken seriously all along, believing  because Simbi knelt down to greet you when you conducted question and answer session with her interviewed her, then she would be courteous to your customers, then you are in denial.
 The following effects are reason enough for you to conduct periodic training on how to handle customers for your staff and even you, the business owner.

Bad Customer Service Leads to Bad Reviews

Word of mouth is the best type of advertising money can not buy. It is even better than paid adverts on the long run. Bad customer service usually leads to low patronage due to bad reviews.

Toke Makinwa told her story and most people were unhappy with the way she was treated. Most revealed they won't be spending their money there.

In my own case, I not only vowed not to ever step there, when I got home, they saw my hair  and I told my family the story, they all vowed not to go to the saloon.

When a friend that relocated asked for a good saloon, I suggested some. When she specifically asked about that one(the saloon was pretty popular as it was exclusive and upscale), I told her what happened to me. She looked me dead in the eye and told me "I would have caused small wahala before leaving" 😁.

I had a bad review to give, she has a bad review in turn to give when asked about the place and just like that, the bad review travels.

Bad Customer Service is Often a Reflection of  Attitude the Owner to Customers

When your staff treats customers shabbily, it  reflects on the personality of the owner. People will leave your place with the belief that the staff had the guts to misbehave because "Oga" behaves like that so they can't get fired. This behaviour is prevalent among sole proprietor businesses aka "One man business".

Great Customer Service grows your customer base

When you have great customer service, you not only retain existing customers, you also get new customers to become loyal to your brand. 
They will defend your brand. If you have any slight issue with service delivery or sales, they will be willing to let it go or even help out (depending on the relationship you have built with them).

Your Business is not too "Fly" for Your Customers
I have noticed, most businesses in Nigeria profile their customers. Let me explain. 
If two people enter a place for business, there is the likelihood that they would attend to the seemingly richer one first. They would even be more courteous to the person. 

I wonder why this happens because they would both pay the same amount. Even though the other party can't afford the service, politely offer a lesser option if available. If you feel the customer is being unreasonable with demands, handle the situation politely.

Experience has shown that the customer who you feel can not afford a service, ends up disappointing you by making purchases and usually ends up becoming a faithful customer. He would never forget how he/she was treated like royalty.

Bad Customer Service Often Leads to Shut Down of Businesses
With bad customer service comes bad reputation via negative reviews. Negative reviews leads to loss of customers. Loss of customers leads to low patronage. Low Patronage leads to the ultimate death and invariably shut down of the business.

Did I also add in my lil gist that the saloon closed down a few years later? I can't say I am shocked though.

In conclusion, even though you spend a whole lot of money on adverts, if you have a reputation for treating your customers shabbily, your business will most likely shut down after a while.

I'm going to leave you with one of my favourite quotes .......

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

..............Warren Buffett


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