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Customer Service in Nigeria – Dead on Arrival

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Customer service is the act of taking care of the customer’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met. [Source]

People who know me know that I am a stickler for good service. You can make the tastiest food, have the fanciest hotel, operate the cheapest service in your industry, but if your service is terrible, I won’t patronize you (if I have my way).

There are many reasons why a business may offer terrible service. It could be the people. It could be the processes. It could be the technology. Or, it could be any combination of the three. The most common culprits are the people and the processes.

I visited Port Harcourt recently and needed a hotel to stay. I looked up the nearest hotel on Google Maps – Olive Branch Hotel. Nice hotel. Nice ambience. Pricing not too expensive, but the service could be better. Where were my complaints? I’ll tell you. After I checked in, I had to carry my luggage upstairs to my room. Now, I can easily carry my luggage but even cheaper hotels have a porter to help you with your luggage. When I visit a hotel, I want to be pampered. To ensure I am pampered, I chose a hotel as opposed to a motel. Everytime I came down to request for a service, there was almost always no one at the reception. The second day I came back to the hotel after my training, it was raining. I had to run in the rain from my car to the hotel. Did I mention that my car was not washed the following morning? Yes, it may not have been part of the services they offer, but in a service oriented organisation, someone would have looked at the dirty cars (aftermath of a long journey) and decided to give the owners a beautiful surprise.

Talking about cars, I quarrelled with my mechanic once. He fixed my car and returned it with all manners of stains and dirt. Steering wheel has grease. Seats had grease. Tyres were muddy. Just because I requested for an oil change, I didn’t expect all the changes oil to go into the car interior.

This is 2019 and I am shocked that I have to leave a place where I expect service to go to the bank to make payment, return with a teller before I can get said service. Ikeja Electric, this is about you. I had to replace my prepaid meter card. I drove to Ikeja Electric and requested for a new card. I was given a Zenith Bank account number to go make payment. I asked if I could just pay with my card, right there and then. No. They need the teller. Now, I don’t blame the people, this is a fault of the process. Someone above has imposed a process on the staff without addressing the possible inconveniences the customers will face. I had to leave Ikeja Electric, get to my bank (Gtbank), withdraw cash, drive to Zenith Bank, deposit money and drive back to Ikeja Electric. After several minutes, my card was provisioned but I had to take it home and synchronize it. Now, the problem is that I am travelling tomorrow which means I have no choice but to get my service in a month’s time when I return.

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