Crap! Crap! Crap! Like melodious tunes my mind is so keen to blurt out the word: Crap!
Well, can I blame it? For the past few months I have sub-consciously paid attention to the way Nigerian brands have gladly delivered customer experiences in either real-time or virtual.
From the long and slow queues at every Shoprite store in Lagos (especially at the food court section) to the crappy bartending/waiter service I have experienced from a select crop of restaurants and lounges in Lekki, Lagos, I am forced to let the whole world get a sneak peek into the affairs of my mind.
Like never before the sudden blurts of Crap! Crap! Crap! all happened a few hours after work on a Friday evening, on October 16, 2015 to be more precise. I and a couple of work buddies thought we could bask in the sizzling night breeze of the weekend as it seemed so that we were all bachelors and one guy out of the “GANG” was itching for a meal.
So rice and chicken was ordered for, but we had to wait for close to 40 minutes to even preview it.
Well, the waiter had a nice excuse for the delay and I sure did not like the way the meal was presented.
Now, it was my turn after a couple minutes of gisting. I ordered for a simple serving of peppered chicken and emphasized on having it without much delay. The order was successfully on time for a change but my expectation was largely defeated, as I was served a tough skinned chicken that seemed to have resisted being butchered mixed with some unrefined grated tomato/pepper sauce… In summary, it was the worst experience I had in a long while.
This terrible good evening-turned-sour made other bad customer experience memories from some brands or companies in Nigeria suddenly resurface as I struggled to find an excuse for my bad experience at that “crappy” shack so-called a restaurant.
Brands tend to forget that they can actually only make an earning by SELLING.
Selling always begins from the first greeting at the door or landing page and ends much in the head of the customer when they are switching off the bedroom lights.
Customers like I always want to be pampered and assisted, even when we’ve got our own faults. A great customer service experience, I don’t mean a good one, is not planned and delivered when the customer is already at your location but at least many hours ahead of the customer’s presence.
Like the types of Shoprite and MTN Nigeria, brands that don’t care how long it takes a customer to purchase an item or speak to a customer service agent I can only pray for a re-invention of their customer experience design before they are left with merely their board members, Papa Osaro, Mariam and gentle Segun as customers.
It does take two to tango, but someone has got to take the lead and it sure isn’t going to be the customer. I strongly believe this: “make a customer happy and that customer will be back with up to 20 would-be new customers”, but “piss off a customer and you just pissed off a family and up to 20 would-have-been new customers”.
So that you don’t assume that I am one of those insatiable kind of customers, I actually revisited the “crappy” shack, so-called a restaurant and my experience this time with a lady was a double load of crap. This time I chose to visit the indoor lounge, of which the shack, oh! pardon me I meant the restaurant is annexed to.
From the bar-tending service to the waiter service, it was awful. I vividly can remember being offered a dirty cup to drink my malt. Upon my request for the cup to be washed, the bar tender retorted, “do you prefer a drinking straw” and nicely gestured “No”.
Then my order for peppered turkey was met with a similar delay like the Friday night drama at the same spot, and when the meal finally arrived it was an eyesore that I only wished Wole Soyinka or Victor Obiahagbon could help me with their grammar to express.
Bottom Line: Brands thrive on great, not good customer experiences enjoyed by their respective customers. Talk less of those brands with poor customer experiences. Sometimes, customers will not publicly express their vexation to you the brand owner and give you another chance. However, make sure the second chance counts for something AWESOME and not CRAPPY.