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Customer Service is not rocket science. It is like brain science. The basic requirement is a change in mindset; a resolution to take small positive steps, day by day, to improve service delivery. This resolution to do things better, is then followed by a change in behaviour to achieve the desired result.

Presently, customer service is at a vulnerable state in our country, and we are duty bound to reverse the trend. You can start by making changes in your habits. For instance, by resolving to queue at the bus stop, to be punctual and regular to work without frequent excuses, to process office transactions within the set timeline; these are small ways we can improve efficiency. There are more.

At the Airport
You are a travelling abroad.  Your friend decides to accompany you to the airport. Whichever category you belong, traveller or friend, you are a customer to the airport, because the airport management is providing a service to your need at that point in time. You arrive at the airport and suddenly there is an urge to use the convenience. Have you ever had cause to use the toilet facility at the airport? Was it a turn off? Was it clean enough to make you dare to use the facility again? Now, that’s customer service.

How about your flight to London? I heard it was delayed for three hours. Was there an apology by the airline for the delay? Did the airline at least provide some refreshments to pacify the customers? Now, that’s customer service.

At the bank
You requested for a new chequebook. The Customer Service Officer promised to deliver in 3 days. This is the second day. She calls to inform you there’s going to be a delay due to backlog of printing job at the bank’s head office. Now, that’s proactive customer service.

In the Office
It’s pay day. Do you hand over salaries to your staff on their bare hands? Do you show them courtesy and respect by enclosing the salaries in envelopes? Now, that’s customer service.

In the Church
You are one of the ushers in your church. Your responsibility includes distributing Sunday bulletins to members. Do you recognise only the reputable members of the church or do you go the extra mile to reach out to the other members of the congregation? Now, that’s customer service.

At the hospital
You scheduled a surgery at 10am. The patient reported at 8am. You showed up at 12noon without explanation. Your body language betrays no emotion. After all, you are doing the patient a big favour of trying to save his life. Do not let that ego kill your business and drive your patient to the doctor next door. Your patient deserves an apology for your late arrival. Reassure him or her that the operation will go on as planned. Give a smile.  Now, that’s customer service.

At the Hair Salon
Outside temperature has been 37 degrees Celsius for three days running. I couldn’t bear the heat any longer. I went to the salon, requested that my 16″ hair weave_on be reduced to shoulder length, which is 8″. I got carried away reading an interesting article in the magazine. By the time I looked up in the mirror, my weave_on was down to 2 inches long.

It was not funny. I couldn’t help but vent my anger and disappointment at the stylist’s poor listening skills. She accepted responsibility for her actions and pleaded with me to forgive her. To pacify me, she promised free hair treatments at the next three appointments. Now, that’s customer service.

In the Bus
You were very hungry. You decided to buy “gala and pure water”. In two seconds, you gulped down the snack. What next? You stretched out your hand through the window and littered the gala wrapper and pure water sachet on the street; after all, others do the same. Fellow countrymen, please make use of the waste baskets provided for you in the bus and at the bus stop. I beg of you. Now, that’s customer service.

At the Hotel
Bola was too tired to go to the restaurant after a very busy day. She decided to shower before her meal order of kebab and fries arrived. She loved kebab and always looked forward to it.

When the meal came, it was egusi soup and pounded yam. The waiter insisted the meal was meant for room 204. Bola asked the waiter to please reconfirm from the kitchen staff who took the order. Suddenly, the intercom started to ring. It was the supervisor. He apologised to Bola and explained that the Egusi soup and pounded yam was meant for Room 203. He was sorry for the mix up. The kebab and fries was later delivered to Bola with a bottle of red wine, courtesy of the hotel. Now, that’s good customer service.
At the Fuel Service Station

Oftentimes, petrol station attendants think they are doing the public a favour by selling fuel to them. Right or wrong? I leave that to you. During fuel scarcity, helpless citizens are at the mercy of petrol station attendants and their management. They beg, struggle and sometimes fight to get fuel, yet it is their basic right. Sometimes the attendants ask for bribes before customers are allowed to drive into the stations to buy fuel. Now, that’s bad customer service. Dissatisfied customers will look elsewhere for better service. And, that’s a customer service fact.
In our homes

Customer service is lacking in some of our homes. Here are some of the ways you can practise customer service in your home.

Always welcome visitors with a smile, learn to say “Thank you”, keep your rooms, kitchens and conveniences sparkling clean and tidy, have time for your family, cook healthy meals, raise happy and responsible children, stay close and pray together, be a happy family, be a loving husband, be a loving and dutiful wife, be friendly, generous and helpful to your neighbour, learn to forgive, learn to say “I am sorry”, and show love to the less privileged. Now, that’s customer service for you.


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