Nigeria is a great nation with great people, great business owners and great entrepreneurs. A place with diverse language, tribes and cultures. Across the country you can see business activities in almost every nook and cranny of every city, town and village.
There’s never a dull moment in this part of the world as everybody is doing all they can to put food on their tables. For this reason, you’ll see small shops, stores and kiosks scattered in every street across the country.
One thing that is typical of these small business owners is their poor customer service. I’m afraid this norm is crawling into reputable business organizations.
If you’ve never been to Nigeria you may not understand this “abnormal normal” everyday life. This is always the case of poor customer service which is interwoven into our tradition.
Only a Nigerian buyer will understand…
-“you get change” (Do you have change?)
When you got to a store you expect the store keeper to greet you with a broad smile and perhaps a hand shake but that’s not the case in my beloved country, Nigeria.
When you enter a shop the first welcome song they sing to you is, “you get change”?. It can really be frustrating when that’s all the money you have and you want to buy something in a little amount.
It is the responsibility of the shop keeper to serve a customer in all ways possible and not the customer to look for change.
I remember going to a shop to buy recharge card and the seller asked me, “you get change”? I was like: I no be beggar? (I’m not a beggar?)
-if you no go buyam commot” (go away, if you won’t buy it)
This usually happen when you don’t bargain to the seller’s favor. It pains me so much when I hear those cold words. Saying those words to a buyer makes him feel unimportant. This only shows that you don’t appreciate the patronage of the buyer.
The possibility that a buyer will come back to buy from you is slim. If you say that to atleast one customer for one month you’ve lost 30 customers.
It is quite funny that some of them do return.
-“I no dey sell credit” (I don’t sell on credit)
Go to most stores and you’ll be greeted with the “No Credit Today, Come Tomorrow” notice. This does not only scare customers away, it also makes them feel uncomfortable doing business with you. In this age of credit card it is absolutely outdated to post such nonsense on the front of your shop.source: southpawgroup.com
-“e don finish” (it has finished)
This is usually a case of telling a buyer that what he wants to buy is finished where as you don’t sell it at all. It is the height of insincerity in business.
Many sellers say this so as to gain the continuous patronage of the buyer. No business ever becomes successful that way.
If you don’t have a product or service to offer refer the customer to someone who does.
-“we done close” (we have closed)
This is usually the case of late night buyers. How frustrating it is to rush to a shop keeper to buy something and he tells you he has closed for the day. Sometimes it seems the seller does not care about their customers.
It’s also funny that the buyer will start pleading even with his money.
-“no change” (there’s no change)
There’s no person who has not heard this one. Just imagine that you’re in a place for the first time and you’re very thirsty. On reaching the nearest shop to buy ‘pure water’ (sachet water) for #10, the seller seeing that you have #100 with you tells you no change.
What can you do? Nothing. It’s like being denied oxygen. Only a Nigerian buyer will understand this.
Then there’s also the case of trying to buy recharge card of #100 with #500 or #1000 to call someone and you’re told no change.
-“go buyam wia dem dey sellam cheap” (go and buy it where it is sold cheap)
You’ll often hear this one when you under price a product. Buyers are usually tongue lashed when they call the amount of money they are willing to pay which does not favor the seller.
No matter what, I think customers have the right to their own money.
-“we no dey change am” (we’re not changing it)
You’ll hear this one when an unhappy or unsatisfied customer returns a product he bought but the seller will adamantly refuse to change it. I sincerely think that it is and outdated practice in the world of business to engrave “No Refund of Money after Payment” on your invoice. In this 21st century many organizations now 30-60 days money back guarantee.
-“no come my shop again” (don’t come to my shop again)
Which sensible and business minded person will ever stop their customers from patronizing them? In Nigeria here, a seller will angrily tell a buyer never to come again just because the buyer offended him. That’s the height of madness.
The funny thing is the devil is blamed if he starts experiencing low patronage.
-“I no thief am for market” (I didn’t steal it from the market)
This often happens when a buyer under prices a product and the seller thunders, I no thief am for market”
This is Nigeria and all this things happens every day, sometimes this words do not hurt but sometimes it hurts so badly that you just want to punch the seller
Hey this is Nigeria. This is Africa. Many things goes down here that are abnormal but we see it as a normal thing
Welcome to Nigeria if you’re just arriving.
Comment below if you understand what i mean…
Connect with me personally on facebook here
Subscribe to my newsletter below to get more exciting blog post like this.