Let me remind you, dear readers, that one of the most important duties as an entrepreneur is to create and keep customers. All businesses have customers. We must identify them and do whatever it takes to make them satisfied, within the context of the unique purpose of our own organisation. Please note that your customers are not institutions, governments or facilities. Your customers are people and people have feelings. When they are happy with you, you make more money and when they are not happy with you, you lose money.

Your customers are people who have problems, for them to buy or continue to buy from you, they must see your product or service as a solution to the problem or as something from which they will derive benefit. You must be able to create an expectation for your product or service, and you must be able to fulfil your customers’ expectation.

In your pursuit of excellence in customer service, remember that excellence is not a destination. Excellence is a journey. When you have met your customers’ expectations, you must raise the bar constantly, and move on to exceed your customers’ expectations. An old customer is usually of more value to you than a new one. Do all you have to do to keep your customers.

Selling or Managing

In every organisation, it is usual to find some people who are exceptional in selling and others who are very good at management. The first group is great in relating to people while the other is good which structures. You must achieve a balance. Without selling, there will be nothing to manage, except high overheads. On the other hand, if you are selling but you do not have an efficient structure, you will waste your resources. Of course, everyone in the organisation should see whatever he or she is doing as part of the organisation selling effort.

To stay in business, constantly find ways to add value to your customers. It doesn’t take too long for your customer to begin to wonder what special benefit he or she is deriving from your business. In other words, your customers soon get used to your new level of customer care. You must lift the standard regularly. If you offer a one-star service, keep on improving till you can offer a five-star service. Quality service attracts quality money.

It is disappointing that businesses in this country will offer excellent service when the newly set up only to depreciate terribly in the quality of your service and facilities with time. The moment you begin to take the customers for granted, you are taking money for granted. With time, the relationship with the customers will die to the advantage of the competition. It is the customer’s perception of service, not your own that ultimately matters.

I think that many business owners fail to realise that things naturally deteriorate with time. These include your equipment, furniture, signboards, and even relationship. We must constantly renew and nurture things to give them a new lease of life. If you refuse to change to those rugs, your light bulbs, your air-conditioners, your packaging and the way you offer service, you are taking your customers for granted. The taste changes. Moreover, someone will spring up not far from you who will offer these things. If you now resort to offering desperate prayers against the witches that want to kill your business, you may be wasting your time. Prayer is important, but when you act in wisdom and do the right thing, you will not have to resort to gimmicks.

By the way, if you are just about to start the business, you don’t have to look too far to see opportunities. The quality of customer care offered by business around here is very poor. You can do so many things that are being done already, but do them in a better way. Nigeria deserves the best. When you commit yourself to service, you are on your way to greatness.

You will succeed!


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