So the other day, I was in a bakery shop just a street away from my house to buy half a kilo of flour. On arrival, there were 2 customers (although they came together) before me who were being attended to. So I stood patiently by the side waiting. About 2mins later, the sales girl asked me what I wanted. I replied, ‘Half kilo of flour’. She asked, ‘just it?’ I replied, ‘yes’. And she told me she was coming.
Ten minutes later, I was still waiting as the customers were trying to make up their minds on what they needed as they didn’t have a list. Actually, I think they wanted to fry chin chin but they weren’t sure of the ingredients: so they would ask: ‘we will need margarine right?’; the lady responds, ‘yes’. And then they spend the next 3-5 mins trying to choose a particular brand as there were up to 3 different brands. And the cycle would be repeated for the next item they weren’t even sure they would take at the end.
All these while, I stood patiently while the sales girl stood by the other side, and an elderly woman (I’m guessing her grandmother) sat inside the shop just observing us. I kept reminding her of my flour and she would always ask me to wait. At a point, the ladies asked her to pack my flour for me, she didn’t bother responding.
I was mad. Of course, the shop had the monopoly of being the only bakery shop in the neighbourhood and I’d already wasted about 15mins. I just turned silently and walked off to the bus stop to enter a keke to another part of town where I was sure I would find flour. And the sales girl didn’t bother calling me back. Even her grandmother.
It’s amazing how these kinds of scenarios happen regularly and I wonder why is it that some people don’t just get it. To sustain a business, you need customers/clients that return for repeat business, not one-off transactions. It doesn’t matter if someone walks in to buy just N20 stuff, never let them leave unhappy because you never know what he might buy on his return visit. Or better yet, the other people in his social network who he will recommend your business to.
I remember a friend of mine who told me of how her sister was being treated shabbily in a boutique as she looked too cheap (I guess), until a customer asked for the owner of the car blocking hers to come move the car and she left, moved her car and came back in to continue her shopping. That was when she noticed the change in attitude (as they obviously started kissing up her ass when they realized she was the driver of a certain SUV), she was so annoyed that she left the shop and I’m sure she would almost never return there again for whatever reason.
We need to start getting it seriously! !!!