Part 3: Why you have been losing customers


Have you ever had to deal with the issue of recurrent customer loss? As a business owner, what readily came to your mind? Perhaps you thought about your product, service or even skill mastery like  Nene in the previous article here.  You quickly began to address these issues as the case may be. What if you believe that you have exhausted all the options? Have you thought about theft? Yes, theft or rather stealing from customers? This is not about shop lifting but a situation where customers are being stolen from by a business. Generally, this can be regarded as a service issue. But since customer service cuts across many areas, it is imperative to delve deeper into these areas. Let us consider the case of Madam Abimbola’s Store.

Madam Abimbola is the owner of a large provision store in one of the biggest market in Lagos Island. She has several shop attendants who liaise with customers and assist them package their items after purchase. Madam Abimbola provides an extra service of allowing her attendant carry items to the customer’s car after purchase. This endeared many customers to her. Madam Abimbola who has just opened another store in Lagos Mainland has been worried. Recently, Madam Abimbola observed that sales was dwindling in her flagship store and realized that even her favourite customers were no longer patronizing her. She wondered what could be wrong.

On her way home that evening, she stopped by a salon in the area to get her hair done. Whilst there, she overhead a discussion between two women who were about to leave the salon. One of the women intended to go shop for provision in the nearby market when the other quickly told her not to venture into the big provision shop at the market entrance. She went further to relate several occasions where she had made purchases, paid, then discovered the items were missing on getting home. Each time she made a complaint; the attendants gave her a piece of paper to write her complaint and promised to inform their boss. Yet, it seemed they never did since the matter was never resolved. According to her, it seemed all the sales girls and boys were in agreement with each other. Thus, she decided to stop patronizing them.

It was a shocked Madam Abimbola that left the salon that day. Being the owner of the only provision store at the market entrance, she didn’t need anyone to tell her that her business was the subject here. Besides, the woman mentioned the names of almost all her sales girls and described her shop perfectly. An infuriated Madam Abimbola decided to observe the on-goings in her shop closely before asking any questions.

Very early the following Monday, a young woman burst into the shop in great anger. She had a similar complaint. She had made purchases, paid and gotten the items packed. But on getting home, she discovered that one of the items she paid for was missing. There was always a crowd in the store so most times customers paid without waiting for their receipts to be written. They just looked while the attendant calculated and packed their bags. A large crowd was beginning to gather in front of her store. To avoid further embarrassment, Madam Abimbola appealed to the young lady and released the items immediately.

Madam Abimbola was worried. How would she prevent this from re-occurrence? How would she stop customers from taking advantage of this situation? What exactly is happening in Madam Abimbola’s store? A concluding article would discuss this.





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