Customer service in Nigeria: The good, the bad and Coldstone.

Earlier today, I was at ColdStone, Opebi for an ice cream breakfast with my brother. We had an exciting day ahead of us with a good deal finally looking to be sorted and we needed the sugar rush- sue us.

As always, the ice cream was great but something else was even better- the application and attitude of members of staff at the outlet. At a point, they broke into a song to welcome a couple as they walked in.

It was not the first time I’d experienced the awesome, positive energy of Cold Stone staff but considering that only last week I had a big customer service issue with my internet service provider, I appreciated ColdStone’s excellent service a little more.

In Nigeria, where the norm is an exception and the exception a norm, great customer service is not exactly something you experience everyday. In my time in Lagos, I have had two experiences that were, in equal measure, annoying and amusing.


I walked into one of the mini Visafone outlets usually outside Zenith bank and asked the agent on duty to help reset my modem because it had abruptly been restored to factory settings. His response: I’m not feeling fine.

Chicken Lickin’

I walked into one the Chicken Lickin’ outlets on a hot afternoon after a very difficult day. All I wanted to do was devour some chicken and make it pay for my hard day. I asked the counter attendant- a young lady- for some chicken and she said they had ‘run out of chicken’. Puzzled, I asked: How does ‘Chicken Lickin run out of chicken?’. Her response? Jamb Question.

Not many businesses in Nigeria pay attention to making the customer feel special and for ColdStone to do so and do it consistently, they must be commended.

Businesses and brands need to learn that earning and retaining customer loyalty is an never ending process but ColdStone have earned mine and so will continue to enjoy my naira because even if I have to trek miles barefooted just to have some of that good ice cream and have their staff treat my like royalty for a precious few minutes, then trek I will!

PS: Another Visafone agent was absolutely brilliant as he fixed the modem and showed me a few tricks on how to prevent the problem from reoccurring.

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