Every day you hear people complaining of bad market or poor patronage. And you realize that somehow it has even gone down as far as affecting you personally.
What could be the possible reasons why people lose their customers in Nigeria?
To start with, there are a couple of possible explanations for poor patronage. The poor Naira-Dollar exchange rate that has been active since last year has been a major factor affecting businesses because prices for imported items soar individually as a way for importers to cover up import duties and make a profit as well.
This factor is beyond every entrepreneur’s control, and there’s virtually nothing one could do to loosen its grip.
But then, there are a couple of other direct practices emanating from entrepreneurs that could be responsible for losing your customers in Nigeria. These factors are controllable by us and are among the numerous reasons why we are losing customers.
Kindly check with these to see if you’re one of such entrepreneurs practicing them and find ways to adjust so you can quit losing your customers.
10 Reasons Why You Are Losing Your Customers In Nigeria
1. Poor Marketing strategy
Your marketing strategies are fundamental to customer attraction and retention. Improper or ineffective marketing strategies would only lead to dead ends.
Granted, you may succeed in getting a couple of attention from clients but then, sustenance is affected, you fail to keep or retain your customers because your strategies aren’t strong enough.
For you to create effective offline and online marketing strategies, you must acknowledge the harmful presence of competitors.
When you know your competitors and in what sense they’re competing with you, you’d be in a far better position to handle their influences and beat their effect on your business.
Define your marketing strategies with enough plans to combat your competitors. This factor is one of the basic reasons why we lose our customers to other entrepreneurs who can handle them better!
2. Not Meeting up With Demands
Once a business begins or commences, demands start coming in.
You realize there are certainly other products or services your customers need more or require more, and they start demanding them because of its ability to suit their needs and wants better.
This number of requests keeps increasing by day endlessly, failure to reach or meet up with these demands or delivering the necessary quantities or qualities at the due time to these Nigerian customers makes them feel you’re incompetent or unserious.
Sometimes your delay may not be by choice, it may be insufficient capital (and it’s unprofessional to borrow money from customers to place orders) but they wouldn’t understand this, of course, you can’t explain this to them either because it’ll make you sound incapable and incompetent, thereby leading to loss of respect.
This is why it is possible to understand why an entrepreneur needs a loan sometimes to boost his business.
So your inability to meet up with demands is another way you’re losing your customers to those who can. It doesn’t matter how many times you fail them, every failure to deliver “counts” to them.
3. Poor Services
Poor services are seen more often than not.
You buy a bunch of banana from a roadside seller and because she sees you have a nylon bag with you already containing some other items you bought elsewhere, she tells you her nylon just finished and suggest you place the banana in your own nylon bag.
Or you send some materials to a fashion designer to sew a described piece of clothing for you to be collected at an agreed date, only for you to visit the day after the agreed date to find out your clothing is ready but isn’t ironed just when you need to leave with it, how do you feel?
Unsatisfactory explains what you feel!
So tell me just why you’d be comfortable patronizing these persons again! Poor or unsatisfactory services are too common and this is another piece of debris in the eye of an entrepreneur.
4. Not Appreciating Your Customers
Appreciate your customers and stop them from leaving you. There’s this lady that owns a provision store about 200 meters from where I stay.
She’s beautiful and each time I visit her store, I don’t feel like leaving, you know why? She’s not new to the neighborhood, rather I am! But each time I visit her store, she welcomes me like the very first day she did.
At first, I was deceived into thinking she has a liking for me, but I later realized that is just the same way she treats “all” her customers. She’s always all smiles and with impressive comments, practical words of appreciation.
She tells you how much she values your patronage and how she’d be nothing without you.
And believe me, I’ve never heard anyone talk ill about her. So how would we stop patronizing her? Many entrepreneurs lose their customers regularly because of an unappreciative approach.
Customers are very sensitive, yes they are humans just like everyone else but whenever a person is about to spend money on you, everything, even the tiniest of things is considered.
Customers are very sensitive to the comments you make whenever they are around you.
Because you sound unappreciative more often than not or fail to appreciate them when they expect that from you, they are bound to “leave” you!
5. Inadequate Staffing
Depending on the level and expansion of your business. Customers are most likely to leave when there are insufficient staffs to meet up with the customer population.
For instance, a bread factory or bakery in Nigeria that is having daily patronage of over 100 buyers always standing in a “long queue” due to insufficient staff to serve them is most likely to have fewer customers if eventually, a new factory emerges from the neighborhood.
Or if they discover another bakery around, with quicker time for serving them, regardless of its distance, a countable number would exit and when they do, the entrepreneur complains of customers leaving.
Why wouldn’t they leave when you have refused to employ enough staff to assist your business properly. I wouldn’t call this stinginess on the part of some entrepreneurs but I’d rather term it business mismanagement.
As an Entrepreneur, you should be quick to know when your business is growing and just when you need more hands to aid operations, other than that you would lose customers while trying to maintain your growing business with the same workforce.
6. No Friendly Environment
When your business environment or place of business feels in-conducive or uncomfortable for your patronizers, what do you expect? They’ll quit!
This is very careful to note, as customers would hardly complain this to you directly though some may say it jest fully.
If your place of business doesn’t feel conducive for you as a person, just know that your customers are disappointed in you already because their taste is “always higher” than your own taste.
So look around and ascertain the situations of things. If you think you need to work on your environment, do it “quick” or else prepare to lose more clients!
How quickly do you respond to your customers?
Are you the sluggish type? One who takes 30 mins to serve a client? Even if such service was systematically supposed to take a while, do not unnecessarily use more time.
Swiftness is key! Some people are very time conscious, yes very very, even more than you and I.
There’s a customer who just wants to rush into your store and pick an item or request a service and hopes to be out in 10mins because he’s already late for an appointment.
Delaying this man would mean two things,
- Either he forgets himself with you delaying him before realizing it and misses his appointment or gets late to it Or,
- He calls off the deal halfway with you when he notices you’re being sluggish and that it would affect his time
Either way, this man would never or hardly return on a next of such occasion or even for any reason at all. He’s simply gone, who would you blame?
Blame it on sluggishness or not being swift! And please note that in this context, sluggishness does not refer to “laziness” but rather to “unnecessary delay”.
8. Unavailability of Expected Products
In your advert, you listed out a couple of products you sell or a couple of services you render.
I grew an interest and visited you, hoping to get one or more of the proposed items or items only for me to realize or be told repetitively that they are not in stock or have never even been in stock.
What would you have me do?
For God’s sake, you’re a perfect explanation of the word “exaggeration” or “Un-seriousness” and I don’t think I’ll want to come back. This is what most entrepreneurs do.
They place exaggerated proposals of products and services and sure they do get attention which gradually wanes down due to inability to deliver.
When Nigerian customers troop in and when they realize the true situation of things, they troop out again just the way your candle flame goes out.
9. Biased Attention
First come first serve. This is a fantastically working principle.
Most dealers are swayed by perceptible or known status(financial) that they don’t care who came first, they rather give first and utmost attention to the customer who is of a higher financial background or higher record of impressive purchases.
And sadly, this actually makes the ones with lesser money or the ones buying items of lesser value (who are the majority of your customers) feel inferior and not accommodated or appreciated, for this, they try to find somewhere else, just where they can be appreciated with the little they have or spend!
Treating your customers in Nigeria on a “first come first serve” basis is a clear way of explaining to them that with you, they have equal rights and equal attention.
Avoid suggesting by your actions to them that you value some over others, they’ll leave you!
This is a serious mistake on the part of entrepreneurs, it’s all too easy to see in business dealings, and as a matter of fact, it’s also all too easy to be an offender.
10. No Loyalty Rewards
For over four years, you have been my laundryman.
Every blessed month of the year, I buy cloth materials from you. Longer than I can think of or remember, you’ve been the only seller around a specified location that I buy provisions from.
Yet, I haven’t received any value-added service from you, no extra clothing to wash for free, no extra clothing material for the dash, no extra tin of Milo or Peak, not even at the end of the year nor at any random time.
My brother, Nah only you Waka come?
Why won’t I leave when I realize there’s another dealer who does these for his customers? When you don’t or fail to reward the loyalty of your customers or patronizers by way of tips or whatever, they are sure to leave at the slightest opportunity or the slightest provocation.
After all, what else do I gain from you?
This has created colossal damages on businesses from the part of erring entrepreneurs and if not checked and corrected, customers would leave and “continue to leave”.
Please share your thoughts in the comment box below!