Read below the ‘Vision Statement’ of a fast food restaurant; it was hung on the wall of one of their outlets:

“To be at the zenith of the food industry in Nigeria and beyond”

What an impressive vision statement! Yet, their ‘convenience’ was out of use for over a week during which they were still selling food to customers – even “eat-in” customers, who when desirous to use the convenience are then informed of the ‘out-of-use’ status of the convenience. Yes, the vision statement says ‘zenith’ but the customer service seems to be saying ‘ditch’!

Just as you carry out feasibility study to gain better understanding of the business you are in or going into, you also should carry out a study to gain understanding of the people you will be dealing with. You need to prepare a customer service handbook just as you need a feasibility report in order to deliver satisfactory customer service. Below are a few questions to help you do that:

ü  Who are your customers?

ü  What are their unique needs?

ü  Why should they choose to do business with you?

ü  What unique value do you give them that they can’t get elsewhere?


Please note that traditional physical elements such as product quality and price are no longer a sustainable differentiator. You must understand the philosophy behind satisfactory customer service which comprises of two elements – RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT & SERVICE.



It is proven that how you relate with people in life generally plays a great role in how you relate with your customers. In fact, in the ‘business’ of life, your spouse, friends, relatives, neighbours, etc are your customers, how do you relate with them? That will be a determinant in how you will treat your customers in business. The same way you will say “thank you” to your customers in life is the same way you will say it to your customers and clients in business or you write them thank you letters; same goes for “I’m sorry” – apology letters; “did you know that…?” or “are you aware that…” – informative letters; “well done, kudos, bravo, etc” – commendation letters; “congratulations” – congratulatory letters; “I heard what you said…” – response letters; and “excuse me” – attention letters.

Good relationship management doesn’t just happen; it has to be cultivated in our daily dealings with people. An organization cannot deliver satisfactory service when the employees do not know how to relate with each other. The importance of relationship management cannot be overlooked because, often times, poor customer service can often be linked to our inability to effectively manage our relationships.


Delivering satisfactory customer service should be about whom you are and not just what you know. To achieve business greatness, good service delivery should be something you naturally love to do and not just a business necessity. Below is a brief service delivery assessment you should carry out:

•       Do you usually love to help people do things?

•       Do you prefer serving to being served?

•       Do you love to get things done or you always want to send someone else?

•       Do you see it as a big deal to dust your desk if the janitor happens to be late or absent from work?


Your genuine service delivery nature will endear more customers to you – at Mapemond, we refer to it as customizing your customers. Also, great service delivery often engenders word-of-mouth referrals which give an edge to your business. Will you develop a genuine heart of service today?


In summary, to deliver satisfactory customer service, you must:


1. Put in place a customer service plan that will be followed {or customer service handbook}.

2. Constantly and consciously improve on your relationship management skills.

3. Build and maintain a heart of service.

The focal point of every business even before value creation is the CUSTOMER – quality customer service is therefore not an option, but a must-do for every serious minded organization or individual that wants to achieve business greatness.     

Maple Dappa is a multi-talented young man who spends time thinking and reading on how sustainable development can be achieved through improvement in governance, a thriving private sector, human capacity development, youth development, and social re-engineering. He is the principal consultant of Mapemond Resources, a firm that is into brand management, publishing, business solutions, outsourcing, recruitment, and training.  You can reach him via Twitter: @mapledappa, Facebook/Maple Tammy Dappa, or Email:


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