Living and doing business in Nigeria carries its special challenges. People constantly complain about the poor quality of service they get from businesses or from the government. On average, I think the issues people raise are valid, we do have a dearth of great service generally.
But leaving it there is not enough. I think it is even more important to use these experiences as a reference point to measure how we are doing. What sort of service are you providing in your own role? The great thing about being in an environment where we are constantly on the receiving end of bad work is that we know what it feels like and we know when we are the givers of bad service. What I’ve found is that it is as much a behavioural challenge as anything else. In other words, you can’t ‘spot’ deliver service. You don’t choose to do great work today and tomorrow do bad work. It is a binary situation—you are either great or bad. For me this means nitpicking as a way of life. Constantly crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s, because that is the only way I can maintain a habit of excellence. For people building businesses, organisations, I think they are actually involved in social engineering to help people—especially young people—imbibe a standard which they may not know exists because they have lived for so long in an environment where shitty service is the norm. And I think this could be a decisive competitive advantage, especially here, where the bar for great service is so low.
Something to think about.