i-Service at i-Connect Apple Store

I had mentally packed my bags and was ready for the next phase in my life – the National Youth Service Corp. A scheme necessary for any graduate who wants to be considered a full member of the Nigerian work force. Camp was to begin in 4 days and i had been posted to Anambra state.

As a sharp Lagos girl, who knows not to go anywhere without being prepared, i had turned to my ever-present friend- Google. According to my ‘friend’, camp was not to be trifled with and the hardship could easily be compared to those of our black ancestors.

My bags were packed, transportation sorted, pocket money received. How then do i keep myself occupied in a strange land? Music. I needed something that could take tons of music and movies with amazing battery retention. My friend swooped in again and suggested the iPod 5th generation. With a memory of 32gb, front camera and sleek body, this was clearly my new companion.

I live in Ajah and the closest Apple store to me is the one at the Palms in Oniru. Off i was to get me my new companion. As it is with new purchases, i was extremely psyched.

On entering the Apple store, my immediate observation was that it was very well lit and no, i do not mean like the new Nigerian social lingua. For those who do not quite understand, ie if you were born in the 70s, ‘lit’ means ‘turnt’. No? Ok, turnt means ‘turned up’? We have to move on. Apologies.

Back to the Apple store – It exuded an air of elegance and sophistication very much like most of the shops at the Palms shopping mall. Michael (not his real name), the sales representative was very attentive to my needs. As I knew precisely what i wanted and the price range, i wasn’t ready to browse and be shown round.

He helped me setup my first apple account and i noticed he was with me throughout my stay, even when other customers came in. His colleagues were left to handle other purchases and it gave me a sense of fidelity. It meant i was not offered mumbled apologies while trying to hurriedly answer another customer on my time. All in all, it was a very satisfying experience and I left the store very happy.

Fast forward to 3 years and the reverse was the case. I had gotten an iPhone and it was giving me a ‘hella’ problems. I suddenly remembered my good pal Michael and paid him a visit. Soon as he heard my reason for coming, my charming-easygoing-friendly and gracious host suddenly became a  snob. Michael did not seem to care that he was ruining the first impression i had. With a sentence comprising of less than 5 words, i was dismissed from the store.

It makes a person wonder, does being a buying customer make you more worthy than a browsing or complaining one? I am still a potential customer and a potential ambassador nonetheless?

I was made to feel like Oprah Winfrey in a Swiss store; at least sharing a feeling with a super celebrity is something of a consolation I guess.

i-service meant inferior service at i-connect i’m afraid. Should have meant a lot more.

1st experience: a fruity 8/10; 2nd experience: a bad apple 3/10. Average: 5.5/10

Sola Oyero

Source: Original content


Learning points:

Customer service is absolutely vital. I haven’t gone back since, but I’ve discovered other Apple stores on Ozumba Mbadiwe, in Lekki and on the Mainland, where I’m treated well even as a window shopper.

A bad 2nd impression is enough to ruin a great first one. Entrepreneurs need to be very careful with their front office staff/market facing personnel. They can ruin your business.

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