How not to Treat a Customer – Lessons from my Bad Experience with DHL Nigeria

dhl nigeria

DHL Nigeria is an arm of the huge courier company DHL express, a company founded in 1969 by Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn. In 2002, the company was bought over by Deutsche Post, a German logistics company.

Now, I wonder why history keeps repeating itself? Companies such as DHL Nigeria don’t realize or make their people realize the importance of making a customer happy. A happy customer wins over more customers by word of mouth!

Below is the story of my recent, Bad Experience with DHL Nigeria

Let me start by publishing the exact same email I sent to DHL Nigeria immediately after the experience;


I want to urge DHL Nigeria to train her delivery personnel on dos and don’ts of customer service, not in this day and time of blogging and social media can a company afford to treat customers with levity.

Your delivery man who came to deliver a parcel to me dropped the phone on me twice. Maybe he does not realize the customer is king and not only that, the customer is the sole reason why he has not been laid off in this day and time of world economic turmoil.

Here’s your Staff’s grouse:

He got to the gate of my estate and was refused entry. He called me and angrily told me that they refused to allow him in, so I jokingly asked why they they not allow you in? And with a loud hiss, he asked why am I asking him what I know the answer? He then cut the phone on me.

I made an attempt to call me and asked him to wait so I can send someone, the phone rang out and he refused to pick, I called again and he picked, and all I could hear were shouts and then he cut the phone again. 🙂

One of the things I heard him say, was that the security personnel said I did not tell them I was expecting a parcel and my question to DHL Nigeria is simply, I did not get a call an email or even a tweet to say my parcel would be delivered today. So is it my fault? Besides the security situation in the country has made it imperative that everyone becomes security conscious thats why my estate took the decision which I support without regrets and if other companies happily serve their customers there I see no reason why DHL Nigeria should be different.

Finally, let me stress that I am not perturbed about this incidence even if you guys decide not to deliver my parcel anymore for whatever reason, rather, you given me a reason to blog, tweet and Facebook about DHL Nigeria for a while. My blog is pretty popular and I love to start from there by sharing this experience if I don’t here from you.

The sole purpose of this is not to get the guy into trouble but to point out to your company that the Customer remains king, however big or small.

Thank you.


I am sure you are wondering why I wrote with so much confidence. Well, its simply because I don’t need to beg or pay any media house to ‘speak my mind’ – I can do that via CFA Nigeria 🙂

Screenshot of the response I got from a DHL Nigeria representative;

DHL Nigeria

Note: I decided not to expose the personal details of the representative that attended to me because it’s not about her 🙂

After I sent the way bill no., she told me that the courier guy has made a couple of attempts to deliver the parcel to no avail and therefore I have to come to DHL Nigeria office to pick up my parcel otherwise it’ll be returned to the United States.

3 Lessons from my Bad Experience with DHL Nigeria

1. Train your People

Don’t underestimate the need to train especially your support staff, they are the guys that have a more up, close and personal relationships with customers.

A staff who bangs the phone on a customer, that neither assaulted nor insulted him has no customer care training and if you ask me, the DHL Nigeria staff who treated me this way needs a lot of training.

2. Develop and Follow your Processes

Processes are important to move your business forward. In the case of DHL Nigeria, they follow a process of calling their customers either before the delivery guys set out or along the line if any issues come up.

But in this case, I neither got a call from DHL Nigeria nor the courier delivery guy in question. I hope they will measure up or stop asking people for any extra details when filling their forms? What are those details supposed to be used for?

3. Always remember, the Customer is King!

The founders of DHL Express did not start out treating customers badly (like the DHL Nigeria did to me and other Nigerians who have no voice), if they did, they probably would have closed shop very quickly.

Let me just sound this as both a warning and an advice, let he that stands, take it lest it falls. There used to be a big brand called IMNL or so…. hmmnnnn…. where are they now?

My decision is simple; DHL Nigeria go ahead and return back the parcel 🙂 – I will not come to your office because you have not done as expected of you.


Out of the blues, I got a call from a very courteous staff of DHL, who profusely apologized and had my parcel delivered to me. I must say the guy was just exceptional in his approach to customer service.