Ghanaian Traders Need Some Serious Education in Customer Relations

2 min



Have you ever walked into a shop to buy something for yourself and the shop owner treated you with disrespect? Or have you never boarded a trotro or taxi where the mate or driver picked a fight with you over the fare or other petty issues? I bet you that if we give this space out for each and everyone to share an experience; we will have dozens of them.

Be it at the market, supermarkets, street hawkers, and the list goes on and on, you are sure to find traders who display such an uncouth behaviour. Sometimes, you are tempted to ask yourself if you are doing them good by buying their items or they are rather doing you good for selling their goods to you.

It becomes incongruous when purchasing goods with your own money; you are treated like an animal by a trader who does not know either his/her left or right. There have been instances where I actually had to leave whatever I was buying and scout for a different place to make my purchases.

I once entered a shop to get for myself mosquito spray and a recharge card. I met the shop owner sitting right in front of the shop. I greeted her but she never responded (what an uncivilized attitude). I went ahead to tell her what I was buying. This woman kept quiet, sat for some few seconds, and then stood up without asking me the amount or quantity I intended to buy.

After telling her myself, she brought the items. Now, the next drama. I handed the money to her. The way this woman screamed at me, it was like the government of Ghana had passed a law not to use GH₵50 to buy anything again. Can you imagine the seller asking me the buyer to go and find change for my money and come and pay her before she would sell the items to me?

Do these traders act like that because the illiteracy level in the country is high? I do not think so because some well educated traders also operate in like manner. There are few countable traders that I have come across who are decent and treat their customers with real respect.

I am sure most of Ghanaian traders have not even heard of something called Customer Relations. This has to do with how goods and service providers relate well with their customers. If Ghanaian traders enrol and educate themselves in such courses, it would help them a lot to acquire and sustain more customers. But would they even bother?

What has some of your experiences been?

GC Staff Sw


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  1. Well I think is lack of education n manners…thats the reason ghanaians keep on suffering..(Travel and See)..we cn never ever be lyk da europeans..Enter a shop in europe, u r welcm wit a smile and greetings.if  den buy nothing u r been farewell wit da same smile n grtns…if u travel to europe den u will realize majority of ghanaians r mad ..behave lyk abnormal my recent visit to gh..I saw da behaviour of majority of ghanaians as mad ppl…pfffff 

    1. When it comes to how mad majority of Ghanaians are, don’t even go there. Look at how they drive and even keep the environment. So disgusting.

  2. My experience with a trader… i needed washing soap badly that morning to wash a few laundry. I asked a young girl to buy one for me. I checked for the expiry date and lo & behold; 15th October 2013 was the expiry date, manufactured date was October 2010. I took it back to this woman hoping that she would be sorry and change it for me….i was wrong! she threw it at me and asked me if washing powders or soaps expire. i was shocked! I didnt want to trade words with her bcs i could see that she was very “stupid”….Hmmmmm i took my money and left…Well, i told the entire neighborhood not to buy from her shop bcz every item there has expired…

  3. Buying from a Ghanaian is the most stressful thing to do. Even if the person has not hyped the price of the item which the person expects you to waste time bargaining unnecessary over it, the person will be rude and not act as if you are the customer who is always right and deserves to be treated with enough respect.

    I have once been told that, if you won’t buy go away. WTF

  4. Chris, God bless you for bringing this up. I have been wondering for a very long time about this. Does this people know what it takes to be business men and women? I have come to a conclusion that it will be very hard if at all and will take a very long time for there to be a richest person in Africa out of Ghana. I haven’t been to many countries but as a Nigerian living in Ghana for sometime now, I can tell you it’s different from where I’m from. I get surprised to walk into a shop and plead with them to sell goods to me. Sometimes, when you ask them to make it fast, they get angry, give your money back and ask you to leave. lol. You walk into some shops and find unnecessary queue because they are too slow. I know as a Nigerian, patient is what we lack anyway. Nigerians are very passionate about what they do no matter how small it may appear to be. When you go to the market, a Nigerian will convince you to buy what you never wanted to. They tell you it’s the best because they don’t have what you’re looking for. It’s so funny when I go to your market and the sellers are all sitting down looking at me. When I look around without seeing what to pick, I walk out without them saying a word. I think it’s the way Ghanaians in general relate to people.

  5.  …as for me the slightest attitude i get, i leave ur shop. and i make sure i do it in a way that will annoy you too, whiles they go inside to bring the stuff, i just turn and leave.  this topic, the least said abt it the better

  6. This is my first time commenting on any of your articles Chris, although I read them from time to time. I must say I’m really happy this topic has been brought up and I totally agree with all that has been said so far. This is a topic that needs serious consideration in Ghana. Customer service over there is so poor that I barely have the right words to describe it. What I don’t understand is whether this is deliberate or lack of relevant education because it looks like they could if they wanted to. Some of the market women are very good at it you know. My major problem is with those that claim to work for those big supermarkets; they are worse. They are very proud, inconsiderate, ignorant, etc. and I wonder how the company’s recruitment system looks like. I just hope we (Ghanaians) realize this is a serious issue that needs immediate attention.