Poor client relationships cost companies millions
Despite having the most advanced economy in East Africa, at least for now, many Kenyan firms and State-owned companies have the worst direct client relationships.
Companies are spending millions of shillings on external relationship managers, but virtually zero on training staff to relate properly to their customers.
Part of this stems from the mistaken belief of company boards and CEOs that hiring PR firms with qualified publicists will be good enough to ensure that a company’s reputation is enhanced.
What they forget is that the staff in your employ are the face of your company. How they relate to your clients says a lot about your company’s internal culture and how it manages its human resource.
If staff in a company are generally regarded by clients as respectful and well behaved, the word of the CEO is more believable when he or she tries to reassure clients in the face of negative publicity.
Unfortunately, simple things like telephone manners, public courtesy and offering to help have been thrown in the dustbin.
In their place are sullen looking staff who ignore phones ringing in their vicinity, or, on the rare occasions that they do pick calls, are rude to callers and generally display bad phone etiquette.
These are just a few examples of the plague afflicting many firms.
As a result, companies are losing huge amounts in potential earnings.
Many companies are hollow shells without souls or character, and this affects the brand. Ill-mannered employees point to the lack of appreciation by staff of who is buttering their bread.
Indeed, the wellbeing of the company and how it is perceived plays second fiddle
It is no surprise, then, that so many PR outfits run by quacks are sprouting up all over the country, since many CEOs have no idea why, despite posting good results year in, year out, their firms consistently get bad press.
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By Sara Okuoro