Articles Tagged Customer Care

Mar 13, 2011
Businesses remain stuck in short-sighted “shrewd” practices

If you spend time with businesspeople, you soon pick up that they value something called “shrewdness” over most other things – if you aren’t sharp and quick-witted, with an instinctively predatory commercial instinct, you shouldn’t really be in business. By this they mean that the ability to sniff out and design a great deal is […]

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Jan 03, 2011
Who is at the centre of your business – you, or your customer?

“If you pull out your smartphone and click the button that says “locate me” on your mapping application, you will see a small dot appear in the middle of your screen. That’s you. If you start walking down the street in any direction, the whole screen will move right along with you, no matter where […]

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Nov 28, 2010
Since when is misleading customers a winning strategy?

Suppose you go into a shop to buy a drink. You notice that instead of saying “1 litre” on the carton, it says “up to 1 litre” instead. You buy the drink, go home and empty out the contents and measure them. You find there was only half a litre in the box. How do […]

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May 17, 2010
Why does your company try to annoy its customers?

“I was reflecting the other day on the near infinite number of ways in which companies annoy their customers. A few that make me go “grrrrrr:” – Being forced to rifle through a two-foot pile of garments in order to find my size – Having to search through lines of nano-sized text at the bottom […]

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Nov 30, 2009
Do you have a relationship with your customers – or do you just transact?

“One of the most common and ambiguous terms in business today is “client-centricity” or “client focus.” Many businesses claim to have it. But if the essence of a relationship is a willingness to earn and deserve what you want by first focusing on the other party in the relationship, few companies are really client-centric. Many […]

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Jul 20, 2009
Your brand may be way less effective than you think

“Every marketer is up against this new reality: The world is overflowing with brands, and consumers are having a hard time assessing the differences among them. In 2006, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued 196,400 trademarks, almost 100,000 more than it had in 1990. The average supermarket today holds 30,000 different brands, up threefold […]

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Discussing Crown Your Customer on KTN

I will be on KTN’s Enterprise Kenya programme on Tuesday 21 July at 7.35 pm, discussing my book, Crown Your Customer. The programme is repeated on Saturday 25 July at 4.00 pm.

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Jul 12, 2009
Many big companies take their customers for granted

The customer is king, customer first, customer focused, customer centred, customer this, customer that. You would be hard pressed to find a big company these days that doesn’t chant the customer mantras. In all CEOs’ speeches, in annual reports, in investor presentations, in awards ceremonies, the message is emphatic and repeated: they REALLY care about […]

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Oct 10, 2008
Stop lying to your customers

“To remain competitive, businesses require access to capital and the STRATEGIC ADVICE to use it wisely. So, who are they going to turn to?” Merrill Lynch advertisment, The Economist, September 20th, 2008 “Quality and safety are the foundations of social harmony.” Posters for China’s Sanlu Group, quoted in The Economist, September 20th, 2008 I came […]

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Oct 03, 2008
Are you building loyal customers, or just bribing them?

“Now I want to rant about how the word “loyalty” has been kidnapped. Loyalty has been dislocated from its true meaning and is now used to describe programs and promotions, usually supported by sophisticated software, that encourage customers to buy from a company multiple times. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with multiple purchases, but return visits […]

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Sep 14, 2008
Still abusing customers? Time to close down

Someone I know recently told me a story about a well-established restaurant in Nairobi’s Westlands. He was there with his family, and ordered a fish dish. Upon tasting it, he found that the fish tasted stale and unpleasant. He complained to a waiter, who immediately replaced the fish, no questions asked. So far, so good, […]

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Jul 14, 2008
Crown Your Customer – Storymoja Business Club, Tuesday 15 July 2008

I will be in attendance at the inaugural meeting of the Storymoja Business Club, Books First, Nakumatt Lifestyle, Monrovia Street, Nairobi, 6.00 to 8.00 pm. The Storymoja Business Club is a new forum for managers and students of business to discuss business books in a convivial gathering of peers. Members meet once a month to […]

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Jun 27, 2008
The Edge: Connecting with Customers – out now

The Edge is a quarterly management knowledge series, jointly produced by the Business Daily and Strathmore Business School. I am the Consultant Editor. The current issue is out today, free with the Business Daily and on sale all weekend. This issue’s theme is Connecting with Customers: why we have forgotten the primacy of the customer, […]

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Feb 29, 2008
When the CEO loses touch with customers, trouble follows

“Although many companies like to use scientific research methods like surveys and focus groups to try to understand consumer needs, the best CEOs don’t rely on clinical data alone. They know that if they become removed from the action, they may miss important changes and opportunities in the marketplace. Many of them make special efforts […]

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Feb 22, 2008
Be afraid of your customers – not your competitors

“Yes, you should wake up every morning terrified with your sheets drenched in sweat, but not because you’re afraid of our competitors. Be afraid of our customers, because those are the folks who have the money. Our competitors are never going to send us money.” Jeff Bezos, CEO, (Interviewed in Harvard Business Review, October […]

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Nov 18, 2007
Crown Your Customer – post your favourites here

I am delighted to announce the launch of my new book: CROWN YOUR CUSTOMER. CYC is a short polemic about the state of customer service in Kenya – and what to do about it. Click here to read an excerpt. The book is available in Kenya from the end of October, and is published by […]

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Oct 30, 2007
Crown Your Customer – Signings, Saturday 3 November

I will be signing copies of Crown Your Customer on Saturday 3 November, as follows: Simply Books, ABC Shopping Centre: 10am to 12pm Bookstop, Yaya Centre: 1pm to 3pm Muthoni Garland will also be there, signing Tracking The Scent Of My Mother. Please come to chat and buy a signed copy.

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Sep 17, 2006
The customer service debate continues

I wrote last week about the lamentable state of customer service in Kenya, and I appear to have touched a nerve. I received an avalanche of e-mails, mostly from very angry people wanting to share their own dreadful experiences with Kenya’s leading companies. So it is perhaps worth keeping this topic going for another week. […]

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Sep 10, 2006
Customer service has gone to the dogs

The customer, we are told as children, is king. Anyone who has spent some of his or her life in Kenya could be forgiven for screaming at that fanciful notion. Here, the customer is a serf, a pauper, a desperado. Are the following sad tales not the common experience of anyone trying to buy goods […]

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Apr 03, 2005
Let Kenyan consumers take power

We are again engaged in endless debates in bustling bar rooms and virtual chat rooms about who our next leader should be. What qualities should he or she have? How do we ensure that we avoid the failures of the past (and present)? Which party really stands for the people? Here’s a thought: forget the […]

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