The edge 03_connecting with customers_27062008
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The edge 03_connecting with customers_27062008 Document Transcript

  • 1. YOUR FREE COPY Friday 27th June 2008 Connecting with customers In association with
  • 2. II BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers QUOTABLE QUOTES Blue Ocean Strategy: How to OPENERS ”Coming together is a beginning. The book ‘Blue Ocean Strate e tary strategy. egy: How to Create Uncone e Even the vocabulary of compaf f Keeping together is tested Market Space and nies can be traced to the military progress. Make Competition Irrelevant’ has with words such as chief executive Working together is had a huge impact worldwide. “officers”, “headquarters”, “troops” Written by two INSEAD prof f and “frontline” often applied withf f success.” fessors, W. Chan Kim and Renée in the corporate milieu. The rule of - Henry Ford Mauborgne, it sold more than a strategy has been that to gain share million copies within its first year in a given market place you must take of publication and has been transf f something from the competitor. In lated into 39 languages, breaking other words, you win, they lose. This ”Customers don’t Harvard Publishing records as the is known as zerofsum gain. In this issue expect you to be perfect. They do fastest selling book in print. In the lead up to writing the egy, it is presumed that the structure is fixed – the environment and conf f In this traditional view of stratf f 4 Immigration Department reforms expect you to fix IDEAS @ WORK ditions are already determined and can our woeful public services ever please their long- things when they go INSeAD KNoWLeGe cannot be changed by the efforts of suffering customers? Kenya’s Immigration Depart- - a company. In academic terms this ment is making some remarkable strides in that direc- - wrong.” is known as the structuralist view tion - Donald Porter V.P., awardfwinning book, Kim and or environmental determinism. British Airways Mauborgne spent 15 years studyf f “Strategy thus becomes a question ing strategic moves by companies of outpacing rivals to gain a greater 5 Managing 10 million subscribers in more than 30 industries over a share from a limited economic pie,” Safaricom’s Michael Joseph believes both the lows period spanning from 1880 to 2000. Mauborgne says. “But when we and highs of providing customer service for nearly ten ”As far as customers Traditionally competition has been look at industry who do - million subscribers have given the mobile carrier valu- at the heart of corporate strategy we admire most? Those able key learnings that Kenyan companies across in- - are concerned you – country versus country, company who outpace rivals? dustries can grow and learn from. are the company. versus company, and even business Yes, we admire winf f This is not a school versus business school. ners. But more so, we The key question is usually how admire people who cref f burden, but the core 6 Is relationship marketing for all? can a company outdo its rivals? Comf f ate new paradigms, busif f For several years now, even before the Internet explo- - of your job. You petitive strategy and advantage were nesses and market spaces. sion, marketing has been evolving from a “transac- - hold in your hands born from Harvard Business School, These are what expand the tional” approach to a “relational” one, but is this the with the focus always on competif f pie of intellectual and creaf f the power to keep right approach for my business? tion. The fundamental roots of this tive wealth. In other words, customers coming view of strategy can be traced to milif f creating a nonfzero sum game.” back – perhaps even 13 Innovation is key to happy customers to make or break What sets great companies apart? SBS dean argues - that Apple, coca-cola, eABL are focusing on new prod- the company.” BOOK SHELF ucts to connect with changing consumer tastes and - Unknown stay ahead of the game bestselling 14 Farm to fork: How Kenchic is using traceability to assure its customers ”People books on customer service don’t want to The global crisis over Bird Flu pandemic forced the The best customer Best books for management of Kenya’s leading fast food chain to hit a communicate with service books customer retention brainwave that led them to adopting global standards an organization 1) Customer at the Crossroads: 1) euLoyalty: How to Keep Cusu u to assure millions of their customers that whatever or a computer. From Parable to Practice by tomers Coming Back to Your they put in their mouth is safe erick Harvey Website by ellen reid Smith They want to 2) Raving Fans: A Revolutionary 2) Customer Retention: An Inu u talk to a real, Approach to Customer Service tegrated Process for Keepu u 18 Connect marketing budgets to by Ken Blanchard ing your Best Customers by live, responsive, 3) Beans: Four Principles for Michael W. Lowenstein quarterly profit forecasts In this economic environment when corporate responsible person Running a Business in Good 3) Customer Satisfaction is Times or Bad by Leslie Yerkes Worthless, Customer Loyalty budgets are being squeezed, chief marketing officers who will listen 4) Lessons from the Nordstrom is Priceless, How to make are kept up at night by worry, trying to justify their and help them get Way: How Companies are Emu u them Love you, Keep You Comu u budgets, but they have to figure out how to show that ulating the #1 Customer Servu u ing Back and Tell Everyone value to skeptical ceos and cFos satisfaction.” ice Company by robert Spector They Know. By Jeffrey Gitomer - Theo Michelson, 5) Customers for Life: How to 4) The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Turn That One Time Buyer into Force Behind Growth, Profits State Farm a lifelong Customer by carl and Lasting Value 20 The rise of multisensory branding Sewell 5) Customer Loyalty: How to The unique selling proposition is not considered the Insurance Earn It, How to Keep It by Jill 6 ) Love You, Keep you coming King, but creating a multi-sensory brand is gaining back and tell everyone they Griffin currency as a key to improving connections with con- - know by Jeffrey Gitomer sumers ”Don’t try to tell the customer what he wants. If you want to be smart, be chief executive officer Linus Gitahi editorial Director Wangethi Mwangi smart in the shower. Group Managing editor Joseph Odindo Managing editor Nick Wachira Then get out, go to consultant editor Sunny Bindra Advertising Manager Julie Kisaka work and serve the creative Director Kamau Wanyoike Layout & Design Conrad Karume Photo editor Joan Pereruan Illustrations Joseph Barasa customer!” - Gene Buckley, Sikorsky Aircraft Source: AMAZoN
  • 3. FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY III the edge: connecting with customers capture uncontested market space FROM THE EDITORS ”If you want to be creative in your company, your career, your life, all it takes is one easy step… the extra one. When you encounter a familiar plan, you just ask one question: What ELSE could we do?” - Dale Dauten ”The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are Rediscovering no results inside its walls. the customer The result of a business is From the dawn of business history, a satisfied customer.” we know that the customer is king. - Peter Drucker Businesses exist to please customf f ers. That they also provide good careers for employees, and profit for investors, is incidenf f tal. No business can call itself great without ”I don’t know what your having a great bond with its customers. destiny will be, but one This issue of The Edge, your authoritaf f tive management knowledge series, will take thing I know: the ones you back to that primal issue: how do you among you who will be connect to customers? Is it through price, really happy are those location, quality f or none of the above? And how do you ensure that you build a bond with who have sought and your customers strong enough to weather found how to serve.” all storms? - Albert Schweitzer Kenyan business, for all its other accomf f This shift from winflose to regards industry structure as fixed and given. In plishments, has a problem in this regard. Cusf f a winfwin is the essence contrast, Blue Ocean Strategy is based on a ref f tomers are rarely treated as kings or queens of Kim and Mauborgne’s constructionist view of strategy whereby compaf f in these parts. Neglect, indifference and even Blue Ocean strategy. nies can shift the productivity frontier outwards ”If you don’t understand outright abuse are the more common experif f According to Kim and Mauborgne, by reconstructing market boundaries to create a ences inflicted on our customers. markets are made up of red and blue oceans. The bigger economic pie.” that you work for your Why should this be the case, and what red ocean represents the known market space The book gives practical examples and puts mislabelled subordinates, should we do about it? Who bonds well with where all the industries currently exist. forward conceptual tools as well as lays the unf f then you know nothing customers, and how do they do it? What is In this space all the boundaries are defined derpinnings for the reconstructionist theory. It the relationship between brand and customer and accepted, with companies trying to outperf f argues key to creating new market space is the of leadership. You know loyalty? How do you manage the skyfhigh form each other. However, as the market space simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low only tyranny.” expectations of your customer base? becomes congested, the potential for profits and cost. That’s what allows a company to create a - Dee Hock, CEO To answer these questions, we have gathf f growth decrease. new value curve. For example, Cirque du Soleil ered a collection of minds, from thoughtful In contrast, blue oceans are untapped marf f eliminated animals and star performers from the Emertus Visa Int’l academics to handsfon practitioners in this ket space characterized by demand creation and show, which dropped its cost structure and created entertaining issue. opportunities for highly profitable growth. Kim an all new element of artistic dance and music to As a new development, we include some says “Blue Ocean Strategy goes beyond compef f achieve differentiation. interviews with some of Kenya’s leading busif f ”If you get everybody in tition by opening up a larger ‘pie.’ It challenges Kim and Mauborgne’s work is both “managef f ness people. These shed light on the daily the traditional structuralist view of strategy that rial and theoretical” and can be used at all levels: the company involved challenge of managing customers f and the in customer service, not interesting ways in which different compaf f nies are responding. RED OCEAN STRATEGY BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY only are they ‘feeling the Read this issue , and put the crown back Compete in existing market space Create uncontested market space customer’ but they’re also on your customer’s head! Beat the competition Make the competition irrelevant getting a feeling for what’s Focus on existing customers Focus on non-customers not working.” Exploit existing demand Create and capture new demand - Penny Handscomb NICK WACHIRA SUNNY BINDRA Make the value-cost tradeoff (create Break the value-cost tradeoff (Seek ManagIng EDITOR COnSUlTanT EDITOR greater value to customers at a higher cost greater value to customers and low cost or create reasonable value at a lower cost) simultaneously) ”Well done is better than Align the whole system of firm’s activities Align the whole system of a with its strategic choice of differentiation firm’s activities in pursuit of well said.” or low cost differentiation and low cost. - Benjamin Franklin
  • 4. IV BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers ‘Madam, please go to counter three:’ Nyayo House has finally seen the light Can our woeful public services ever please their long-suffering customers? MWAURA KIMANI is pleasantly surprised to discover that Kenya’s formerly notorious Immigration Department is making remarkable strides in that direction and two months, while export certificaf f tion for goods, including perishables, takes between one week and a month. The survey classifies the work permit application process as one of the key obstacles to doing business in Kenya. The problem of delays and poor cusf f tomer service had pervaded virtually all Government offices, signifying the rot in public service delivery. This gave rise to the phenomenon of middlemen who got the documents done on behalf of the “clients,” but at a fee for themselves and the corrupt workers . The Immigration Department dealt with masses of paper. With rows and rows of shelves sagging under the weight of files and long, winding queues of waiting clients, there was need F or years, industrialists, foreign to have someone “trace a missing file”. investors and expatriates have Add to this the longftolerated misforf f complained of frustrations while tune of having to part with a “token” seeking services at the Immigration Def f for a file or passport to appear after bef f partment, which sometimes cost them ing declared untraceable and you had millions of shillings. offices few wanted to visit, except out To them, the hassle of acquiring visas, of extreme necessity. passports and work permits has been a key challenge that has complicated Unnecessary trips their businesses in the country––and Now, people seeking passports will be may temper the recent upsurge in the able to check their application status Kenyan economy. once an SMS tracking facility becomes Most point out missed investment operational later this year, sparing them opportunities, lost business earnings unnecessary trips to the Immigration and mistreatment by local officials, offices. thanks to sluggish operations at the f Currently, the official period for sef Nyayo House offices of the Immigraf f curing a passport is three weeks, but it tion Department. takes about three months in most casf f Now, however, many are in agreef f es to get hold of it once requirements ment that the registration mess that are met. had pervaded the office is slowly being The Immigration Department chargf f cleaned up. New efforts appear to be yan passport processed 21 days aff f to identify suspected terrorists, human es between Sh50,000 to Sh100,000 bearing fruit, seemingly ending this ter applying, thanks to the reforms. and drug traffickers and money launf f for visas and work permit processf f nightmare for both employees in and The department has in the past been laf f derers. ing depending on the permit class, the public they serve. belled the most corrupt public office in “Our intentions are to see that but foreigners who lodge their apf f This is after a raft of customer service Kenya, blighted by the existence of midf f customers get services within the plications through lawyers pay an reforms instituted since 2003. dlemen working in cohorts with some shortest time possible and under extra Sh50,000 in handling fees. A spotfcheck by the Business Daily corrupt immigration officers. very friendly circumstances because The Government last year issued 12,000 at Nyayo House revealed a more cusf f According to Transparency Interf f that is their right,” said Mr Kisombe. foreigners with work permits, the highf f tomerforiented approach by officers national (Kenya) Bribery Index 2007, Investors have in the past claimed it took est ever issued in a year. at the Department. Each of the more the department was ranked among the more than six months to process a work The Immigration department clearly than 20 counters, which previously went most corrupt. permit and that most of the time they has a long way to go, but it has made imff unmanned causing long queues, have Last year, the ministry pledged to isf f were being forced to pay huge sums of portant strides in placing its customer friendly staff serving the hundreds of sue passports within 20 days from the money in bribes to immigration officials back at the top of its priorities. customers visiting the offices daily. date of application as part of its Rapid to acquire the documents. This is a welcome development, and The customer hall is now fitted with Results Initiative (RRI). The East African Community shows that with the right will and backf f waiting areas where customers sit. A And now, the Government will next 2006/07 Business Index Survey launched ing, customer service throughout the novelty: officers roam around the hall month establish a population database this year says that getting a work permit public services can be transformed. MWAURA KIMANI is a pointing out to customers the right of all Kenyans and foreigners through in Kenya takes between one week and business writer with the counter at which to queue. which, according to Immigration PS a full year. Registering and getting a Business Daily. Now, it is possible to get a Kenf f Emmanuel Kisombe, it will be easier business licence takes between 11 days
  • 5. FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY V the edge: connecting with customers How to keep 10m subscribers happy As far as running a complex sales organisation, Safaricom boss faces a big task. However, innovative solutions such as call centres and outsourcing are helping the mobile carrier stay ahead of the pack as competition hots up J ust over eight years ago, Mr Michael certain elements of customer care to inf f INDUSTRY STANDARD Joseph took over the leadership of crease callfhandling capacity. Safaricom, a fledgling mobile phone We are also profactively seeking ways to company owned by Telkom Kenya and his address the issues that customers call in for employer, Vodafone Plc . through alternative channels e.g. through Charged with turning a lossfmaking def f our extensive dealer network which comf f partment into a profitable standfalone busiff prises over 1,500 outlets all over Kenya. ness, Mr Joseph faced several challenges, However, having said this, customers including launching a GSM network after reaching our call centre representatives Kencell (now Celtel Kenya) had done it. are served efficiently, within an average of As part of Telkom Kenya, Safaricom had three and a half minutes, and within good enjoyed a monopoly and was infamous for quality standards. Currently, we have 232 overcharging and bad service. Safaricom customer care representatives (CCRs) dedf f has since grown to become the most instantf f icated to the Line 100, which equates to ly recognisable brand on the land. 50 per cent of our total staffing in the call From a starting point of about 20,000 centre. The call centre is open 24 hours a customers, the company now commands day, 365 days a year to assure our availabilf f about 10 million consumers. ity to all customers. The company today runs one of the bigf f gest and most sophisticated customer servf f But even so, last year you announced ice call centres. plans to start outsourcing the customer But even with this success story, critics Our retail centres, where our customf f customer care in a year? care facility. What progress has there are quick to point out that while the compaff ers can walk in for faceftofface service, are Our customer care touchfpoints are many, been on that front? ny’s brand profile has grown, its customer spread out across the country with six in including the call and retail centres spread Plans are almost complete to engage service is yet to reach worldfclass levels. Nairobi, two in Kisumu, three in Mombasa across the country. services of a partner who can deliver suf f For years, the firm has maintained that its and one in Nakuru. We are also offering Our highest spend goes to improving perior service to our customers. We are in customer service department is the single services in Kisumu and Eldoret via a Mof f the network, but customer care is the next the final stages of the evaluation process most important facet of its business. bile Bus. priority as we realise we are in the service and will be awarding the contract early next However, Mr Joseph believes both the We are also focusing on putting up adf f business. month. Setting up the new call centre will lows and highs of providing customer ditional centres in all major towns in Kenf f We value our customers and the cost take sometime, and we are therefore hopf f service to nearly 10 million customers has ya to become even more accessible to our to serve is commensurate to the size of the ing to begin services with this new partner given the mobile phone company valuable customers. Company. by July this year. learnings that Kenyan and international On average we spend just under Sh1 bilff companies across industries can grow and How important is the Customer Care depp lion annually to ensure we serve our cusf f learn from. partment to Safaricom’s operations and tomers effectively. Mr Joseph discussed with Business Daie e strategy? ly’s ICT beat reporter Kui Kinyanjui the Customer care is Safaricom’s main funcf f The customer care line (100) has highs and lows of managing a complex orf f tion as our customers are number one to p been cited as one of the most inacp ganisation and outlined a new strategy to Safaricom, and in fact, the only reason that cessible lines in the industry. Does finally make the customer the most imporf f we exist. it actually work? Can subscribers tant part of the most profitable company Our key aim is to provide convenient, actually get through? in Kenya. flexible and reliable services to all our cusf f Our customer service number for pref tomers. Our Customer care team is theref f paid subscribers via 100 is one of the How has your company’s relationship fore not only available to handle customer busiest in our company. with its customers changed over the queries and complaints, but to also receive Due to the exponential growth of our years? customer feedback on our products and subscriber numbers and given that this Our relationship with our services and to ensure that they meet exf f service is free of charge, we do indeed customers has altered, mostf f pectations. have some challenges in terms of customf f ly matching the growth of the We therefore ensure our staff are comf f ers being able to access it. We are fully aware company. prehensively and continuously trained of this challenge and are continuously The call centres have been and adequately equipped to manage our working to increase the accessif f working since the beginning needs. bility by significantly increasf f of our operations, and have Retaining and delighting our customers ing headcount and seeking since expanded to include is therefore our main objective in Safaricom. innovative technology to more customerffacing units As the major customerffacing unit of the increase our capacity. such as retail centres. company, the Customer Care Department Furtherf We have the call centres acf f forms the vital link between us and our cusf f more, we anf f Kui Kinyanjui is cessible via mobile phone and tomers. We therefore strive to continuously nounced a business writer which serve various needs of maintain contact with our customers, enf f o u r our customers. These include suring that they remain satisfied. plans with the Business dedicated lines for different to outf f Daily customer categories. Typically, how much do you spend on source Mr Joseph
  • 6. VI BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers Is relationship marketing right for The answer, surprisingly, is not always ‘yes’. LLUIS G. RENART provides a useful framework to help answer the question F or several years now, even before the Internet explof f sion, marketing has been evolving from a “transactional” approach to a “relational” one. The transactional approach was appropriate in a world where: neither the supplier nor the customer have any memof f ry (they start from zero in every transaction); the customer is anonymous, or almost anonyf f mous; and every sale has to be profitable in its own right. In addition, if we lose a customer, there are plenty more potenf f tial customers in the market who will be easy to acquire f and doing so is cheap and easy. Essentially, companies launch products onto the market and customers buy them. Compaf f nies talk and customers listen. Products and advertising mesf f sages are massfproduced and undifferentiated. It gradually became apparent that this transactional approach is incapable of responding satf f isfactorily to the problems facf f ing marketers today. At the same time, new possibilities have emerged, especially in the field of IT and telecommunications, We must move away from the takes the initiative in makf f one another, and whether she value that each customer opening horizons for a new type s old ways of selling: Compas ing contact with the compaf f wishes to continue the relaf f has for the company over of marketing: relationship marf f nies launch, customers buy. ny, receiving and issuing comff tionship or terminate it. the course of the customer’s keting. Companies talk, customers munications, and initiating • Customer orientation. The entire estimated useful life. listen. transactions. emphasis is on a marketf f Why is relationship marf f What’s new about relations s • Actions are addressable and, ing and sales organisation keting becoming increasingly ship marketing? therefore, personalised. Comf f made up more of customer important? Because in today’s There may be nothing new about panies can address different managers than of product context of hyperfcompetition, it, for relationship marketing is messages and offer different managers. The company companies have found that it what small traders have always products or services to differf f must concentrate more on can cost up to five times more done: serving customers face to ent customers: precisely the consumers, their needs, and to identify and recruit a new face. But that is something most product or service that best the processes it uses to satisfy customer than it does to keep large companies stopped doing meets each individual cusf f those needs. an existing customer satisfied with the advent of the industrial tomer’s needs and circumf f • The emphasis is on “customer and loyal. Because products era and mass marketing. Now, stances. share” rather than “market are becoming increasingly unf f thanks to telecommunications • Memory. Each customer’s share”. differentiable, so companies systems, it is once again possiff identity, data, characteristics • The company must be willing are tending to differentiate Lluis G. RENART ble to conduct personalised ref f and preferences, and details to treat its most valued cusf f themselves more through the is Professor at IESE lationships on a mass scale, on of previous interactions with tomers differentially. This reff service that accompanies the Business School, an ongoing basis, and across that customer, are recorded quires sophisticated customf f product and the treatment the Barcelona. geographies. In other words, a in memory. er segmentation and classifif f customer receives. Consequentf f company can aspire to offer perff • Receptivity. Companies must cation, with different action ly, relatively small increases in He is a visiting sonalised service to thousands talk less and listen more. And plans for different types of customer loyalty may generate professor and member of customers anywhere in the they must let the customer customers. large improvements in the botf f of the advisory board, world, anytime. decide whether she wishes to • One of the main criteria for tom line. The main characteristics of maintain a relationship with discriminating between cusf f Strathmore Business relationship marketing are: the company or not, how the tomers is customer lifetime Is relationship marketing all School • Interactivity. The customer two will communicate with value, that is, the estimated wine and roses?
  • 7. FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY VII the edge: connecting with customers my company? where it is difficult, costly or even imposf f Stage 6: Build loyalty sible to identify customers. At this stage, the company must assess its Stage 2: Inform and attract chances of turning satisfied customers At this stage, the aim is to assess how easy into loyal customers. In some industries, or difficult it will be for the company to and in some companies, the fact that a build awareness of itself and its products customer is satisfied with a particular or services, and also how attractive its product or service does not necessarily products are. mean she will repeat her purchase in the Often, a well established and well ref f future. In some products, such as wines, spected company may put this stage high consumers tend to show “polygamous on the scale if its products already have f loyalty”. In other words, they have a relf a substantial market share, even before atively long list of acceptable suppliers launching a relationship marketing stratf f whose products they will buy, dependf f egy. In other cases, the company may be ing on circumstances, momentary fancy, in a situation where informing and atf f special offers and promotions, etc. tracting potential customers is difficult, expensive, and uncertain. In that case, Stage 7: Develop this stage will be scored low. At this stage, the aim is to assess the exff tent to which, once a company has sold Stage 3: Sell a product or service to a customer and Here, the company must assess how easy the customer is satisfied and loyal, the or difficult it will be to turn an identified company is likely to find opportunities to and aware potential customer into an acf f extend and deepen its relationship with tual customer; in other words, how easy the customer. Insofar as a company sees or difficult it will be to close a first sale major opportunities to develop its relaf f with that customer or customer segment. tionships with satisfied and loyal customf f And then, how easy or difficult it will be ers, this stage will receive a high score. to get that customer to sign up to a relaf f tionship marketing programme. Stage 8: Opportunities to create a user community Stage 4: Serve In a community, a web of relational ties Once a sale has been made, the compaf f between customers, the company, and ny may find it easier or more difficult to its products and brands forms and grows serve that customer. For example, def f stronger. Direct links between customers livering a standard or massfproduced emerge and develop. Internet forums and product that customers buy in a store and chatfrooms mushroom. User clubs or fan take home with them may be very easy. clubs appear, in which people exchange But customers will be more difficult to knowledge, ideas and experiences of the serve if they demand that the product be product or service. Older customers volf f delivered to their homes. In some cases, unteer to teach and train new customf f the product may have to be installed, or ers. Markets are created for secondhand even adjusted and adapted to customf f products, or products complementary to ers’ particular needs. the main product, etc. Stage 5: Satisfy Final evaluation The aim at this stage is to assess how If a company is wondering whether or No, it isn’t. All that glitters is not gold. kinds of companies. Is relationship marf f easy or difficult it will be for the company not to design and implement a relationf f And not every company that tries to make keting “good” for all companies? Or is it to keep its customers satisfied with the ship marketing strategy, a good way to relationship marketing work for it is sucf f only to be recommended to some? product or service they have bought. A start would be to analyse each of the eight cessful. Relationship marketing is very In the rest of this article we shall try customer’s satisfaction usually depends stages just described and evaluate them interesting and attractive in theory. In to answer this question. on the degree to which the company sucf f on a scale of 0 to 10. practice, however, it is prone to difficulff ceeds in meeting, or even exceeding, the If the sum of the eight scores is over ties, or even rejection. The eight stages of relationship mars s expectations the customer had at the 40 and approaching 80 (the maximum), Two of the largest British supermarf f keting time of purchase. the company can be confident that it will ket chains (Asda and Safeway) recently My proposal is that a company that wishf f In some cases, companies are highly benefit from adopting a relationship chose to cancel their relationship marf f es to decide whether or not to design confident that their customers will be marketing strategy. Conversely, if the keting programmes. and implement a relationshipfmarketing reasonably satisfied. An example might total is less than 40, the company may Apparently, they came to the concluf f programme should organise its thoughts be companies selling upmarket cars or conclude that a relationship marketing sion that the costs of operating such a around the eight stages of the design and home appliances. strategy is unlikely to yield significant programme (which in the case of Safef f implementation process. In other cases, however, the degree of benefits in terms of turnover, margins way was around 60 million pounds a The eight stages of a relationship marketf f customer satisfaction may be unpredictf f or selling costs. year) outweighed the benefits. Safeway, ing process to be considered and evaluf f able, due to differences between customf f We have a long way to go before we instead spent the money on attractive ated are: ers, variability of the products or services can say that we have a reliable method price promotions and other marketing sold, or uncontrollable outside influencf f for determining how attractive a relaf f actions aimed more directly at boosting Stage 1: Identify es. For example, a long plane journey may tionship marketing strategy may be for customer satisfaction, and quickly saw At this stage, the aim is to assess how be a pleasure or a misery, depending on different companies. But the procedure an increase in sales and market share. easy or difficult it will be to identify the the passenger we happen to have sitting described in this article may be a first step All this suggests we should exercise universe of customers who would be next to us. toward explaining why relationship marf f Feedback caution with regard to relational marketf f the target of a relationshipfmarketing Consequently, if a company is reasonf f keting is not “right” for all companies, ing strategies and their supposed univerf f strategy. ably sure that a large proportion of cusf f and also why a relationship marketing Please send your com-- sal applicability. The assessment will be positive if the tomers will be satisfied with the prodf f strategy may be more or less attractive ments and observa- - A sensible way to start would be to company has already clearly identified uct or service, it will give a this stage a to a company that is considering implef f tions to ask whether the concept and practice of the target customers. Conversely, the high score. menting one. relationship marketing is suitable for all score for this stage will be low in cases
  • 8. VIII BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers The magic of managing customer Relationships between sellers and buyers are all too often confrontational and immature. MIKE ELDON wonders why, and recommends a better way. S ome years ago, I was focused character, one whose asked to run a customf f eye is much more on making the er care event for the sale and pocketing the commisf f sales supervisors of a major sion, to being a consultant. vehicle distribution compaf f It’s not that consultants ny, one that sold everything don’t protect their interests or from motorbikes through those of their employers. But, cars to big trucks. A few days in a spirit of winfwin, they also before the workshop, I def f ensure their customers get a cided to go round their diff f good deal. ferent showrooms, posing Now the business of winfwin as a buyer. For I wanted to assumes a longer term view of see how I and they fared. selling. One’s ethics may well They were embarrassf f hold one back from making a ingly awful. I was appalled. sale today, or one may make Their universal disinterest a smaller or a less profitable in me was matched only one. by their ignorance of the But one meanwhile earns products they indifferently the trust and respect of the cusf f allowed their customers to tomer, who will be far more likef f buy. ly to return tomorrow. Indeed Even when it came to central to selling is the idea of multifmillionfshilling trucks building relationships, and cerff they hadn’t the slightest idea tainly when it comes to higher about their features, never value capital goods and servicf f mind the benefits of those es, the area where I have been features when compared to brought up. those of their competitors. Hence the concept of ‘acf f Having been brought up count management’, whereby in the fiercely competitive IT a longfterm relationship is asf f industry, I just couldn’t come sumed and time and other ref f to terms with how salespeof f sources are invested in nurturf f ple in my field put more eff f ing it. fort into selling a printer Not every purchaser apf f costing a few thousand preciates such an approach, shillings than the sofcalled mind you. Some prefer an arm’s salesman from this compaf f length relationship, where purf f ny applied to fumbling over chases are made transaction his highfend truck. by transaction, each with their I kicked off the workshop own tender. by asking the participants to Such people feel they get rate themselves on a scale of better value by constantly exf f one to 10 on how well they posing any incumbent supplif f cared for their customers. er to competition and keeping Their answers ranged from up the pressure on both quality six to eight, with no excepf f and cost. tions. I couldn’t believe it. For me these procurement And yet why not? Those who purists miss the point, subfopf f don’t know what they don’t timising around least cost per know often imagine they’re transaction. doing pretty well. But they are far from uncomff This was when vendors, mon and it’s really hard to exf f of vehicles as much as comf f “I win, you lose” is a common ats s than their transportation counf f were looking for. plain to them, in all their selff puters, were restricted in titude in selling. terparts. It sounds rather obvious, righteousness, exactly what it is what they could bring in to I advised these motoring but even in these days of infiff that they are missing out on. For Kenya, having to obtain both merchants to learn so much nitely fiercer competition the the supplier, forced to act as a MIKE ELDON is import licences and foreign more about their products and salesperson who follows this provider of a commodity where now a consultant, exchange allocations. Def f what was good about them; to selffevident path is more the only cost minimisation matters, mand greatly exceeded supf f learn everything they could exception than the rule. draws back, many of his highest after a long career as ply in each case, but somef f about competing products; and It is by going down this path value resources unutilised. an executive in the IT how computer people still to relate what their products off f that one graduates from being How refreshing therefore industry. had to sweat infinitely more fered to what their customers a productffocused and vendorf that over the last few years a
  • 9. IX FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY the edge: connecting with customers expectations A car showroom: “Even when it came to multismillionsshilling vehicles they hadn’t the slightest idea about their features, never mind the benefits of those features when compared reaction has set in to this trend. A good customer in time to meet a very tight We used to fight all the time before that of how a customer treats a vendor, but number of major procurers, including deadline. It’s winter in America, and (for inevitably some unforeseen probf f after so many years of taking knocks here in Kenya, have been rationalising the snow is falling. Everyone’s nervous, lem cropped up, or he got stuck in traff f from my customers I do have a request their suppliers, reducing them to a manf f supplier and customer alike. So what do fic as he was bringing the vehicle back to make of those who confront supplif f ageable number of competent, reputable the good people of IBM do? They keep to me) but now we’re the best of friends. ers with unrelenting aggression. There ones with whom they wish to engage in communicating. As Tom Peters puts it, He’s thanked me several times for havf f is that kind of macho client who feels closer longerfterm relations. Anathema they overfcommunicate, updating the ing introduced him to this magic, and I’d that unless they are forever bashing their to the arm’sflength brigade, these folk customer at regular and predictable inf f like to think that all his customers have suppliers they’ll go soft. talk unabashedly about viewing their tervals until the truck, against all odds, benefited from his newffound commuf f There’s really no need to see your venf f suppliers as partners. And that, to the arrives. nications skills. dor as an adversary, as an unmitigated ‘consultant’ type of valuefadd vendor, is Of all the advice that I have given over Related to this phenomenon, when rogue. No wonder some salespeople bef f music to our ears. the years to customerffacing people, the one is dealing with a larger organisation, come inhibited, and retreat into a kind For salespeople who have been accusf f one I have hammered most often is to where there are several layers of managef f of soulfless ‘professionalism’ as a way of tomed to selling products rather than sof f overfcommunicate. I should also add that ment, I have found that it is prudent for protecting themselves. lutions though, for those who churn out it is a source of great sadness to me that the vendor to take the escalation initiaf f minimalist quotes rather than thoughtf f very few, pitifully few, have ever taken tive when a problem rears its ugly head. Timid operators ful, reasoned proposals, this is definitely my advice. It’s very much in their interest for engiff But, I sat to such timid operators, you territory ‘beyond the ten’. And as I have They have suffered the consequencf f neers or a salespeople to alert their own must go beyond the logical to the psyf f found over the years it is very hard to es, of gratuitously dissatisfied customf f bosses earlier rather than later in such chological. You must reach out to your truly convert such people to become valf f ers, but this has never seemed to make a situations. customer at a social and emotional levff uefadd consultants, professionals who difference. They’ve kept on doing what And the boss should think about conf f el, and help them assume a relationship will be respected for their knowledge and they’ve always done… so they’ve kept on tacting his or her counterpart to hear between two mature, solutionforiented their judgement. But it’s fun trying! getting what they’ve always got: anger from the vendor before they do so from adults who respect each other, and who instead of understanding. their own people (not infrequently with assume that mutual benefit will emerge Generate delight It’s possible that before I slip away appropriate spin applied). It takes guts, from working together. Yes, together. As I look back over all my years in this into some salesman’s heaven someone but it pays dividends. Tom Peters published his Passion for kind of selling environment, both in Aff f will explain to me why hardly anyone The beauty of this kind of bold and Excellence over twenty years ago, but rica and in Europe, I long ago concluded takes such advice to heart, but I doubt it. caring behaviour is that once you make what he wrote is as powerful today . Let that one of the most powerful – and easiff I have just come to accept this masochisf f it a normal part of how you operate you no one imagine that Peters was the one est – ways of generating customer def f tic blind spot as a missing circuit in the reach a point where you expect to be able who invented the idea of taking care of light is to manage expectations with great make up of most human beings. to turn a crisis into an opportunity. Every one’s customers. diligence. Most customerffacing people I know how much good the discovf f vendor faces problems. There were surely great experts in (whether their customers are internal ery of ‘overfcommunication’ has done Customers, whatever they may say, customer care in ancient times – and or external) are awful, appalling, zero at me. Most customers can live with a delay do expect that. But if you perform well they may well have been in a minority this. You’d think it was so sophisticated, or a problem of some kind if they know in solving these problems (and a good then too. They certainly are today. But so complex, so time consuming. about it in good time. But if it comes as part of this lies in expectations managef f I’ve always wondered why. No one has written more forcefully or a surprise they go wild. I do, and I think ment, and at all the relevant levels) you convincingly about expectations manf f I’m quite normal. can readily develop your relationship to agement than Tom Peters, in his Passion Happily, I did manage to convince the a higher level than where it would have for Excellence. excellent mechanic who takes care of my been had the problem not occurred in He tells us about the shipment of IBM car that it is in his interest to practice the first place. More magic. computers that was being rushed to a good expectations management with me. Forgive me if I revert to the question
  • 10. X BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers How ‘Semmelweis Reflex’ prevents Lessons in understanding customers, from a 19th Century hospital and two very different doctors BY PROFESSOR PADDY MILLER AND THOMAS WEDELL-WEDELLSBORg You couldn’t get much closer to your customers than Johan Klein and his team of doctors at the evocatively named Wien Allgemeine Krankenf f haus, the Vienna General Hospital. They were in the business of delivering newfborn babies. The year was 1845 when Klein was appointed direcf f tor of the hospital and he quickly got to work on a problem he had observed amongst the medical students. He perceived the knowledge of anatomy they demonstrated to be insufficient for the tasks they had to perform in the course of their hospital duties. Students studied the ins and outs of the Dr. PADDY MILLER is a human body, taught in a rather haphazard way, Professor based in Barcelona by professors using leather mannequins. Klein at IESE Business School, identified the students’ lack of detailed anatomical knowledge as deriving directly from this limited University of Navarra, one of teaching method. Students were lesser physicians the top schools in Europe. He for it and Klein quickly implemented a programme has taught many leadership where the use of cadavers in anatomy became cusf f tomary at the Hospital. and general management Being close to their patients in both theory and courses on the senior executive practice was to be the cornerstone of Klein’s leadf f programmes at IESE as well as ership and it gained the Wien Allgemeine Krankf f enhaus a reputation as a cuttingfedge medical inf f at Harvard Business School and stitution. Talented professionals began to leave the Darden School in Virginia. their farfoff hometowns to come and study there as its reputation spread. Though this happened more than 160 years ago, Klein knew that in orf f der to provide a clear and demonstrated superior service to customers your team needs to have a several attributes: • A profound firstfhand knowledge of the area it is working in; • The tools and education to be able to address the problems it faces; • A deep passion for its work in order to provide the drive and motivation to keep working at the problems faced. The challenge, however, for managers when they start getting those three elements synchronised and right is that they, as bosses, need to step back and let things happen. Because if you can’t do that The Semmelweis Reflex kills creativity and prevents managers from understanding their customers. THOMAS WEDELL- you may run the risk of finding yourself qualified WEDELLSBORG is an for the eternal “BossffromfHell” award much as independent consultant Johan Klein found. Early success heralded subf f that struck the new mothers. Nobody understood and Division II. Although following the exact same sequent infamy. the cause of the illness. Some blamed an imbalance methods, the two divisions’ mortality rates from specialising in innovation and While Klein had instituted some progressive of ‘humours’ in the body, referring to the prevailing childbed fever were radically different. At Division business creativity, and has teaching methods, obstetrics was still an area of theory of how diseases developed. Others believed I, where Semmelweis worked along with a number worked with companies such grave concern. Giving birth was still an extremely it was a natural byfproduct of the pregnancy itself, of male medical students, 13 percent – or one of dangerous business and the maternity ward had since it seemed only to strike new mothers. The maf f every eight patients – would die from the disease. as Abbott Laboratories, Joost, the figures to prove it. While most women gave birth jority of doctors believed the disease to be a fact of At Division II, run by female midwives and their MTV Europe and The Danish in their homes, some women were admitted to the life, something that they couldn’t – and therefore students, the number of deaths from childbed fever Parliament. He is the founder maternity wards – either due to complications or shouldn’t – do anything about. was much lower at only 2 percent, or one fatality because they were poor – and the mortality rate was In Klein’s hospital there was a young Hungarian for each 50 patients. of 13 MBAs, a professional high f between 25 and 30 percent of them ended up physician, Ignaz Semmelweis, who thought otherf f Semmelweis was profoundly affected by the network for Harvard, Stanford, in the morgue. The single most frequent killer was wise. He didn’t agree with reigning attitude and deaths caused by the fever. The remarkable differf f Wharton, IESE, and nine other childbed fever – or puerperal sepsis – a then littlef became obsessed with preventing childbed fever. ence in the survival rates was also noticed outside top-tier business schools. understood illness reminiscent of blood poisoning The hospital had two maternity wards fDivision I the hospital walls, among the general public. Semf f
  • 11. FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY XI the edge: connecting with customers us from knowing our customers Thinking you know everything is akin to doing business blindfolded. The savvy manager keeps a keen eye on what customers actually want. melweis described how desperate mothersftofbe The Semmelweis Reflex is one of the leading History would show that a few of Semmelf f convinced by his few remaining friends to come approached him, literally begging on their knees creativity killers in modern organisations. Empirif f weis’ older colleagues supported him, but their to Vienna, where they then forced him into the to be admitted to Division II instead of Division cal studies and common wisdom clearly agree on attempt at getting the medical authorities to set care of a mental institution. Semmelweis fought I. Stopping the disease became an obsession for this one thing: bosses and colleagues tend to kill up a commission and examine the matter was the guards as he was admitted, and was severely Semmelweis and against the express will of his new ideas instinctively, judging them prematurely thwarted because of political infighting. Johann beaten as a consequence. 14 days later, still in superior, Dr Johan Klein, Semmelweis started and often dispensing a death sentence based on Klein had been against Semmelweis’ investigation the lunatic asylum, he died from his wounds. gathering data on the deaths and comparing the the flimsiest of reasoning. Having implemented from the beginning, not least because it could be His death went largely unnoticed by the medif f two divisions to find clues to the origin of the illf f systems that work bosses tend to be ungrateful perceived as a direct criticism of the way he had cal community; at his funeral, not a single of his ness. Gradually he came to a conclusion that what run his hospital. Klein rejected the findings, and colleagues showed up. differentiated the two divisions were the hands Bosses often kill new ideas instinctively, when Semmelweis’ employment contract came What is to be made of Dr Johan Klein and this and instruments of the physicians in Division I: up for renewal, Klein didn’t renew it, but instead tale of hand washing? In our work with large gloff they were unwashed and septic as they had been dispensing a death sentence on the gave the post to a younger, less qualified doctor, bal businesses we have found that the closer you in contact with diseased cadavers while those in flimsiest of reasoning. Carl Braun, who also didn’t believe in Semmelf f get to understanding customers the more likely the other Division had not. weis’ ideas. Under Braun’s tenure, the mortality improvisation at the contact point between emf f It is at this point one needs to empathise with rate from childbed fever immediately jumped up ployees and customers is to occur. That bosses off f Dr Johan Klein, soon to be candidate for the eterf f to its previous high levels. Braun would go on to ten have highly creative solutions to the problems nal “BossffromfHell” award. Klein had introduced when facing innovators who challenge the status publish an article where he listed no less than 30 of the business that are questioned when employf f many innovations to the hospital which contribf f quo. For what was Semmelweis suggesting? That different causes of childbed fever, including chillif f ees and customers put them to the test. It is for uted to great understanding of how patients funcf f contact with cadavers by professors and students ness, bad diets, and the state of being pregnant itff this reason that many managers reject the idea of tioned and at the same time had gained an interf f in the anatomy class resulted in the transfer of the self. Contact with cadaveric material was number improvisation at the lowest levels. The Semmelf f national reputation for his institution. His instif f deadly childbed fever to the maternity wards. The 28 on the list. Much a pity that PowerPoint was weis Reflex kicks in. Organisations such as Procff tution had made great strides in medical practice implication was obvious – physicians were killf f not available because it would have made a fine tor & Gamble have worked hard to overcome this and his achievements were acclaimed. One can ing their own patients and Klein was having none presentation to his boss. phenomenon and today more than 50 per cent of understand his reluctance to entertain the ideas of it. Even when the mortality rate in Division I In 1861, when Semmelweis finally published all marketing innovations within P&G come from of young Semmelweis, a junior and a foreigner maternity ward dropped from 18 per cent to 2 per a book of his findings, he was again ridiculed by people like customers outside the organisation. to boot. As a boss Johan Klein like many bosses cent because Semmelweis insisted on doctors and the medical establishment. Over the next four Johan Klein would turn in his grave. today get trapped into what author Robert Anton nurses washing their hands in chlorine Klein ref f years, worn out by the relentless criticism, Semf f © PROF PADDY MILLER AND THOMAS WEDELL- Wilson has called the Semmelweis Reflex i.e. ‘the jected the findings. Semmelweis had no theory for melweis started to become mentally unbalanced. WEDELLSBORg, IESE BUSINESS SCHOOL, dismissing or rejecting out of hand any informaf f this phenomenon, said Klein, Semmelweis could He aged visibly and occasionally wrote raging letf f BARCELONA, MAY 2008. THIS IS AN EXCERPT tion, automatically, without thought, inspection, not explain how it happened and therefore had ters to prominent foreign obstetricians, calling FROM THE AUTHORS’ NEW BOOK “CREATIVE or experiment.’ no basis for changing medical practice. them ‘irresponsible murderers’. In 1865, he was CULTURES” DUE FOR PUBLICATION IN 2009.
  • 12. XII BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers One size does not fit all at Sarova S ince it opened its first unit in Nairobi in the 70s, Sarova Hotels, Resorts and Game Lodges has grown to be one of the leading hotel groups in the country. As the tourism sector has continued to grow, so has the number of units in the group’s stable. To INDUSTRY STANDARD date it has eight units, offering the largest number of rooms across all the major tourist destinations in the country. In 2006, Sarova refbranded itself, taking on the prefix SAROVA. This saw the famous New Stanley Hotel become Sarova Stanley in an effort to build brand recognition and offer service asf f sociated with the name. In the past few years, the group has moved from the “one size fits all” blanket service and has customised products to address the various clif f ents’ needs. In addition, customers get rewarded through the Sarova Zawadi loyalty system. Sarova is looking to expand to other counf f tries, and this is expected to propel the group to become a major player regionally. The managing director, Mr Jaideep Vohra or JS Vohra , as the industry refers to him, took the helm at the group in 2006, and has continued to drive Sarova to new heights. He has continuously invested in ensuring Mr Vohra: Leading in turbulent times. FreDrIcK oNYANGo the customer is well looked after in any one of the units. Sarova hinges its customer relations For this reason we invested over Sh5 million in honeymooners, business and conference clients, upon “The first impression – last impression phif f 2006 in the Sandy Vohra Learning Centre where which have enabled the group to plan its strategies losophy.” all levels of our staff undergo training, to become to offer all a betterfcustomised service. Business Daily’s Wangui Maina caught up ambassadors of the organisation. What were the opportunities and challenges with Mr Vohra to talk about how Sarova conf f facing the company when you became MD? nects with its customers, in a special interview Where has Sarova Group come from, where The challenges and opportunities have mainly with The Edge. are you now and where are you going with been sector driven. The same challenges face your customer relations strategy? the rest of the players. However, we are confrontf f How does Sarova Group connect with its cusp p Customer relations is a systematic interaction ing these challenges headfon by ramping up our tomers? between a member of staff, any member, and the marketing. Our customers – local, regional and international customer. You might serve the best product in the The business within the hospitality sector is – are the very reason for our existence. We underff industry but as long as a customer encounters a compelled to stick to a strict code of ethics for stand that and that is why we ensure that a stay at rude doorman, bellboy or waiter then the experif f the development of the subfsector and as part of any of our eight properties is an individualised, ence is spoilt and the customer lost. ensuring the image of the country is protected. enriching and fulfilling experience. We have invested in a new advanced automatf f Tourism investments must be made in cognisance For this reason we have invested heavily in clif f ed datafbase system that allows us to communif f of the need to attain sustainable development f ent relationshipfmanagement systems that are cate efficiently with the client. The system allows something that we at Sarova have always implef f executed by one of the most highly skilled and us to address the unique needs and preferences mented. Selffregulation is a formidable tool for trained sales forces in the industry. of each market segment across the group. decent business. And we use our General Sales Offices (GSO) in key source markets in UK, France, US, India, Have you established who your customers are? Looking ahead, where do you see Sarova going Germany and South Africa. Where is the Sarova niche? and what strategies are you putting in place? It is important for us to be well informed of All energies are focused on rational, strategic What strategies have been put in place to enp p our clients’ needs and preferences. growth as we bring on board new properties in sure the best customer service is given and To do this we conduct regular Mystery Guest the region. when were they implemented? surveys and have an infhouse Guest Satisfaction Organisational change is inevitable as we move Our associates must be perceived to have been Tracking System. Recently, we also contracted an on, given the dynamically evolving sector we opf f Wangui Maina is trained to deal with customers and have the auf f international marketing research company, AC erate in. We do expect to list on the Nairobi Stock a features writer thority to retain customers on behalf of the orf f Nielsen, to help survey customers and staff on a exchange in the foreseeable future. with the Business ganisation. Providing effective customer relations global platform. can mean the difference between gaining and Through research, the company has managed Daily losing customers to the competition. to identify niche markets which include families, Email
  • 13. XIII FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY the edge: a new order for Kenya Innovation is key to happy clients What sets great companies apart? SBS dean argues that Apple, Coca-Cola and EABL are focusing on new products to connect with changing consumer tastes and staying ahead of the game Business Daily: What is the most imporp p on the ordinary man. But remember, the So the CEO must take charge of customer tant part of connecting with customers? ordinary man can change his opinion every strategy? George Njenga: Innovation. Throughout five years. So it is a case of research, research, Absolutely. The CEO must keep focused alignf f most of the 1990s (and long before) Cocaf research f and then innovate. ing customer relationships with strategy. It is Cola appeared unstoppable— with an anf f essential to keep innovation true to your busif f nual earnings growth of 15f20 per cent. Yet How does this innovation happen? ness strategy— the fact that you have more by 1998, it faced its worst ever downfturn in The customer value proposition is a product customers is not necessarily success. This in recent memory. Why? Because customer of both pricing and customer mechanics. A turn calls upon the management to always demands keep changing. CEO should live this innovation by conductf f keep a natural tension between creativity ing a periodic strategic healthfcheck of the and value capture. Research and creativity What was the problem? organisation and identifying the one or two is useless and expensive if there isn’t a clear CocafCola had one big product (“Coke Is It”, most important issues. Don’t keep tinkerf f orientation and balance towards value capf f in the company’s own words), and pelted it to ing with too many little details — put your ture. The innovation must “put your ducks every corner of the world. The result was finger on the single most important in a row.” that Coke fell behind Pepsico, which issue facing your customer conf f spotted the move away from carf f nection. Easier said than done? bonated drinks quicker than Coke There are myriad suggesf f Indeed it is. But one way to keep the customer did. Even here in Kenya, East Aff f tions on how a company will innovation stream running is to sweep away rican Breweries’ new Alvaro soft keep innovating for its customf f the dead old logs. People who do not realf f drink entered the market with a er. But I keep arguing that Keep ise that change is essential and keep strumf f splash. CocafCola has now introf f it Simple is the best way. For ming their old paradigms need to go. Pay eABL duced ‘Burn’, an energy drink— a one, the CEO must lead and them to leave f it will free up fresh thinking. sign that Coke’s leadership is now keep a strong desire to change Be strong against those who act to block or learning that customer taste is the strategy and products as negate change. Motivate your employees for changing fast. The heart of the matf f the market changes. This prof f creativity. ter is to keep innovating to keep up vides clear direction to all staff Remember, too, that it is networks which with the changing needs of your so that changing with customer include people both inside and outside the orff customers. The days of pushing and developing new tastes for ganization that are the major building blocks one triedfandftested product down him or her is a basic business of keeping your customer happy. The cusf f consumers’ throats are gone. mentality. Think of Steve Jobs tomer is the key part of the network to build for instance. iTunes and iPod future value. The best companies do not keep Are there innovators who focus took people by surprise — fanf f customers outside the walls f they bring her in cocA-coLA on customers in this way in the tastic innovations. But most to tell them what she wants and what must be Kenyan market? importantly, the two products changed. P&G is not the world’s leading conf f Equity Bank introduced many fif f kept Apple surviving after a sumer products company for nothing —and nancial products in a short space of difficult period and it gets more than half of its innovations time. Where other big banks were flounderf f opened great opportunities from outside the company. ing, Equity shone bright. It proved that the for rich partnerships. Apple sofcalled unbankable people need not be so. put its mark on the PC indusf f Now its colleagues in the industry are catchf f try once more, just when cusf f ing up. What did Equity do well for its cusff tomers were writing it off. tomers? Simple: It treated the ordinary Kenff yan like a king. It spoke to the hearts of ordinary people, and gave them a message of hope. It put its trust in the ordinary man and woman of basic means. The result was a love relationship that keeps the world watching. APPLe And how will Equity Bank keep the bottom line imf f proving, after its phenomf f enal growth naturally cools? In my humble opinion, by GEORGE NJENGA, keeping an obsessive focus Dean of Strathmore Business School
  • 14. XIV BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers Farm to fork: How Kenchic is using The global crisis over Bird Flu pandemic forced the management of Kenya’s leading fastfood chain to hit a brainwave that led them to adopting global standards to assure millions of their customers that whatever they put in their mouth is safe From the code on a chicken, the chain can tell when it was grown, what feed it ate, which egg it was hatched from, the month it was laid and in which house number. BY WANJIRU WAITHAKA it’s Kenchic, then you know it’s safe.” IN A NUTSHELL operation. Proper vaccination of all the This system is expensive and Kenchic breeder flocks is strictly observed with T Fast food chain o get inside a Kenchic Limited is the only commercial poultry operation blood testing done both locally and inf f breeding farm, a visitor has to in East and Central Africa doing it but food confronts a global ternationally. leave the vehicle outside the gate safety has become such a big global conf f The company follows an allfinfallfout and once inside take a shower and change cern that the management felt that it was consumer trust crisis policy where dayfold chicks are placed in Experts had been concerned that clothes. That’s not all. Each chicken house necessary. “People are more and more conf f one farm all at the same time so that they the deadly H5N1 strain would surface has its own shower unit so when moving cerned with where food is coming from, all follow the growth stages together and in Africa as a result of the migration of from one to the other it’s mandatory to you only have to look at the carbon miles are slaughtered at the same time. wild birds from Europe. shower and change each time. “Even vehif f debate that is affecting Kenyan flowers “Producing in several farms is more Although Kenya dodged the avian cles delivering feed do not enter the farm. and horticultural products,” says Mr Wainf f flu, the local industry was hard hit as expensive than having all our birds in the The feed is loaded onto a tractor that stays aina. “We felt that we needed to go to the sales plummeted. same location but it is crucial for purposes permanently on the farm which then takes next level in terms of food safety and be in A year after the bird flu scare, the of tracking the birds and provides a cushf f the feed inside. All workers live on the site, line with international standards. In the Rift Valley Fever outbreak threatened ion. In case of a problem we can simply but they too have to shower and change UK and USA, traceability is governed by the Sh52 billion red meat industry. shut down the farm’s operation and take before checking the birds. Our farms are legislature. In Kenya, we’re not there yet The company placed consumer losses without losing our entire producf f highly quarantined and biofsecure,” says but we wanted to up the game and raise trust to the heart of its processes and tion,” says Mr Wainaina. Mr Anthony Wainaina, the sales and marf f standards,” he adds. branding and adopted world stand- - The stringent measures such as showf f keting manager. Kenchic Ltd came into existence in ards that would both ensure highest ering and changing clothes before hanf f Kenchic runs a fully integrated poulf f 1984 after acquiring its assets from BAT quality to keep off diseases and ensure dling the birds is meant to ensure that try operation dubbed ‘Farm to Fork’ with Kenya Developments Ltd in 1983. It has traceability. they don’t get sick and so do not require hatcheries, breeder farms that supply five breeding farms on Namanga Road, medication. dayfold chicks to farmers, and a processf f hatcheries in Mombasa and Athi River “In Kenya we practise organic farming. ing plant that supplies hotels, supermarf f which also houses the broiler farm and a til they are ready for slaughter. The birds We don’t use animal protein and all our kets, butcheries and fast food restaurants processing plant in Tigoni, Kiambu. The are coded when they get to the processf f chicken are grain fed using maize, soya including 33 outlets in the Kenchic Inn company has 314 employees and around ing plant. beans, sunflower and cotton seed cake franchise network. The process is clearly 40 contract farmers who grow its dayfold “From the code we can later tell you when which also ensures the taste of chicken is documented and products coded to enf f chicks. it was grown, what feed it ate, which egg it consistent across birds,” he says. Kenchic Wanjiru Waithaka sure total traceability such that every cut All are located within a 100km radius was hatched from, the month it was laid does not pump its chickens with hormones of meat can be traced back to the egg it of its meat processing plant in Tigoni as a and in which house number as well as the and the reason they grow fast is gene sef f is a business writer hatched from including the diet the bird way of reducing costs. parents it came from,” says Mr Wainaina. lection. “A grandparent operation serves with the Business was fed from day old to maturity, he says. Kenchic provides the farmers with feeds Kenchic can trace back three generations the purpose of helping us to pick birds Daily Kenchic’s promise to customers? “When and vaccines and monitors the birds unf f of its chicken stock called a grandparent that are good layers and have a high feed
  • 15. FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY XV the edge: connecting with customers traceability to reassure its customers conversion and meat yield,” he says. However gene selection which is done at pure breed level is not done locally as it is very expensive and only four companies in the world have the caf f pability. Kenchic has partnered with Aviaf f gen, which supplies Arbor Acres broilf f ers while Hendrix Genetics provides its layers. “For them to give you rights to their grandparents operations they must be convinced that your standards of growing chicken are the highest,” says Mr Wainaina. But it is costly to set up and run this operation which has resulted in Kenf f chic products being sold at a premif f um in a market where many producf f ers compete on price which is subject to wild swings as a result of supply isf f sues. The post election violence early this year sent prices to a high of Sh280 per kilo in outlets like City Market which gets most of its supplies from small scale farmers. The prices have come down since then to between Sh200f 250 per kg which is still higher than last Inside a Kenchic fastfood outlet. The company supplies chicken not only to its restaurants, but to supermarkets and competing eateries. PHoToS: FreDrIcK oNYANGo. year’s average price of Sh180 per kg. In major supermarkets, a 1.2kg Kenf f ger to the consumer. export sales to Uganda after Ugandan ed on Thika Road, Ngara and Kasarani Boarding schools also serve chickf f chic capon is retailing at Sh326 while Sales of chicken and other poultry authorities banned imports of chickf f in Nairobi told the Business Daily that en rarely and Kenchic has been doing the spring chicken is Sh240. There are fell drastically during the period amid en and poultry products. The ban has he was selling 60 chickens per day in the rounds in schools to try and get 13 registered hatcheries in the counf f reports that Kenya was not fully pref f since been lifted. each butchery up from 10 and on some them to replace some beef meals with try. Major players in the poultry marf f pared for a pandemic and the industry There was a silver lining in those weekends as many as 100 per day. The chicken. “The perception that chicken ket are Kenchic, Muguku, Sigma and was forced to lay off people. dark clouds however as Kenchic’s agf f price had gone up from Sh300 to Sh550 is for special occasions starts at an early Kenya Bixa. Mr Wainaina says that part of the gressive communication campaign has a chicken. age while people are still in schools. In “Our prices are more expensive problem was that people in the poulf f helped the firm grow sales volumes Early in the year, the Government many homes if beef is served every day, but what we promise our customers try industry failed to engage the media by 25f30 per cent since then says Mr announced that Kenya had lost its nobody raises a question but if chicken is stable prices and we haven’t had a and incorrect information was passed Wainaina. 4,000 tones per year beef export quota is cooked a few days in a row they want price increase since last year,” says Mr around leading to mass panic by conf f “Most customers have become senf f to the European Union over its failure to know what is being celebrated.” Wainaina. This may change, however, if sumers. With huge losses looming Kenf f sitive to meat safety and we have bef f to control animal diseases. Mr Wainaina also wants to focus his global grain prices continue on the upf f chic moved fast to quell the damage and come the supplier of choice for big hof f The quota was taken over by Botf f Sh50 million a year marketing budgf f ward trend which together with record almost overnight placards appeared in tels that are governed by international swana one of the leading beef exportf f et on a health consciousness platform high oil prices have been blamed for the its franchise outlets assuring consumf f traceability standards. We came out of ing countries in Africa. And in June, ahead of competition as he predicts it current global food crisis. About 70 per ers about the safety of its products due the whole challenge stronger.” the livestock development minister, Dr will become a big issue in Kenya with cent of chicken feed is maize, whose to its rigorous production standards. Today the company sells 100 tonnes Mohammed Kuti ,said the ban may ref f chicken reaping the benefits. production has also been affected by “The thrust of our communication of processed meat and 200,000 day old main in force until 2010. Research in other countries has the displacement of farmers in the Rift campaign was to inform consumers chicks a week. Another 30,000 chicks “The beef crisis had the same effect shown that as an economy grows ref f Valley, Kenya’s bread basket. that the risk of contracting bird flu was are exported to Tanzania, 40,000 to as the chicken crisis which is to highf f sulting in higher disposable incomes, minimal and as long as they cooked Uganda and 10,000 to Rwanda, Buf f light the safety of food,” says Mr Wainf f meat consumption increases, especially Bird Flu chicken well they were safe,” says Mr rundi and Ethiopia combined. The total aina. While chicken sales have recovf f chicken. Managing diseases is another conf f Wainaina. “We also wanted to corf f size of the poultry market is estimated ered from the bird flu scare, a long term Until in 1920, chicken meat was stant challenge for poultry and livef f rect the misconception that bird flu is at over half a million tonnes a week. challenge still remains as consumers considered a luxury reserved for spef f stock farmers in Kenya with at least spread by air. It is spread by physical still perceive chicken to be expensive cial occasions according to the US Def f two major food scares in the country contact with infected birds so the bigf f Red meat scare and for special occasions which has partment of Agriculture. Chickens were in the last three years. gest danger was not to consumers but A year after the bird flu scare, the shoe left chicken consumption way below strictly a byfproduct of egg production For the poultry industry, the chickf f small scale farmers who keep kienyeji was on the other foot as the Rift Valley that of beef. as cockerels and unproductive hens ens came home to roost literally in Sepf f (freefrange) chickens.” Statistics from Fever outbreak from November 2006 “Killing the myth that chicken is were culled from the laying flock. tember and October 2005 with the Avif f the WHO show that by June this year to January 2007 threatened the Sh52 more expensive than beef is the bigf f Efforts to raise chickens for meat an Influenza (bird flu) scare. Experts only 243 people had died from bird flu billion red meat industry. Many conf f gest driver to our communication and had been spotty and shortflived. In the had been concerned that the deadly although it had forced the slaughter of sumers only trusted beef from the Kenf f marketing campaign and we’ve mostly mid 1920’s production of chickens for H5N1 strain that was sweeping across millions of birds. ya Meat Commission (KMC), which is been working with youth to change atf f meat reached significant levels and the parts of Asia would appear next in East Although Kenya dodged the avian known for maintaining high quality in titudes,” he says. poultry industry in the US has evolved and North Africa as a result of the miff flu the local industry was hard hit as inspecting and slaughtering animals The current “We are kuku about dramatically ever since. Chicken conf f gration of wild birds from Europe. This sales plummeted. Between October and chicken sales boomed resulting in chicken” campaign is targeted at youth sumption surpassed pork consumpf f led to a lot of people avoiding chicken and December that year, Kenchic lost shortages and price spikes. who live fast lives and are more likely tion in 1985 and beef consumption in dishes even though the World Health close to Sh26 million with estimated At the height of the crisis, Mr Marff to go to a fast food outlet than older 1992. Organisation (WHO) has declared that weekly losses at Sh5 million in January tin Mburu, who had applied for a KMC people who prefer nyama choma (roast properly cooked chicken poses no danf f 2006 from local sales and Sh1.5 million franchise for his three butcheries locatf f meat).
  • 16. XVI BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers Connecting marketing budgets The Coke Happiness Factory advertising campaign. Reibstein showed the results of research that calculated the value of customers of leading consumer brands such as BMW and CocasCola, taking into account, for ins s stance, how likely a purchaser of a BMW is to purchase another BMW. By those formulas, BMW’s customers are worth a hefty $143,500 and CocasCola’s a respectable $1,200. PHoTo: coMPANY. In this economic environment when corporate budgets are being squeezed, chief marketing officers are kept up at night by worry, trying to justify their budgets, but they have to figure out how to show that value to skeptical CEOs and CFOs M arketers are happy speaking “In this economic environment when corf f CFOs to whom Reibstein had recently their own language, replete porate budgets are being squeezed, Chief IN A NUTSHELL posed the same question. Company B got with jargon like “awareness,” Marketing Officers are kept up at night by their votes by apparently “doing more with “share of requirements” and “customer worry, trying to justify their expenditures less” – in other words, by providing stable satisfaction.” Such terminology works fine and their existence. They believe what they profitability with less marketing expendif f in the marketing department and with the are doing has value, and they have to figure tures than Company A. advertising professionals who execute marf f out how to demonstrate that value” to skepf f But Reibstein applied an xfray, so to keting plans. But there’s a translation probf f tical CEOs and CFOs, Reibstein said. speak, to the financial data by next showf f lem between that language and the language An important step in that direction is ing data on the customer relationships of profitability and stock price which is the quantifying the value of a firm’s key intanf f developed by the two firms. It turned out mother tongue of corporate CEOs. “CEOs gible assets, such as the value of a customer that Company A had three times as many want to know what a and the value of brand awareness. Reibstein Brands are assets that we customers as Company B. “So it becomes KNOWLEDgE 5 per cent increase in started out his discussion about the value need to learn how to value really important how to value that asset,” @ WHArToN customer satisfaction of customers by showing the contrasting There are unfortunately many competing Reibstein suggested. And, in fact, there is will do for the bottomf financial history of two companies. Both methodologies to value brands, but a stand- - an equation for just that purpose. It calcuf f line,” says Wharton marketing professor Company A and Company B had the same ard way is likely to emerge because the Fi- - Studies show that lates the cost to acquire the customer, the David Reibstein, adding that “we need to stable profit for the last five years. Company nancial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) amount of the company’s product that the 50 per cent of draw a connecting line” between concepts of A had spent far more on marketing than is working on the problem. customer purchases, the profit margin of the two languages. Reibstein offered a primf f Company B and its revenues had grown The value of brands is intricately tied up corporations’ value those purchases, the cost of retaining the er on how to make those connections in his faster, but not as fast as its marketing expenf f with the value of advertising. today is composed customer, the actual retention rate, how talk – entitled “Linking Marketing Metrics ditures. As a result, Company A’s returnfonf that customer influences others and the There is also no doubt that stopping adver- - of intangible to Financial Consequences” – at the Wharf f sales had dropped compared to Company tising over the long-term will do irreparable cost of capital. ton Marketing Conference on October 15. B. Reibstein then asked his audience which harm to a brand. assets, up from Lo and behold, the audience learned He pointed out that marketing metrics has firm had been doing a better job. We need to understand what it costs to just 20 per cent, that Company A not only had a tremendous been the top research priority for the past six Most participants felt that Company increase in the number of new customers, improve levels of customer satisfaction. 40 years ago years of corporate marketing professionals B had been doing the superior job, and so but its “churn rate” (the rate at which it lost polled by the Marketing Science Institute. did the vast preponderance of a group of customers annually) was much lower. So
  • 17. XVII FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY the edge: connecting with customers to quarterly profit forecasts when the formula to value customers was applied to firms A and B, the value of Comf f pany A’s customer base was four times that of Company B. Maligned Company A was actually doing the right thing all along by spending heavily on marketing. “Valuing a customer base is something a straightforf f ward financial statement doesn’t do,” said Reibstein. “And that’s why financial statef f ments can lead us astray. They require us to expense all marketing expenditures the year they occur, when actually, customer ref f lationships have a life for a corporation.” Reibstein pointed to studies showing that 50 per cent of corporations’ value today is composed of intangible assets, up from just 20 per cent 40 years ago. And it is priff marily these intangibles, not hard assets, that dictate a company’s valuation by the stock market. Among those intangibles, inf f tellectual property probably ranks number one in value, but Reibstein believes that the value of customers is likely number two. “A customer base represents a future revenue stream, and we sell ourselves short if we don’t articulate its longfterm value.” Valuing customers also can be a useful way to set a hypothetical ceiling for marf f keting expenditures. Reibstein showed the results of research that calculated the value of customers of leading consumer brands such as BMW and CocafCola, taking into acf f count, for instance, how likely a purchaser of a BMW is to purchase another BMW. By those formulas, BMW’s customers are worth a hefty $143,500 and CocafCola’s a respectable $1,200. An address earlier in the day by a top CocafCola marketing exf f ecutive had made the point that drinkers of Diet Coke are more loyal to that beverage than are drinkers of regular CocafCola. “So that would indicate you would spend more to acquire Diet Coke drinkers,” versus reguf f lar Coke drinkers, said Reibstein. Reibstein then turned his attention to the value of retaining customers. In his comparison between hypothetical comf f panies A and B, Company A kept its cusf f tomers for five years, while Company B kept its customers for only two years. That gave advertising of sales “is pretty discouraging,” Still, in many instances it proves to Company A a huge advantage. CFOs often said Reibstein. For instance, a study on “adf f be worth spending millions to increase worry endlessly about the cost of capital, vertising payback” showed that consumer customer satisfaction. For instance, Starf f but actually the retention rate of customf f packaged goods companies got back only bucks Coffee faced a dilemma caused ers is far more important, said Reibstein. $.54 of increased revenue for every dollar by its success. The long waiting time He used a sensitivity analysis to illustrate they spent on advertising. “Most firms that for service was reducing customer satf f his point, showing, for instance, that an cut advertising don’t see an immediate drop isfaction. Yet to increase staff to reduce improvement in customer retention rates in sales.” Yet there is also no doubt that stopf f waiting times would cost $40 million. from 60 per cent in 70 per cent has a more ping advertising over the longfterm will do An analysis of customer satisfaction favorable impact on revenues than chopf f irreparable harm to a brand. “There’s not found that unsatisfied Starbucks cusf f ping the cost of capital from 16 per cent to enough good research on how fast brands tomers stuck with the chain for just one 10 per cent. atrophy,” Reibstein noted. year, made 47 visits per year and spent a Brands are another asset that marketf f His final example of the financial consef f total of $200. By contrast, highlyfsatisff ers need to do a better job of valuing, said quences of marketing effort concerned the fied Starbucks customers patronized the Reibstein. There are unfortunately many issue of customer satisfaction. “We need to chain for more than eight years, made an competing methodologies to value brands, understand what it costs to improve levf f impressive 86 visits per year and spent but a standard way is likely to emerge bef f els of customer satisfaction and what it is more than $3,000 dollars over that time. cause the Financial Accounting Standards worth to a company to have highly satisfied The leverage provided by improving cusf f Board is working on the problem. Accordf f customers,” said Reibstein, adding that it tomer satisfaction was so powerful, it ing to one methodology, CocafCola is the is possible to have paradoxical results in was easy to decide to spend the money world’s top brand with a value of $67 bilf f this area: In other words, consumer satisf f on increased staffing. While not every use lion, Microsoft number is two at $61 billion faction can go up, yet profits and market Consumer satisfaction can of a marketing metric may make marketf f and IBM number three at $53 billion. share go down. “That can happen if the go up, yet profits and market ers so happy, as tools they are capable of The value of brands is intricately tied up company is so focused on consumer satisf f share go down. conveying a powerful message to CEOs with the value of advertising, of course. The faction ratings that it gets rid of dissatisf f and CFOs. data that looks at the shortfterm impact of fied customers.”
  • 18. XVIII BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers Brands that we love: The art of connect with their fleeing customers, our cornered brand owners seek guidance from external ‘inf f dustry professionals’. Unfortunately, in an indusf f try dominated by advertising firms all equipped creating fanatical customers with a hammer named “mass advertising”, every problem is a nail! Go figure. Free advice: If saying something means leavf f ing your customers feeling cheated, it’s okay and probably best to say nothing. For now the one option you do not have is to treat customers like Turning customers into disciples does not involve magic , but methodically applied they are stupid. insights such as listening to clients carefully and creating products they really want It’s about your people. Having done all the hard work above, it’s amazf f BY MARTIN MIRUKA ingly easy to make nonsense of it all. Corporate leaders do it everyday when they treat their brand L ike me, you probably look with envy at as a communication between management and Tusker, Equity Bank, Java House, etc and customers. “These pesky employees dare interf f wonder: How is it they are making so much rupt us in the middle of our expansion plans and money selling so much stuff to so many eager peof f advertising campaign! Do they have any clue how ple? Elsewhere, from Nike to Nokia, the world’s difficult it is to grow customer numbers?” Well, most powerful brands are also the world’s most well! powerful companies. What’s the magic with these We need not go too far for an example on what companies and their brands? Why do they have is wrong with this thinking. Before its successful such a deep emotional bond with their customf f revival, Uchumi Supermarkets could have probf f ers? ably survived its poor financial position for a while Well, it’s not voodoo. It’s a science they apply. longer. But low staff morale resulted in higher And it is essential for every visionary business and higher ‘shrinkage’ and poorer and poorer leader to figure out this science. To understand customer service – and this ‘people factor’ pretty the science we should start by asking: What do much guaranteed its quick demise. Your brand, these decidedly happy chaps have in common? in simplefspeak, is embodied and represented by The answer: they get more people to buy more the entire organisation led by the CEO. If you are stuff for more money, more often. It is as simple selling a commodity you can dance around this – and as complex – as that. truth with some luck, but for service companies, At this point I expect a series of ‘how do they there is absolutely nowhere to hide. do that?’ questions. First answer: by keeping def f In a service company, the ability to damage the manding customers very, very happy. How do they brand is equal between the CEO and the security do that? By delivering products/services that meet guard. In other words the delivery of your brand customers’ practical and emotional needs, such promise depends on one thing above all else, peof f that the customers end up loving the products/ ple! Your body of staff, those humble brandfamf f services beyond the tangible, practical features. bassadors, hold your bottom line in their hands. And how do they do that? They think outward 70% of customers are loyal to a brand because of when crafting products/services for customers their great experiences with the people and vice and in their subsequent interaction and ‘commuf f versa. Which way would you have it? nication’ with them. The end result is that they So put some time into it. Train every single create a deep emotional connection between their every minute and penny spent. Because it is the to hear you, really hear you. To get them to ref f person in your organisation to believe that the customers and their brands. fundamental ingredient in developing any cusf f ally hear you, you must share with them only the customer is King. Preach, threaten, cajole, trick This connection is a combination of many, tomer following, leave alone a fanatical one. most relevant stuff – simply, in a language they and persuade. Then give them the tools, a strong many things. In this space I may only share a understand. Nike says ‘Just do it’. Skype says ‘the relevant brand with which they are fully engaged few of these notfsofsecret secrets of how these Stop talking to yourself. whole world can talk for free’. Simple. Save the and systems and processes that are aligned to the worldfbeating envy brands go about it. Congratulations! You have developed a prodf f corporate jargon for the club. brand, to empower them to treat the customer like uct/service that is credible, relevant and conf f the king. Thereafter treat them with the priority It starts with a credible, relevant offer. sistent, and you are beside yourself. Can’t wait Customers are not stupid and attention that someone you have charged Many Kenyan companies build their companies to go to market! Your challenge now is to avoid After you have switched your communication to with taking care of your king deserves. As local and brands along this theory: ‘If you shout it out the temptation to communicate this incredible be directed at customers and not at yourself, or management guru Sunny Bindra often puts it: You loud and for long enough, it will become a fact’. offering to yourself too! This weakness is why worse, your competition, the next thing to note take care of your staff, your staff take care of your The resultant ‘communication’ is raucous chestf many brand communications in Kenya are inf f is this: The docile, loyal and humble customer is customers, and your customers take care of you. thumping rhetoric. It has even made watching wardffacing and consist of corporate and technif f dead. Kaput, mummified! So unless you have a All I can add is: “Katching! Katching!” local TV a selffinflicted punishment. (This has cal rhetoric that means nothing even to the most product for the walking dead, you’d do well to unf f I will finish at the start: In a nutshell, all your got to be one reason DSTV and GTV are getting willing customer. derstand your living customers. This new breed company needs to do to succeed is to deliver prodf f more customers!) Ironically, this chestfthumping Ever wondered who those adverts promoting of customer is demanding, has attitude, is spoilt ucts or services that people fall in love with. To approach is most popular with those who do not data services by our mobilefphone companies for choice and thinks she knows everything. And do this you need to understand and accept what have any credible, relevant and differentiated off f are talking to? Or perhaps you have been lucky she mostly does. your brand truly is.Your brand is your customers’ fer for customers in the first place. to catch that advert on TV where a local insurf f It’s thus a very bad idea to try selling her a line gut feeling about your product, service or organif f You do not create an emotional bond with cusf f ance company is advertising their company hisf f that you would not buy yourself if you were in her sation. In other words, it is not what YOU say it tomers by shouting at them and definitely not by tory, vision and mission! Can anyone else smell space. Brand owners do this all the time f behaving is, but what THEY say it is! Your task therefore, dishing out rhetoric instead of providing a credf f money burning? like they are people and customers are aliens from is to figure out how to tightly control what they ible, relevant offer. If you are in this category and Customers do not make rational buying decif f Pluto. News flash: customers are sophisticated say it is. Crafting a tight brand strategy is a good wish to get out, try this for a start. Develop a credf f sions. Yes, they think they do and will give you all people with sophisticated needs f just like you. place to start. ible product/service f one that actually gets the job sorts of rational reasons during research as to why And they know when they have been had. And done, preferably better than any other. Then make they love your competitor’s brand more. But there their payback is… you get the point. sure it is relevant f the customers actually need it are simply no rational purchases. None. People In case you are asking yourself why so many (in their opinion, not yours). This requires a lot of buy from people (read brands) they like. Unless local companies flush money down the toilet adf f Martin Miruka is the CEO and Lead Strategist at listening and outward thinking and many times you are a monopoly, you must get customers to vertising even when they have nothing credible to ATOMetdf – a Brand Strategy & Innovation firm an investment in brand strategy. But it’s worth like you and to do this, you first have to get them say, I have a theory for you. For advice on how to based in Nairobi.
  • 19. FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY XIX the edge: connecting with customers Striking a chord with shoppers At Nakumatt, good customer service doesn’t happen by accident, but is a result of focus and dedication at all levels of the business where each employee is trained and motivated to meet the required standards BY WANJIRU WAITHAKA A l Kags is an online branding analyst and founder of Multiple Choices. He is also a fan of Nakumatt. He was ref f cently challenged on a glowing tribute that he had given the supermarket chain on his website and responded by saying: “I love the fact that it is always clean and bright, that things are well kept, that they pay attention to the little things, that they have knowledgeff able staff, and that they have great customer service.” To illustrate the last point he offered up the following illustration. “A few months ago, I went to Nakumatt Mega and found that a socket I needed was not in stock. The attendf f ant asked me to leave him my number and he would tell me when the sockets came. Surely FreDrIcK oNYANGo enough, after a little more than a week, I got a call from him saying they had it and had kept one aside for me next time I came in. That’s why I shop at Nakumatt,” he concluded. Mr Thiagarajan Ramamurthy, the operaf f kuru more than two decades ago and is curf f on training during this period. the middle to upper income segment. tions director at Nakumatt Holdings Limitf f rently the fastest growing retail chain with Nakumatt’s major suppliers such as Haco This group is the one that has driven Naf f ed, says communicating with its customers 3,700 employees scattered across 19 branches Industries and the CocafCola Company also kumatt’s entry into lifestyle products such as has propelled the chain to its present level countrywide. train its employees on their products to equip furniture and white goods which is the fastest of success. The retail chain employs a wide Mr Ramamurthy attributes the growth them with information on product features growing product segment in its stable. variety of tools to do so including its Smart to five key factors: strategic location of its and after sales service. Nakumatt has an ambitious expansion News monthly magazine, catalogues, emails stores, wide variety of products, consistent Employees also get to weigh in on the strategy that is the brainchild of Mr Atul and SMS as well as traditional advertising availability of these products, helpful emf f areas where they feel additional training is Shah, the managing director of the company. channels such as billboards, television and ployees who provide personalized service, required. In October last year a survey of all The chain plans to list on the Nairobi Stock radio commercials. and promotions and loyalty schemes such as employees was done to identify areas they Exchange next year and have a total of 30 Although the company has a dedicated the smart card which awards points that cusf f wanted to be trained in and customer service outlets in Kenya employing 5,000 employf f customer service department with representf f tomers can exchange for products or school emerged tops. The chain has an annual trainf f ees within two years. The chain also plans to atives in each branch, all employees from fees for their children. ing schedule that is monitored on a monthly expand to the region with 6f7 outlets beginf f shelf stockers to branch managers are responf f Nakumatt has pioneered a number of basis. One staff member in the human ref f ning with Rwanda next month. sible for delivering good customer service in services in the retail market including wedf f source department cofordinates training Nakumatt concluded a $3 million (Sh192 their respective roles. “The employees at the ding list service, 24fhour shopping, and mof f with all line managers and reports to the head million) buyout of City Market Supermarket customer service counter in each branch are torised shopping carts for the disabled. of corporate and legal affairs who presents in Kigali Rwanda in April that will pave the fully equipped to communicate with other With rapid expansion the key challenge the training report to top managers. way for the opening in July of a new outlet branches and the headquarters. They can call has been how to maintain the same standards Nakumatt is collaborating with Jomo Kenyf f to trade under the name Nakumatt Rwanda anyone in the organisation from the manf f of customer service in each branch. “We’ve atta University of Agriculture and Technology SARL. The supermarket chain is also underf f aging director downwards when handling used two main tools f training and motivaf f (JKUAT) to develop future human resource taking an $18 million (Sh1.1 billion) Gatef f INDUSTRY STANDARD grievances, giving replacements or issuing tion,” says Mr Ramamurthy. The chain mof f talent. The two organisations have developed way Mall development in conjunction with credit notes,” he says. They work in consulf f tivates employees by promoting managers a curriculum for a 2fyear retail management Virunga Property development for its second tation with branch managers who as profit from within its employee ranks and having diploma course. “We need people who unf f outlet in the country scheduled for opening centre heads are the ultimate authority at defined career paths. derstand the basic concepts in retail so that by the third quarter of 2009. branch level. The company has formal training when they come in it is easier to train them,” Its success has seen it win accolades lof f throughout the year for all employees, as says Mr Ramamurthy. cally and internationally. Last year the chain No train, no gain well as onfthefjob training and induction for This strategy has been necessitated by was ranked 25th in Planet Retail’s top 30 list Mr Ramamurthy says that good customer new employees. “A handful of employees are the rapid expansion in outlets and customf f of grocery retailers in Africa and the Midf f service doesn’t happen by accident; it’s a also taken outside the country to give them er numbers requiring new employees to be dle East. result of focus and dedication at all levels exposure at trade fairs and in international trained faster.“Customer footage has douf f Analysts at the global retail and food inff of the business where each employee is retail outlets,” he says. bled in the last four years from a million to dustry intelligence provider said that Nakuf f trained and motivated to deliver good servf f In the last six months, more than 700 emff two million transactions a month. Our loyal matt is “an African retail player to watch” and ice to customers because everybody has a ployees have been trained in customer servf f shoppers have increased from 100,000 to apf f the regional expansion would make the chain customer across the business. “We’ve had a ice, communication and conflict resolution. proximately 400,000 over the same period,” ready to match the ambitions of giants based customer service strategy for over ten years Another batch of employees has also been says Mr Ramamurthy. in South Africa, like Metcash and Shoprite. and a formal customer service policy which trained in supply chain management from The chain relies on internal research using Until now, those companies have been the culminated in our current marketing slof f sourcing to delivery, information technology its Oracle software to analyze its customers. only retailers in the region with the financial gan f You need it, we’ve got it,” he says. and warehousing. The company uses external Its research has revealed that its core niche in power for expansion plans of this scale. The chain started as a single outlet in Naff facilitators and has spent around Sh5 million the market is 25f45 year old high spenders in FAILURES, Back Page »
  • 20. XX BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers Extrasensory experience: A brand you can touch, smell, see, feel and taste Creating a multi-sensory brand is gaining currency as a key to improving connections with consumers “Joy has a texture’”. - Oprah Winfrey BY DR gITHINJI gITAHI I am returning from a trip to New York and I happen to have three hours to spare at the Dubai International Airport. I have to do something. I avoid the coffee shop simply because, I hate the aircraft toilet. Instead, I decide to walk around the duty free shops with no intentions of spending on anything. My children need to understand that they don’t always have to receive new things whenever daddy comes from a foreign trip. Well, that was my intention. I walk through one of those all popular cosmetics dutyffree shops and I stand fixf f ated on a particular shelf. I notice and pick up a bottle of the newly launched and wellf displayed Diesel cologne. It is marketed in a basic cologne bottle design, but wrapped in fabric. I feel the fabric and a whole new expef f rience runs through my mind…needless to say, I buy. It’s the allfelusive act that marketf f ers are paid to chase and which determines the power of brands and subsequently their value at the stock exchange. In this particular case, it was triggered not by smell, a price offer or an “Everyday Low Price” proposition, but by the sense of touch. Statistics show that 40 per cent of all perfume purchase decisions are based on the design of the bottle. Death of unique selling propositions Once upon a time, companies needed only to create unique selling propositions for their products to make them fly off the shelves. It was fast, reliable and it worked. But that was during a phase in which research and develf f opment was the most important department. “Although I knew Diesel saur. No product could claim uniqueness any That changed company thinking: from creating The whitefcoat wearing guys with protective the brand through visual more, especially those driven by functionalf f unique products to making products unique. goggles and passwordflocked offices generf f advertising selling on ity. Products became similar. Aspirin, whose This branding era has mainly been fought Dr Githinji Gitahi is the ated company revenues by creating unique the themes of machiss s unique selling proposition was fever and pain on visual and audio platforms such as the TV, Nation Media Group’s products which no one had earlier created. mo and ruggedness of relief, finally found itself with dozens of other radio, billboards and newspapers. This resulted Pharmaceutical companies still cling onto the users, the sense that products whose selling proposition was…fever in the creation of a multibillion media industry general manager this model even in the 21st century, creating finally appealed to me and pain relief. estimated at $244 billion in 2003. All this was for marketing and shortflived brands, which hang on patents was that of touch.” This realisation drove the everfinnovative directed at fighting for space in the consumer’s advertising. He has and crumble once these expire or are even marketing fraternity to start a phenomenon mind. The consumer’s ability to interpret and threatened. (referred to by Martin Lindstrom in his book internalise, however, was threatened by a simf f gained wide experience As science shifted from a preserve of the Brand Sense) as the brandfselling proposition. A ple issue: overload! in medical marketing privileged few to a way of life, unique sellff brand became the ‘thing’ that consumers could In Al Ries’ famous book, The Fall of Advertise e across the continent. ing propositions faced the fate of the dinof f feel and experience but could not tangibly hold. ing and the Rise of PR, he argues that on average,
  • 21. FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY XXI the edge: connecting with customers an adult in the US is exposed to about 86,500 ads a year; thus a 65fyear old American has watched over two milf f lion commercialsff the equivalent of watching commercials every day, eight hours a day, seven days a week for close to six years. How’s that for clutter? This visual and audio battle hit its limit. And not in the year 2008, but earlier and many marketers noticed this for their brands a long time ago. Yet, of all the human being’s five sensf f es (the sixth, intuition, is not covered here) only two have been exhaustively used. Despite the fact that I knew Dief f sel the brand through visual advertisf f ing selling on the themes of machismo and ruggedness of the users, the sense that finally appealed to me was that of touch. In Lindstrom’s Brand Sense, the auf f thor makes a strong case for engaging more than the two traditional senses of sight and sound and making a delibf f erate attempt to appeal to others like taste, smell and touch. Can we smell food on a TV commercial or experif f ence that ‘new car’ smell in a brand new Toyota ad on TV or even feel the smoothness of the skin shaved with a Bic razor? Not quite yet, but don’t let journey that begins with a process I success. Look out for brands, which A good example is when you see an imf f Would a blindfolded customer recs s that stop the flow of thought. will call ‘debulking’ the brand. have achieved more than two sensory age of a car and then smell the odour ognise your brand? Many brands have been known to This process involves looking at all connections and learn from them on of new leather. engage more than the two traditional the brand’s features and benefits and how it’s done. An image of oranges with an orange flaf f senses. Take for example a bakery store, wondering what each stands for and Now it is time to dramatise. The goal vours or scents wafting is not necessariff which deliberately creates vents from whether your brand needs it or not. is to bring to life the possible sensory ly crossfsynergy. It is good but expected, the bakery to continuously deliver that If it does, is it intentionally amplified touchfpoints identified. therefore creating little impact. smell of warm, freshly baked bread to through your communication or is Picking them one by one, they are Finally, strategy without implemenf f the customer or a summer clothes store it a beneficiary of chanced kneefjerk converted to a concrete experience. tation is like a great recipe, which never that installs a machine that constantly reflexes?Anyone managing the life of Once the sensory experiences are gets cooked. No one ever has a chance delivers the nice summer scent into a brand needs to go through a process brought to life, it’s important that a to taste it and it is worthless. the store to elicit a sense of nostalgia of pinpointing brand identifiers. In orff signature is developed. This can only Once a full multifsensory branding amongst its shoppers and therefore inf f der to initiate a multifsensory branding be done through consistency, consistf f plan is put in place, get down and do it. duce purchase of summer gear three experience, one needs to undertake a ency and consistency. More often than Multifsensory brand plans may involve months before the actual summer. sensory audit. Ask yourself the quesf f not, marketers drift away from their research and development and other Research shows that a full 75 per tions, how familiar are you with the core attributes and end up on a tanf f departments too. Implementation will cent of our emotions are in fact generf f sensory components of your brand? gent, which does little or nothing at all require a selling process for everyone to ated by what we smell. This is a huge Would blindfolded consumers recogf f to reinforce the brand’s valuesffin this buy the benefits. Remember that multif percentage and probably explains why nise your brand? case, its sensory experiences. sensory branding like most branding pheromones are such a heated subject The next step is to benchmark your In developing the signature, marketers programmes requires continuous monf f of discussion amongst the youth. brand. Not necessarily against the must be wary of missing crossfsynerf f itoring and assessment. Is your brand Web link In transiting from two sensory interff competition, but against other simif f gy opportunities. Crossfsynergy occurs ready to take on the leadership role in actions to five, marketers need to ask lar or nonfsimilar industries where when there is a relationship between connecting with consumers through See the articles on themselves how their brands can def f multifsensory branding has been a a headline and an image. a multifsensory experience? www. velop consumer connections through each of the five senses. It may be that the brands already do have these conf f nections. It may be that these connecf f Debulking process: Use your five senses to develop your brand tions are already being utilised to the full or that they are currently ignored. In most cases, it will not require ref f design, but a shift in communication planning. Often, we have seen perfume comf f panies put an olfactory engagement on their Press ads to ensure they go beyond the visualffespecially through perfumeffdoused peel ups, which once 1 Look at all the brand’s fea- tures and benefits and won- dering what each stands for - - 2 Benchmark your brand. Not necessarily against the competition, but against other 3 Now it is time to dramatise. The goal is to bring to life the possible sensory touch- 4 In developing the signature, marketers must be wary of missing cross-synergy oppor- - 5 Strategy without imple- mentation is like a great recipe, which never gets - pulled off deliver the scent, which is the and whether your brand needs similar or non-similar industries points identified. Picking them tunities. cross-synergy occurs cooked. No one ever has a irresistible purchase driver. it or not. Is it intentionally am-- where multi-sensory branding one by one, they are converted when there is a relationship be-- chance to taste it and it is But it’s always easier said than done. plified through your communi- - has been a success. Look out to a concrete experience. tween a headline and an image. worthless. once a full multi- How does a marketer move from a conf f cation or is it a beneficiary of a for brands, which have more sensory branding plan is put in sumer seeing and hearing to tasting, knee-jerk reflex. than two sensory connections. place, get down and do it. feeling and smelling the brand? It’s a
  • 22. XXII BUSINESS DAILY | FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 the edge: connecting with customers Winning customers is more about We should never forget the emotional heart of the customer transaction, advises SUNNY BINDRA O nce upon a time, business people knew what they were in business for: to win over customers. They knew that happy, loyal customers were the beginf f ning and the end of the business. All other things were incidental to the main cause: get them in, and keep them in. Business thinkers knew it too. Peter Drucker, the original management guru, put it well: “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” Decades ago, another very influential fellow, not renowned for his management advice, went even further: “A customer is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. A customer is doing us a favour by letting us serve him. We are not doing him any favour.” That was Maf f hatma Gandhi. So if everyone knows it, why is everyone so bad at doing it? Walking around Kenya today, you would find yourself wondering who exactly it is that businesses are run for. For the owners? For the managers? For the staff? For investors? For anyone and everyf f one, in fact, other than the person sustaining the whole thing: the CUSTOMER! If businesses were truly run for customf f ers, would you ever observe the following phenomena: • Huge queues at ‘customer care’ centres, with many counters clearly unmanned? • Indifferent, boredflooking receptionists and switchboard operators? • Parking lots dominated by slots for direcf f tors and managers, rather than customf f ers? to do it with a smile. But look around you: that bonding with customers makes a great deal • Customers forced to go from counter to how many smileffilled interactions do you The simplest, most efs s of financial sense. Happy customers stick around, Sunny Bindra is a counter to complete the simplest task? observe in your dayftofday life? And if you fective way to connect and reduce the business’s need to recruit expenf f popular columnist • Chief executives who are too busy to do own or run a business, how many of your with customers? Smile sive new ones. If they like your company, they buy the lowly job of talking to customers? customers leave your premises without once at them! other things from you. And finally they spread who writes for both the And yet we all know that those experif f being smiled at? How negligent, if not downf f the good word about you, acting as your ambasf f Sunday Nation and the ences are common currency in Kenya. For right stupid, is that? sadors. Retention, related sales and referrals f all Business Daily. He is a all our oftfrepeated braggadocio about bef f The most essential way to connect with driven by the smile. ing a nation of great businesspeople, there is customers is just that: smile at them! Why Southwest Airlines is consistently the world’s management consultant something we just aren’t getting about busif f so? Because smiling does two things: it most profitable air passenger carrier. It returns who advises the CEOs ness. That you build it around serving the makes the giver of the smile feel better; and wonderful money to shareholders f by making and boards of leading customer f not to suit yourself. it makes the recipient smile back. It’s as simff happy customers the point of its business, day ple as that. But in our drive to be ‘executives’ after day. local corporations. A Transacting feelings and ‘officers’ and ‘managers’, we forget that This ethos is reflected in its fundamental statef f member of Strathmore Part of the problem is that we have forgotf f we are all just human, and that we are dealf f ment of purpose: “Dedicated to the highest standf f Business School’s ten that every transaction with a customer ing with humans. ard of customer service delivered with a sense of is EMOTIONAL as well as ECONOMIC. We Before we do anything more complicated, warmth, friendliness, individual pride and comf f Advisory Board, he leads seem to think that our duty as organisations and make a huge investment in equipment pany spirit.” Southwest pays a great deal of attenf f some of the School’s is to mind the customer’s pocket f not her feelf f and systems, let us remember just to smile tion to how it selects its employees, and how it flagship programmes ings. And so we spend all our time offering a at our customers and treat them well f and motivates them to look after customers. decent price and a convenient location, and to do it repeatedly. Studies show that more Here in Kenya, Equity Bank has upended tradif f for senior executives forget all about the feelings being exchanged than half of the effect of any faceftofface comf f tional banking by latching onto a simple observaf f and directors. He is the every time we transact. munication comes from body language f and tion: that ‘unbanked’ Kenyans don’t trust or like author of ‘Crown Your The simplest, most fundamental, most smiling is the single most powerful signal. mainstream banks. They fear that their meagre uniquely human way to transact a feeling is Does this work? The evidence is strong money will disappear in mysterious charges, and Customer’.
  • 23. XXIII FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 | BUSINESS DAILY the edge: connecting with customers love than war that they will be looked down on and mistreated in the banking halls. Equity’s phenomenal success, when analysed carefully, boils down to doing some very basic things well: demystif f fying banking for the unschooled and unsophisticated customer; and ensurf f ing that every customer, no matter how rustic, is treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. The Equity model is now receiving international acclaim and being studf f ied in renowned business schools f yet it amounts to little more than underf f standing feelings. The most powerful thoughts in business are always the simplest. The ‘Fish!’ phenomenon is founded on the simple idea that connecting with customers is best done by making work fun. ‘Fish!’ is based on the renowned Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, USA. This little business is a prime example of the power of exceptional customer service. The fishmongers at this market work long hours in a tiring and smelly job f but you would not imagine this to be the case. They are full of the joy of life, and seem to spend every working moment throwing fish around and making cusf f tomers laugh. They are so good at this that Pike Place has become Seattle’s leading tourist attraction! This powerf f ful insight has produced a bestselling book and video that have enthralled executives all over the world. And yet, I repeat: the fundamental point is about reclaiming our humanf f ity. The lessons of ‘Fish!’ are not about systems and models f they are about basic behaviour. ‘Fish!” employees are encouraged to bring a sense of fun into the workplace, and are required to give customers their full, undivided and enthusiastic attention when they deal with them. You don’t need an MBA to understand that f but the lesson is profound. That they like it when you smile at customer is just a lifetime customer programme of incremental improvef f Be afraid of customers them, and remember their name? That in disguise! ments in customer experience, Bezos Customers are at the centre of many they like to chat about their children, We should learn more from Jeff has delivered rapid revenue growth and a competitive war in Kenya today. If and about how cold it is? That they Bezos, founder of He steady shareholder returns, and is now you are a telecommunications cusf f appreciate gestures of concern? These came through a vicious competitive the world’s largest online retailer. tomer, you will be bombarded by off f things seem to be alien to the business war with Barnes & Noble, America’s Connecting with customers def f fers for cheap (and even ‘free’) calls. owner and his employees. biggest bookstore. mands many things: products that do Bankers are falling over themselves When a customer’s child smiles at In 1997, Amazon was dwarfed by what they’re supposed to; systems that to offer you loans, all branded with your employee, what does that emf f B&N, and its demise was widely pref f work; prices that signal good value; lof f the latest inane ‘Sheng’ slogan. ployee do? Ignore the little fellow, in dicted. But Amazon came through cations that provide easy access. Manufacturers and fastffood venf f all likelihood. When a customer walks this war, not by engaging in price cuts But the simplest connection is the dors routinely offer ‘buyfonefgetfonef into your establishment carrying heavy and titfforftat promotions f but by foff one we forget most often: the connecf f free’ promotions. shopping bags, what do your people do? cusing obsessively on understanding tion between people and their feelings. But who is actually playing the Carry on sending that SMS or staring the needs and fears and aspirations of The business leaders who understand customer relationship game? Who into deep space, no doubt. its customers. “Don’t be afraid of our the power of feelings are going to race has understood the emotional part of When a customer has finally had competitors f but be very afraid of our ahead of you. Don’t think about that dealing with customers f that customf f it and goes ballistic, what does your customers”. f just feel it. Web link ers respond warmly to being treated team do? Probably become sullen That was Bezos’ famous rallying call warmly? and unresponsive f and yet that angry to his employees. By following a steady See the articles on www.