Do customers have the power to bring down a company?  Perhaps a better question would be, what are some of the factors that lead to companies closing their operations?  Apart from bad corporate governance, a lack of ethics and lack of clear strategies for growth, one of the key factors is people… mainly staff and customers.

Any business and especially those that are successful understand the intensity of the important contributions that staff make to their success.  No company is great where it’s staff are not the bearers of it’s vision and first ambassadors of the brand they represent.  These are the go to people when a crisis hits the company and the whole world then runs to the staff of the said company.

Recently, there are a number of companies locally that have undergone challenges including one of the one-time leading supermarkets in Kenya.  And even in the thick of things, a visit to the supermarket saw the skeleton staff there doing what they do best… wiping empty shelves, showing customers where to find what they are looking for, doing their best to smile and yes, being at work even when a number of their branches were closing down.

This is the team that despite the challenges still stayed focused, hitting goals, working to salvage the brand and supporting the management in it’s hour of trial by giving support the best way they know how.

Another contrast to the supermarket story is the despicable handling of customers by any entity purporting to be in business.  Take the case of a transport company that intentionally provides it’s customers with dirty vehicles… some that are actually infested with cockroaches!

The staff at the transport offices have attitudes that make one wonder how about I just walk like the early man before the introduction of coal-run steam engines?  The filth and infestation notwithstanding, the curt way in which they handle questions from customers is appalling.

Then there is the social media space where questions asked by the public with regard to the products and services, receive an offhand response akin to demeaning the customers

This brings to the picture the importance of customer service and it’s centrality in the sustenance of brands.  There have been many definitions of what is customer service but where Optiven Limited is concerned, the customer is the center of everything we do.  We are grateful that our customers are the reason we have been awarded for our customer service during the COYA Awards.

By anticipating the needs of our customers and seeking ways to meet these needs, we are sure to continue in our stride of achieving customer expectations.  This brings to mind the story of Richard Branson, and his intentions to not just create Virgin as a brand, but to take on challenges that the big boys in business could not give a second look.

Many consider him an out of the box think tank —an expression he despises—but Branson asserts that “you’ll never have to think outside the box if you refuse to let anyone build one around you.”  The analogy is the antidote for what Customer Service is all about.  Letting the customer free and meeting their needs before they even speak, that way we do what they want and in return they keep us in business.

To all our customers, this is for you, from all of us at the Optiven Group, …. HAPPY CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK 2018

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