Wondering why SMEs in Kisumu have poor customer relations.


As a marketer I get to visit several business premises either to do surveys or to pitch. One thing that I get to notice is how employers of most established and start up companies opt to utilize “cheap labor, ” within Kisumu county.

The employers want exemplary service delivery which comes at a cost. To get a trained, certified qualified personnel does not come cheap. These individuals spent many months or even years to get educated and even additional more time to practice whatever it is that they learnt in college and university.

However, the amateur technique seems to be the leading worrying trend among SMEs. For instance four in every five hotels opened in the region have unqualified and untrained staff. In such instances you will notice poor customer relations among the mentioned group to clients. It’s no wonder when visitors come to Kisumu, they are likely to complain that we are not courteous enough compared to other towns. Other business premises, from hospitals to shops are following suit.

In the end it’s the clients who suffer as they get to be treated by quacks, bartenders end up acting as hotel waiters. The unqualified and untrained staff are hired, underpaid and are expected to learn while working. Whom are they supposed to learn from when all of them have zero knowledge and experience on how they are supposed to undertake service delivery?

The other category of SMEs are the ones that are opened and run by relatives. These ones are even worse that untrained staff. They don’t care about the business day to day operations nor how to handle the customers professionally. One, they know they can’t be sacked and no one cares to seek results from them. They report to work when they want and deal with clients the way they seem fit. I know of many business premises that are 90% run by relatives of the CEO, from the receptionist to the accountant and even manager. Normally it doesn’t take long before they are closed down either due to embezzlement of the company resources or unprofessionalism.

As Kisumu continues to grow as one of the leading business hubs in Africa, we still have ample time to change the narrative. As a start up or established business enterprise, ensure that you hire qualified staff and if they are unqualified, at least take them for professional trainings in line with their job descriptions.

Golden rule for every entrepreneur:

“Put yourself in your customers’ place”

~ Orison Swett Marden

As an employer if you treat your employees well, the employees will treat your clients even much better. At the end of the day customer is the king in every business, without them you are likely to close down your business premise.

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NANCY OKUTAH dares to say what others fear. The website is all about giving back to the society through charity, highlighting about events, graft, criticizing what is wrong and shunning societal ills. Rebellious soul fighting for social justice. Restoring dignity in our society.Occasionally I use CURATED CONTENT to echo diverse opinions & enhance citizen journalism.Contact us on 0733873321