- June 1, 2020
Strategicthinking involves defining the manner in which people think, view,create and assess the future for themselves and others. It is a toolthat can be applied to arrive to at decisions in the professional,business and personal lives.It is a mental process that isemployed by an individual with an objective of achieving success inan endeavor. Kapferer (2012) defines it as a cognitive process thatproduces thought. In the business world, strategic thinking isemployed in making financial, accounting, marketing and managerialdecisions and strategies. Well, informed decisions are a criticalaspect of a successful firm. As a newly hired executive to arecords-storage company, I found a situation that frustrated theowners. This paper will analyze the situation and the changes neededby providing a strategic critical thinking and recommending plans toimprove that situation and ensure the profitability and viability ofthe organization.
Thesituation that I encountered in the organization arose from thefirm’s relationship with its customers. Some of their customerswere not respecting and harassed the employees especially through thephone. This situation involved a big law firm that was a client ofour records-storage company. The law firm had recently hired a newrecords manager who was proving difficult to deal with. Every timeshe called the firm, she would harass my customer-servicerepresentatives by screaming and yelling at them on the phone whilethreatening them to the point that by the end of the phone call, theywere shaking. This is a situation of a customer abusing theemployees by taking advantage of the business. Some refuse to paytheir bills and this too is abuse to the employees and business atlarge. The only experience I had had with this kind of situation wasthrough a friend, Fred, who was a lawyer. He had clients whoaccording to him did not treat him right. They abused anddisrespected him to a point he decided to make some changes. He firedthree of his clients as a result. I always thought that in such acase, a business should get over it since those same customers payyour salary and cover your bills. However, in my case, before rushinginto any decisions, I wanted to see for myself what was happening. Imade sure that her next call would come to me. Sure enough, shetelephoned and she was rude, insulting and furious as expected. Thisis the situation I was dealing with.
Ievaluated the customer-health of the firm and found it to be quiteprofessional enough to the agreed standards. The employees deal withour customers well with the professionalism required in every aspect.This situation with the law firm’s records manager was an isolatedcase that happens with a few of our customers who don’t regard thecompany with the same level of professionalism. The factors thatcould have led to the current situation could be a past rockyrelationship with the firm or just a case of a customer whoserelationships with other people in the professional world is not gooddue to their own personal problems either at home or work.Professionalism is the main strength of our firm’s customer-serviceand dis-respect in the working environment is the main underlyingissue being manifested in our current situation.
Toimprove the likelihood of success in handling of such kind ofsituations now and in the future, there is a need to lay-outeffective strategies of dealing with such customers without damagingthe business image or its profitability. Foremost, the firm has toorganize a meeting with the law firm’s representatives to deal withthe business partnership that is now in jeopardy. There is also needto point out the source of the problem in the meeting between the twofirms to try and arrive at a common ground together. Thisrecommendation is significant as it helps in identifying who is atfault for the current situation. In the meeting I had, I reported therecords manager’s attitude towards my employees. After a criticalanalyzing of the situation of unpaying customers, I realized that theeffort that my firm put in going after those accounts was not worththe meager revenues we made. I, therefore, recommend that in place ofall these efforts, sending one warning letter was enough. The secondletter would be a box-removal notice. Additionally, I recommend athorough scrutiny of potential customers to avoid such scenarios.Initial interaction with a potential customer communicates a lotabout them and the firm should make judgments according to thesefirst impressions. Seminars and workshops for the employees wouldgreatly enhance their customer relations skills and equip them withthe necessary know-how in dealing with such situation in the future.Also, the customers need to be regularly reminded of the firm’sstrong adherence to high standards of business ethics andprofessionalism and they should be sensitized on what is expected ofthem.
Theplan for implementing these recommendations should be carried outeffectively and professionally. All stakeholders should be involvedin this process. A proper plan should be outlined detailing thesteps, schedules and the objectives that need to be fulfilled for thechanges to take effect efficiently. The implementation process shouldbe arrived at after all aspects of the situation and therecommendations are addressed, certified and agreed by all thestakeholders
Maintaininggood relationships with customers is key to a successful businessentity but it can be a stressful undertaking to a small firm.However, the employees and the customers alike should realize thatproductivity and good service delivery is based on mutual respect andprofessionalism.
Kapferer,J. N. (2012). Thenew strategic brand management: Advanced insights and strategic thinking.Kogan page publishers.