Every year, to herald the Lenten Season, the Catholics anticipate the Ash Wednesday when ashes are placed on the forehead to remind man of its mortality and the need to come back to God through the solemn acts of fasting, praying and almsgiving. Either we believe in God or not, this Catholic practise of Ash Wednesday is a lesson for businesses. How?
A Lesson from Fasting
How can fasting on Ash Wednesday be a lesson for businesses? Fasting connotes the abstinence from pleasure, comfort, or something accustomed to or even a necessity (like food, drink, sex), as a way to train the flesh. The endpoint for the Catholics is to achieve sanctity and get closer to God.
Surely, the Catholics have been criticised to remember God and repentance only during Lent. But that is a blind remark by blind critics who cannot see or hear the daily and weekly homily. For instance, mothers are not only recognised on Mothers Day, rather Mother’s Day is a day set out to honour mothers. So too is the Lent.
For businesses, there are things we can look into and purge ourselves from. Consider customers feedback about the shortcomings of the company’s services – the poor customer relations, the exorbitant pricing, the latent product, etc. Businesses can undertake to fast from those unwanted acts. Through abstinence, businesses can achieve closeness to customers.
It is shameful that customers, shareholders, etc, should have to complain constantly about the same vice.
Recently I ended my accounts with Polaris Bank. Why? My complaints continued to fall on deaf ears. Companies must learn to fast from the ego and deafness and begin to listen to customers.
Praying and Almsgiving – The lesson
Some companies (at least in Nigeria) do pray before a day’s business began. However, the praying we are concerned with, here, is different. Prayer is an expression of thanks or a supplication for help. I speak of the ‘thanks’.
A lot of companies fail to take time to say thank you to customers. These customers provide you with money, pay your bills, help take care of staff salaries and their families… wow, why can’t we say thank you?
It has been shown that by a research study that corporate gifting lubricate business negotiations and attract customers. It creates a sense of being valued, psychology of reciprocity, and love for the company.
Also, the idea of corporate responsibility is a helpful strategy for brand awareness and promotion. Apart from the benefits to the brand, it is awesome to know that a company is engaged in humanitarian services. We remember the hero brands fighting for Nigeria against Covid19. Those companies apart from receiving tax incentives from the Government, they now enjoy the warmth and love of customers. You too can do the same.
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