Taking a valued customer out for a three-course lunch or sending a client a bottle of champagne as a thank you gift can be an important part of a maintaining a good working relationship. But upcoming reforms have made many small firms question whether wining and dining clients will remain straightforward. Will the Bribery Act change the rules on client hospitality?
Good customer care can be particularly vital in small firms, whose reputation often depends on a personal touch and good customer service skills. However, when the Bribery Act was introduced on 1 July, businesses must ensure that client hospitality is “proportionate” or risk prosecution
Brighter Directions MD, Claire Curzon was happy to comment on this issue..
“I don’t believe in taking clients out for a meal to pitch to them, it has to be about relationship building, not winning business.”
“We always pay for clients. If you invite someone for a meal or drink then you pay for it ― it’s just normal etiquette. There is so much red tape for small firms we haven’t thought about the Bribery Act ― other regulations are more of a priority. We wouldn’t have a policy on corporate hospitality as we don’t need one. It’s only our senior managers who meet clients and they are knowledgable, well trained and genuine.”
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