August 2009

It was my first time in Kano, I just got a job with a Telecom company. We closed from training and I decided to take a walk to see the stores on the street where my office was located.

I walked into a boutique run by a Igbo young family. They welcomed me as I walked in with the intention of looking around and possibly buying a shirt.

I was missing home; they made me laugh so hard I thought I was with people I had known all my life. I felt warm, loved even though I knew they would be happier if I make the purchase. I was their model for the evening, we eventually concluded and I bought 5 clothes.

I spent 3years in Kano and I never bought an office wear in any other store but theirs. What they didn’t know was that their store was where I go anytime I felt heavy in my heart or missed home. It didn’t matter that i cracked the most jokes but what matter was how they made me feel being around them.

Many on the internet are like me, they use shopping as a way of therapy, they want to be entertained, they dont want to be scammed and would not just part with their hard-earned money easily unless they have a sort of connection with your brand which backs up the saying that ‘people buy from people – not businesses.

It is important you build relationships with your customers. You may have awesome products or quality service, if you are unable to personalize and convince your customers that you are the only solution they need, you would not be able to make sales.

Customers are always skeptical about buying jewellery online, they need to see, feel and touch it to be sure it is the real deal.

Your job is to make the experience as real as can be, so much that you get customers from other parts of the world buying from you online. This goes beyond being consistent; relationship has to be established first.

Some ways you can build relationship that would be beneficial to your business are:

  1. Tell your story
  2. Do not hide behind the brand
  3. Personalize the call or chat by addressing people by their names
  4. Do an appreciation video once in a while
  5. Send handwritten notes to your customers along with their orders
  6. Take their personal data when they place their first order and surprise them on their special days
  7. Send gifts when you can.
  8. Call your customers once in awhile to check on them. I have high profile customers, most times they end up buying when I check on them.
  9. Engage on their posts, check their whatsapp stories and comment, celebrate with them and empathise when needed as well. Be like the second family for your customers.

Show you genuinely care about your customers and they would help you build it to an empire because they now see themselves as shareholders in the business.

I would teach you 5 ways to convince your customers to pay before delivery in the next post, God willing

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