For the past one year I joined several What’sApp groups formed to help people sell their goods and services. I watched quietly from the sidelines as people posted and posted images and stuff there were selling looking for money anyway how. Often times people would even ask for clarity on the advert and the advertiser would often respond in the harshest of tones and take us all back, and I was left wondering does there person expect a good result with that type of attitude. The more often people requested for one to change the tone in the group it would just get worse, with the seller asking only those interested in the product need comment and at times leaving the group in anger and not feeling supported at all.
I then started to look back at the customers who have stayed with me for 10 years and more, even when service was they persevered and stayed on and I asked myself who do this customers come back again and again, and there was on common thread. We connected to them at the heart first, as people first then as customers.
There is Simon who was referred to us by another client who left after 2 years yet Simon has stayed on. He came on board when we did not have an office and I remember the first meeting was at a cyber café (God bless that manager who found it prudent to lend me his office on 5 min notice), our second meeting with Simon I had booked at least a space in shared office a facility and he says that we did not hide or pretend that we were a start up then. We came as we were, encouraged him to get started with his idea go online with what he had and not shy away because it was not much.
There was also Magdalen (Late) who had been struggling with the whole sphere of ICT, from a website that was not generating leads to email that was always down and software they could not use. We listened to her needs and areas we were not as conversant to help we told her so and asked that if she accepted to be a guinea pig we would help. She appreciated all the help and the process too as it also give them the chance to be open with their own in-adequacies because we were open with our own gaps.
Then there is John, he moved office next to us and launched his business, during that time like in start-up cash is tight at times you need a certain service running so that the next customer can come on board and you do not have the money, often I would quote a rock bottom price and give him a few weeks to pay for the service off-coarse I believed that if his company grew up I would be able to then price at market rates. His company grew up, it over took my company we streamlined pricing at the right time but the best was that today he first checks if we office a service before they go out to seek other companies even when I have not paid them a visit in a year they still remember us.
The final example is my lawyer, at some point I needed to formalize the business and register a company like any start-up we did not have the money so I called a friend who worked in a law firm and asked what he could for me. He listened to my predicament and agreed to do the paper work pro-bono but I would have to cover the leg work myself and pay the necessary fees at the registry, I did. Today he runs his own practice and I first check with him before I go to competition while today we can pay for his service he has got a customer for life because he connected with my heart first.