Sunday, November 17, 2013

What we can all learn from my shopping experience with Konga - 9/11/2013

I feel bad somehow. It felt like I was troubling. All I wanted was a vacuum cleaner.

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. Sun shining, Palm whispering. It’s still fresh in the day, but I needed to do a bit of cleaning/dusting. "I could make use of a vacuum cleaner", I thought.

Finally, a real need that an ecommerce store could help meet. I finally get to shop online. Was excited.
Logged on to from my Mobile phone, my favourite Nigerian ecommerce store, even though I had not used them before.
Searched for the item, found it. Oya, place order now.. ha.. no link or button like that.
Ok, no worries, the site provided a phone number to call and asked that I called to place my order.

Me: Hello . bla bla bla bla…
Lady Operator : blab la bla, you need to have an account to place order.
Me:  Ok. *in my mind -
but you said I should call to place the order. :/

Call ends.
Understandable. I need to have an account to place an order. (by the way.. experience getting ruined. Why couldn’t we create the account on the phone)
Logged on to again. Wey create account/signup link now?

There was none friends. I could not create an account or log-in even if I had an account. (Note that this was's mobile site. )

But the “Call the Place your Order” was as bold as anything.

But I was not giving up . I needed to get the item, and it had to be from Konga. I mean, I like Sim.
Logged on to twitter and found this tweet just at the top of my timeline, so I replied it

It was a dead-lock really.
got talking, and eventually sent my phone no to receive a call from a customer rep.

Someone was going to call me from Konga. Cool. Nice. At least you care. That’s a good sign of good Customer service. Thought it would end well, and I would have my order placed,  but little did I know.
*Phone rings
Me: Hi
Another Lady Operator: I understand you .......
She collects my details and creates account.

.... cool.
Me: Can I place my order now?
Her: Yes.
Me: ok. It’s a (reads specs of vacuum cleaner).. then I paused to listen…she was saying something
Me: Sorry…(I did not hear well...)
Her: She repeated...YOU-HAVE-TO-PLACE-THE-ORDER-YOURSELF.  Each word was now stressed. I could perceive the scorn in her voice.
Me: Alright Cool. (Now I gave up.)
Drops call. (bad taste in mouth)
I felt bad somehow. It felt like I was troubling. All I wanted was a vacuum cleaner. :(

Dropping the call.. I realized this was a deader lock situation.
The Problem had been that there was no provision to log-in or create an account on the mobile site.
The first lady had said I should create an account to place my order, even though the site had boldly written "call to place order" Got on the call with the second lady, yet it was "impossible" for me to place the order via telephone.
And she said it with such scorn that I couldn't help but end the conversation ASAP. I was burnt.

My morning was ruined already.

I guess I would just wait till I have access to my PC.

The whole thing is sad actually, but it got me thinking hard and spurred this piece, in which I churned out lessons to learn from the experience as a budding technology entrepreneur.

Lesson Learned


Irrespective of my background in technology, I was a typical customer.
I am quite sure I am not the first person to meet that deadlock situation,
and for it to have existed until after my experience, could mean a lot of potential customers having hassles but not caring to point it out. (The mobile site was brought down later that day or that week)


That chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.

There was a technology flaw, no doubt, but the people (customer care) could have easily made up for it nicely.
People are everything.I can't say that more.
Without the other 2, you can still have a good business -  weren't we selling and buying
before e-commerce?

But without people, there is no show.
Customer care service is largely a people thing. And in this part of the world, you have to go the extra mile on making it excellent.

The average customer is probably already sad/stressed from thoughts of traffic or fueling gen for light or any other random sad thing.

If you can make them happy they would love you for it and tell the world.

The people within and without, staff and customer. They are everything!

I don't know if this is a case of a disgruntled staff, whatever the case, the business is responsible.
I have learnt from this.. and really, the experience isn't that much of a big deal, but but the lessons within is valuable.. At least to me. I know how I felt. I would not want a customer of mine to feel such.

Another insight is dawning on me as I write this. This is a case of the 80-20 pareto principle.
It played out here, I think.

It just took the very last moments for the whole experience to be a ruined. The 20 affected the whole 80. Just that moment she said go and place the order yourself. That's just by the way

This lady had just highlighted a very critical point of failure for businesses, and the lessons I captured from this could be summed-up in this post by Sam.


So I eventually got on a pc that day and placed the order. *facepalm. Konga needs to checkup on some things. Here is what happened after placing the order. I was sent a order verification link to my phone as sms, and I actually had to type out the url on my pc browser to verify my order.


I can't even begin to elaborate on what that means.

Konga should just fix all these.

Wish them the best. 

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