Opininion: Online purchases

Aspiring to sell or buy online in Uganda?

As much as we are all embracing product/business digital migration in
trying to reach
a wider audience, in a shortest time possible, I will suggest we pay
attention to what drives a business; PEOPLE or MONEY?

Today, I want to focus only on companies that try to sell their products
or services online.
Purchasing products online is a new culture for Ugandans, hence, it is
expected that it will take a while for people to adapt. Online purchases
could be credit cards or mobile money but I still perceive fear from a
huge percentage of Ugandans who buy products online.

But why this fear…?

Citing my own experience, most companies will be in touch with you during
the initial stages of the purchase and then go silent during transition or
delivery stages and this for sure signals fraud.
The customer phone numbers or emails provided, if any, are either
non-existent or no one is there to respond; this happens even during
normal working hours.
Correct me if I am wrong but companies around here still don’t honor the
cash-back money guarantee for any mishandling or failing to deliver your
items. In other words, most companies simply because they sell online they
think they can easily neglect interacting with the customer.

As an online company, you need to build confidence in the minds of your
customers. It is important to set up customer interaction platforms that
are accessible and reachable 24/7. Charge exactly what you said will be
charged for a product or service.

I also observed that many display their own prices and at the time of
purchase you see VAT or service charge added. You may need to borrow a
leaf from international shipping companies; they will give you a daily
update on your shipment until your product is
delivered to your door.

Before I drop my pen, please do not ask customers to fill customer service
surveys before their products are delivered.Thanks!

Enjoy your week.

The writer is;

Ayub Kato
Customer service and call center Consultant
Smiling Faces International.
akato@smilingfaces.co.ug

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