In traditional business, it is not the high tech software, filling systems or any technology that determines the business success. You can still find business becoming very successful even though they adopt very basic tracking techniques.
The success lies in offering value, quality and honesty in business dealings.
I want to share with you a case study of a very famous goldsmith shop located in Bangkok Chinatown. You would recognize the shop instantly from the number of customers crowding inside it. You would not miss it because at anytime of the day so long as the shop is opened, it is crowded with queuing customers. Whereas other goldsmith shop would have little if any business.
And the shop did not ‘embrace’ technology. It uses one of the most basic record keeping methods since the beginning of time. There is hardly any complaint or customer disputes.
Here’s a scenario on how it works:
Let’s say you have this beautiful precious stone that you would like to make into a locket. You would have to queue for a while before your turn comes and then you tell the staff what you want. He would offer you with some choices. As you select your locket- you would need to wait for your stone to be cast in the locket. So, the guy would usually ask you to return the next day or two days later.
Usually the gold would be weighed and you would asked to pay first.
And what do you get as an assurance that you passed your expensive stone to him and already made the payment?
A small piece of handwritten low-quality paper, smaller than a size of a memo pad and signed by the staff.
The next day, you show up back with the small piece of paper and the man- or his colleague would search from a pile finished items that are waiting for collection. Without you even telling him, he would somehow locate your item and ask you to check if it is alright. You check, and usually it is as per what you want, and you take it home. And you return that piece of paper to him.
Yet, the shop seriously enjoy brisk business. If you cannot wait, they would not feel sorry as they are a lot of customers queuing. I usually see a few tourists going in there even though most of the people there are locals.
This, and also in some businesses that I observe- do not require a sophisticated filling or coding system. It just need trustworthy and motivated workers who are honest in their dealing with customers.
Why the shop is more successful than the rest:
1. It creates a simple but very practical and usable system
Banks and data processing companies would need to invest the best into what technology can offer. But some businesses may not worry too much. Most important they need to create a system where the workers can understand and can use.
2. Quality of product- is above all else
The shop offers genuine products that are of good value for the price that one pays for. It does not cheat in weighing or give less that what it promised. Because of its good reputation, customers trust them and through word-of-mouth, they get more and more customers.
3. Goods return policy
They are willing to buy back the gold sold by them at reasonable prices. Even though I do not know the rate, but I see customers taking back the gold chains and items for exchange of cash.
4. Opening hours –extended
The shop opens every day, including Sundays and public holidays. But it closes quite early at about 7pm (perhaps for safety reasons too). So anytime you need to go there, you can be assured that it is open.
In conclusion, not all companies must do with bells and whistles. Of course a company like the goldsmith shop above would have taken time to build up its trustworthy reputation. For start-ups who need business to keep growing, a web presence and a systematic way of storing records are important to increase brand awareness and lessen workload.
But what I am trying to say is, ultimately, your company must offer value to its customers. It has to give quality in exchange for the money that the customer is parting with. This is what attracts customers and keeps them.