Reviews & Profiles
In the name of winning over a client
Posted Thursday, October 24 2013 at 01:00
Recently, l went shopping for some clothes in one of the numerous shopping arcades along Luwum Street in Kampala. I was taken aback when l entered one of the shops, you know those shops shared by several traders and the traders started hustling to draw my attention to their goods.
There was this young woman who was calling me “uncle, uncle, jangu nkuguze oligino jini”, meaning come and l sell you original jeans but before l could even pay attention to her, another man was pulling me by the hand all the time referring to me as manager, and saying “jangu nkuwe jini ezigenda mu ofisi” translated to mean come and l sale you jeans that you can even wear to the office. But his trousers were not my type so l turned to leave but was accosted by another lady who baptised me “blaza” read brother.
From her, l got the type and colour of the trouser l wanted but the problem was that it was small, “don’t worry we have your size but it’s in our store” she assured me as she passed me a seat to wait.
Ten minutes later, the trouser was not yet delivered. l inquired to find out what was taking so long; she made a call and after assured me the person was on his way back as she apologised profusely. To make up for the time l had spent waiting, she offered and ordered me a drink, a soda. I didn’t decline.
As l waited, other customers kept coming in and out l decided to observe how the other clients were being treated, it was not any different as the hustling drama continued. there was this young woman who looked to be in her early 20s walked in and the male attendants leapt to their feet each calling her different names like, sister, another called her sexy while the third called her sweetie. no wonder she went to his counter and bought a top (blouse).
Still at my vantage position as my goods were being packed, l saw a lady maybe in her 40s walk in and the traders referred to her differently.
Some referred to her as mama, another madam, while the other called her Auntie.
I asked the young woman l was buying from, who l later came to know was Madina, why they called us all sorts of names and her response was very simple: “here the customer is king if you do not handle them well, they may never come back yet we almost sell the same items here and all around” she explained.
She further explained that “we can tell the difference in our clientele, the school going type want to be called sweet names for the ladies; sister, sweetie, and sexy, work for them,” she said.
The young working class females prefer being called either Auntie or Madam.
But you have to be careful because if you called her any thing else she may take offence and may not purchase anything.
The men are the best shoppers Madina says, “They do not bargain a lot, are flexible, especially if you explain to them the advantage of a particular product over the other and you can call them any name be it Daddy, Uncle, Brother, Boss or Manager.”
When l left, l felt nice and surprised after all the pampering. With this kind of treatment who says Ugandans have no customer care.