How one company made a difference by talking to their customers

  • May 31, 2016
  • 4 mins read

“Neat Meats” is an e-commerce startup that promises to deliver fresh meat at the customer’s doorstep.

No doubt it is a challenging space.

For one, customers are hugely sensitive to the hygiene factor. Next, it is a time-sensitive purchase.

As one of their curious customers, here’s a short account of my experience with Neat Meats.

One of the first things I noticed about their online presence is their website. It totally lives up to its fresh and clean image. There is a sense of authenticity in the ‘Company’ page that speaks about the experience of the founding team in the food and retail space, in an open, honest tone.

Since I had never ordered meat online, I wanted to have a chat with the team before placing my first order. The presence of a mobile number on the top left corner drew my attention.

I had such a great experience with their team that I decided to get a little “behind-the-scenes” with this great venture.

Here’s what Mihir Tewari, Founder & CEO, Neat Meats, had to say when I spoke to him.

“Our aim is to create a business that delivers fresh, hygienic and tasty meat which is priced right. That’s the reason we spent a lot of time and effort setting up a robust sourcing, cold chain, and distribution process, that ensures the meat our customers get is nothing but the freshest.”
“But all this infrastructure would be for nothing if we did not give our customers the best experience possible. So, we lay a lot of emphasis on giving our customers the best experience possible.”

Almost all the time you can tell what people will whip out a wallet for if you keep prodding. Their eyes will light up on certain things, or they’ll just flat out tell you what they need.
Neville Medhora — Founder of Kopywriting Kourse

In their words, here are the reasons that Mihir and his team believe in talking to their customers as often as possible.

  • Answering every call is a must. NeatMeats has a lean team, and the founders are also always on the move. So, missing calls are very easy. When they put out a number on the website, they were very clear on not missing out any of their calls. And an easy fix to this was to use Exotel’s IVR. All calls to the number mentioned on the website are forwarded to a virtual number which is mapped to his team of 5. “If I’m not in a position to answer the call, I just turn myself off from Exotel and another member from my team responds. This experience is seamless, builds confidence and trust to any customer.”
  • Answering a call in 2 rings creates a great first impression. 9 out of 10 times, we do not get a response when we call companies. Having the team answer calls in 2 rings is a way for them to exceed their customers’ expectations.
  • Every customer conversation is important. “Our team uses call recordings to act upon the customer feedback. This way, we get to hear from the horse’s mouth on what they need from us. We also use calls to train our team to talk to our customers better.”

How often has this happened to you?
You walk into a store and like what you see. You pick it up, but at this point, you have a few questions about the stuff you want to buy. Now would be a good time to get some of your questions answered by the store assistant.

You walk up to him, but it’s quite a task even getting his attention. He is busy ignoring you, or doing the more ‘important’ tasks.

You finally get his attention! Phew!

You are hoping to get the conversation going about your latest discovery- but you are met with short, unfriendly responses. Or blank stares. Or silence. Or ‘ Umm..I am not sure’. Or even worse; he gets back to what he was doing earlier.

Where do you think your latest favourite thing will land up?

That’s right- back on the store shelf.

Now, imagine this scenario in an online store. The customer is 10X likely never to return to your website.

So, how can you ensure that you have a store assistant always available for a friendly chatter in an online store? How do we ensure we reinforce his “feel-good” factor?

  • The solution has to suit your company. “I scanned the market, zeroed down on a bunch of cloud telephony providers. Upon using them all for a trial period, Exotel worked best for us. And our reasons were simple. Exotel was easy to use, and we were able to get our inbound call center up & running in under 30 minutes. No issues with call clarity or call drops. Their transparency with uptimes was a bonus.”

Talking to Mihir reminded me of something I read here.

At a minimum, you should be able to talk to your customers…

  1. Frequently – the more they talk with you, the more loyal they become
  2. Easily – If it’s easy to do, chances are it’ll get done more often
  3. Openly – let it be clear to your customers that they can complain or questions decisions, as their opinion is what matters
  4. In Context – Talk to users as they use your product, not outside of it. The difference in what they say is remarkable.

Here’s something meta, we use Exotel to run Exotel. We talk to around 300 customers every single day. And here’s what we have seen.

  1. It’s impossible to pick up non-verbal cues if you don’t talk to your customer:
    In a conversation, there is no need to double-guess the problem. You know what the urgency of the problem is and the state of your customer’s mind.
    For WYSIWYG kind of people, a straightforward conversation is the best way to resolve an issue.

    Email tones are almost impossible to detect.
    And it is easy to misconstrue intent and tone of the written word.Especially for early stage startups, this is the best way for you keep a tab on the pulse of your customers.
  2. Phone conversations always lead somewhere:
    Email and other forms of communication are designed to be curt.

    Here’s my problem.
    Please solve it.
    Here’s your solution.
    Hope it all works well now.
    Customer Support

But during a phone conversation, one thing always leads to another, and it gives an opportunity to build a relationship with your customer. And this is the most precious thing for an early stage startup.

If you’re an early stage startup like NeatMeats and would like to use Exotel to power your support team, sign up for a trial account here.

Manisha Mishra