Personal relationships as basis for business. A very common concept in the arab world.
Already a cup of fresh orange juice is considered business.
I walk up to the stall, a hand full of words is exchanged – me ordering only orange juice no mix. I end up paying 10 dirham.
Second day way more small talk going on:
How are you? The family? Big surprise thst there are no kids. Where did you get the bag? Him double checking just orange juice? Paid 5 dirham
That stayed the going rate for the rest of the time. Apparently we had established a business relationship now.
From then onwards more talking day by day. Me being favored over other customers, the more annoying other tourist customers behave the better I am treated. Annoying tourist right in front of me haggling about the last dirham without exchanging another word with the vendor means second juice for free for me, piece of orange for the way.
Why is this so important and what is it really what makes the difference?
Listening, remembering, being favored, seeing the quality, being able to touch and smell beforehand, individual whishes respected, relationshisp forming, interacting as humans – just being treated as a person not a walking wallet
Back in Europe we call it exceptional customer service. This is why we rave about it if something like this happens to us.
That is why we love hanging out in our regular pub because when we lift our hand the guy behinnd the bar knows it means another beer because he knows us and we have connected before.
The same with the baker’s lady handing us our sandwich before we even start talking. Because it flatters us when somebody cares enough to remember if we are not just any customer.
This raises the question how broken is our retail experience if those moments of simple human behaviour seem so special?
Is that the reason online can thrieve?
A lot of e commerce businesses are rying to transport this into online – but are we really transfering something or are we trying to bring back something that in b2c business even offline seems to be long gone?
Online trying to copy offline or desperately trying to be better than offline in something soo offline in its core as little personal interactions turning into relationships.