A Conversation with Customer

If you follow Hometown, you might know that we write a handwritten personal note to each customer. Recently we ran our sale on Fab.com. Despite the fact we didn’t know who’ll be buying our shoes from there, I and my co-founder Sidra wrote handwritten letters and included them in the shoe boxes while shipping.

Letter to one of our early customer.
Letter to one of our early customers, Behroze Khan.

Some people replied back using email. Here is one of the conversations:

From: Felix K.
To: Waqas Ali
Subject: Reply to your letter

Dear Waqas Ali,

first of all i would like to say that i am very happy with my new shoes. You and your team did a very, very nice job! Thank you for your letter. It was very surprising to find a letter in the box. This gave the shoes a very personal touch. Even the fact that you take the time to write a letter (by hand) shows that you take care about your customers. I wish more manufactories like yours will combine perfect craftsmanship with current technologies. Keep it going, and thank you and your employees.

With best regards from Lake Constance, Germany

Felix J. Keller

My reply to Felix:

Dear Felix

I am very honoured and humbled to hear from you. And that, such a positive note. Thank you again for taking time to do this for us.

That is right that Hometown combines craftsmanship with technology and storytelling. Stories just like these.

I never knew that Lake Constance is a place in Germany, now I know that and may be sometime I shall come visit you. Your feedback is very valuable and we’ll make Hometown even a better place to buy from.

If it is okay with you, consider sharing a picture (or more) of yours with Hometown shoes. We would put this in our office.

And if we can help in any way, please write me here like a friend!

Best wishes from Lahore, Pakistan

Sincerely, Waqas Ali.

The purpose of sharing this conversation is, so that other can learn from our experience and use something out of it.

How Do We Like

Every business is trying to sell something which their customers ‘Like.’

Most of the times customers have already defined, what they like. Even then it is not simple to deliver the ‘Like.’

Take in this way, you Like an tailor’s work. You like to get his shirt.

But here is the point, despite the fact that the tailor is already very likable. It doesn’t mean that he can just make another shirt and people will still ‘Like’ that enough to pay his price. He has to do his best every time to deliver what they’ll like.

Let’s get it more clear by taking the nearest example. This blog. Here I’ve written some very good posts lately and in back as well. Some people, Liked those posts very much. They like my blog in general.

But in order to write another great post, I’ve to work hard. To find an idea and then presenting the idea in best possible way. Also I’m trying hard to write how ideas impact our real life. And how sometimes, without knowing the equation, we are part of the process and we enjoy the process very much.

The second way to deliver Like is, to make surprising solution or picture, or product. Your audience doesn’t know even a single thing about that, they don’t know if they shall Like something this.

But when product comes in their hand, or say design comes. They just say, aha.. this is what I really liked and I didn’t know.

An example, I would share is when TechCrunch got redesigned. Many readers, including me hated it. I thought, it is junk and not at all reader friendly. Dave Feldman made this new design.

Well, after reading from TC for two days. I said to myself, this is probably one of the best website design. It helps me read more and get straight to the content. I just couldn’t get it in first sight, now I love it.

Dave here knew, what people will Like, but haven’t Liked before, simply because they didn’t see anything like that. I strongly recommend anyone to hire him for webdesign and logo.

Second and obvious example could be of Steve Jobs, at Apple they created the products, no one imagined.

Walt Mossberg said this right about him:

“He did it because he was willing to take big risks on new ideas, and not be satisfied with small innovations fed by market research. He also insisted on high quality and had the guts to leave out features others found essential and to kill technologies, like the floppy drive and the removable battery, he decided were no longer needed.”

You can make money and luck by doing any of the two. It is all right. But don’t just sell fruit because other are doing the same. Instead sell fruit, to sell them in your own. Make your own place in this noisy world is not difficult, thinking different is difficult.

Image from here

Groupbuying – Success Lies In Binding With New Customers

Idea of group-buying was hot. Still hot, and will stay hot for people who are seeking for discounts.

But businesses are failed to get out of it. Here is a truth. For businesses, group-buying is hot because it attracts them new customers, and often a lot. For customers, is hot because it helps them buy something cheaper than usual. That’s it.

Customers will always look for a cheaper product, unless you create something like Mac. 😉 On the other side, businesses can’t afford to give HOT-Discount for too long.

But here is how they can make use of it. Give a discount, a good one, then make them WOW!

Here is how:

  • with your WOW Customer Service
  • with your Great Product
  • by adding Humanity into Your Service
  • by showing them Some Art
  • and by these three from Seth Godin

In one sentence: Advertising or Groupbuying attracts customers for a very short period, it is up to you to do something else to keep them in a sustainable way.

If you’ll make them love you, they’ll love you and they will tell others that they love you. 😉

Got the point?  Hire Me, I can help you to make that real.

Note: thanks to Sebastian Sastre for some of the ideas that I’m using in this post. By the way, if you want better communication and management within your organization you should check out this amazing application he did: airflowing.

Turning Tragedy into a Motivation To Do Well

But in Oct 2004, in a plane crash, he lost 10 people from his senior management group, including his 24 year old son and brother. They all were in the same plan, going for a business visit.

Rick said, “You don’t, you can’t prepare for anything like that.”

This is very true, life sometimes gets really very hard. Things can happen what even we are afraid to imagine, but it does.

How should we prepare for that? The answer is, we don’t. Yes it is about staying strong and getting up in a hard way.

2004 #25 Ditech/GMAC Monte Carlo. The hood des...

After the disaster, Rick Hendrick, addressed to his emlpoyees, they hired new people in top management. Set up offices a few steps apart to overcome the gaps in their knowldge. And after 40 days, they made to the next race.

Turning tragedy into a motivation tool is not easy, but this is what real leaders do.

And this is what you can do to motivate your team / family or yourself. No one born as a leader, you put yourself to lead the change and this is the moment when world demands you to lead.

None of us really knows, what has life for us, big success or a disaster or anything between. It is not important, the important is to believe that no matter how worse things get, you’ll stand up and stay stand.

Related Posts:

We are Seeking for Leaders, Not Ideals

On Building a Better Classroom and Business Website

At my college, I hated 90% of classes which I took. Thanks to silly, so called teachers, I went to library to feel better. 😉 My class with them looks like this.

Here is what was happening, no collaboration, no energy, no learning.

But here is one of three teachers I liked, Cheryl Burke, here is how my class with her looked like:

It was easy to communicate, everyone was on the same page, energetic collaboration, learning. Yes!

People comes to your class room, or to your business website because of their reasons. But it is your responsibility to facilitate them.

Provide them a platform where they can communicate not only with you, but with other members. You should be the one to host the discussion, serve them.

You will learn more about your students / customers when you’ll have a seat with them, online or offline.

Remember you don’t need  a website, rather you should have collaborative spaces. Go make such space. And if you need help with that, get in touch with me. 🙂

New Era of Designing Consumers

Yesterday I was learning about Philippe Starck, the best known designer in the New Design Style. Here is tiny example of his work.

Also we are seeing companies like Apple, IKEA, Zappos and many others, which are offering great services or products or both.

If companies like them can offer, why not everyone? Here is the point, Apple didn’t bring its products’ design from here or there, or even it wasn’t avilable before they created it. Similarly for Zappos, they had no such experience of Delivering Happiness before.

Also people like Seth Godin, Chris Anderson, or Martin Luther King did and doing what has never been done in the way.

Both companies and individuals, promised it to themselves, designed it, created it, delivered it.

Things did not ended over there, what we call now customers or fans loyalty is actually designing your unique consumer or fan.

This is what I call an era of designing consumers. Without it, it is impossible for good folks to make WOW. I strongly belive you know what you can do to design your own following of people or consumers.

Waiting of what? Go.. Design us.. We’re waiting of you dear Linchpin.

PS. The idea of this post was taken from Kenny East‘s comment on Mashable’s facebook status.

Related Posts:

Deliver Learning, Deliver Happiness.
Deliver Celebration, Deliver Happiness.
Deliver Creativity, Deliver Happiness.

Did You Notice? Good Folks Bringing ‘Love’ on Web

I have an active account at Tumblr too. Today I got am email from them, here is the screenshot.

Second one:
Even if you have never heard of his music, chances are you have heard about Justin Bieber. Here is his one of most recent tweet.


I strongly believe in the power of few genuine words and this all is an example of what I advocate.

Do you bring ‘Love’ to your people, customers, readers and/or pets? Should you? I believe you know the answer. 😉

Love U!


Enjoy Being Friend Of Your Customers

Business people have always been trying to judge the true value of their customers. Because they are the people their business is all about.

I believe now is the time to take next step. Watching customer’s profile picture is not enough  we need to go & comment on the photo (when he was returning from Paris). We need to share the happiness together. Got it?

Our friends are the people we care about. We keep their contact details, so we can get in touch even when Facebook is down. We try to make them feel special because we know their value.

And we know very well when our friends are not happy with us, even they did not tell any body. But we automatically learn this. Same applies in business, we always need to improve things even when customers friends do not complain.

Think about these really important questions to be friend with them:

  • Do you know them?
  • Do you know what they want?
  • Do they know you?
  • Do they know they are valuable for you?

I feel I’ve not summarized it well enough, but one thing is for sure we all love to be customer friend of a good guy / company.

What do you say friend?