[The author Shahana Joshi is Digital Marketing Manager at Simplibuy. She is penning the second post in the series "Ways to reach great sellers "]
I know someone who has been going to his favorite barber for 35 years and returning with the most badly cut hair in the history of haircuts. But he continues to fire on his loyalties no matter what. This is not an uncommon Indian phenomenon, especially amongst the older generation. We are a nation of loyalists. It takes time for us to switch loyalties, whether it comes to our favourite brand of rice to soap to pretty much anything we purchase.
Times however are ‘a changing and Gen Next does see the urgent need to experiment and diversify, though only relatively. In the sense that we still sort of, hold the same values when it comes to brand loyalty on the internet. Think about it, terms like ‘Google it’ would not have made to the English dictionary otherwise. In India, we look at certain brands as the be all and end all of all our searches and queries, Just Dial being one of them. You seem to think you can get anything you want in your city, but can you really? Here’s why we think otherwise:
- 1. Yellow pages VS actual value
They’re basically a listing of all who have paid them and could be a repository of anything you need. But may not be the best you can get. There are times when product differentiation takes a beating in this regard. Asking for detailed places to eat or where you can find the cheapest vendor for a particular brand of cameras is not something they can cater to. If you know the place you want to go to, Just Dial is the right place to go to only if you need nothing more than contact details.
- 2. Vendor collusion
This is a personal grouse shared by many who have used the service. The higher the amount paid to Just Dial from the vendor, the more the leads passed on to them. This works well for the vendor, but in the long run can be pretty tough on the consumer. So it ultimately boils down to who pays more. If one needs to know where the cheapest vendor is for say, a pair of leather shoes in a particular area, the consumer will be at al loss because that vendor may not have the financial resources to be regularly featured on Just Dial’s top resource list. So if a seller is not listed with them, though that seller might be the absolute best for your needs, they will not make you aware of the same. Not a very fair deal now is it?
- 3. How did you get my number?
The eternal question we ask every tele- marketer when we’re harassed to buy a credit card or take a bank loan or attend a sale that we are least interested in. Spam calls and emails are some of the annoying aspects of services such as these. It’s quite painful for the consumer as there is no personal connect but very forceful marketing techniques which border on just plain harassment.
- 4. If it’s not social, its obsolete
Being bombarded by call centre employees when you call Just Dial is the most impersonal strategy. I’ve had personal experiences where they don’t take the time to understand what it is that you really need. They just have a set list of numbers that they dole out for anything that broadly comes under any of the categories that are already present in their archives. So a consumer’s specific needs are not met at all. Besides, all the information is submitted by vendors or their content team so it’s not validated by consumers. So stuff like whether a certain place is actually the best place to buy a certain book at the best price will never be established. So the consumer becomes a slave to his/her fate because of which the consumer has no room for choice.
End note : Enough reason to think about whether you’re getting true value for your bucks? I should think so. Is there not an urgent need for a place where a consumer can have the choice to choose? A service where she can be specific about her needs whatever they may be. A place where she, the consumer is truly the Queen? .