Iman Shoppe Interview: Customer-First Approach Crucial In Fighting Pandemic

Iman Shoppe Bookstore is just one of the many businesses that were forced to take their business 100% online.

They had to close down their physical store due to the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Ms. Arinah, Marketing Manager from Iman Shoppe Bookstore Sdn. Bhd. tells Eber how they overcame this challenge and made it work for them.

1. How has things been for Iman Shoppe since the outbreak of Covid 19?

It’s been a challenging time for us.

First, we had to close one of our major sales channel, our retail shop – due to Restricted Movement Order (RMO) by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

We’ve shifted our focus to our online channel as the main revenue stream.

The first few weeks of RMO has been okay for us. We have been trying to adapt to working from home and improving on our communication with each other.

The last 2 weeks has been really tough for most of us. It has started to affect our mental health and motivation as well.

So we’ve been trying to reach out via video call almost every day to check up on each other.

2. What were some changes you had to implement immediately?

We had to close all of our offline channels; retail, booth, events.

First things first – we had to shift our focus and mindset.

We looked at ways to attract new customers to our website, imanshoppe.com.

We see an increasing trend in our online store now compared to before the RMO – which is great.

Some of us had to go beyond our job scopes – focusing more on new digital projects and analysing data to understand our customers better.

3. How have you been engaging / nurturing customers during this time?

We’ve been doing an online book fair, going live on Instagram, doing giveaways for books and other special offers.

We also curate engaging contents for our followers on social media – sharing articles and sending emails.

4. How has your customer service strategy changed since Covid19?

For us, customers is always been our priority – so not much.

Even though we’ve been receiving a lot more enquiries than before the RMO, we still managed to follow-up with each one of them within a reasonable time period.

5. How do you make sure customers don’t forget about you when the pandemic blows over?

We try to give them the best experience ever.

From their discovery of our products, ordering it on our website, until they receive the package in their hands.

We make sure that their journey of buying from us is seamless and enjoyable.

6. How does a customer loyalty program come in handy during these challenging times?

For us, it’s really useful in understanding your customer’s behaviour – like their purchasing behaviour and their preferences.

It really helps us in curating the right marketing messages to the right target group.

By using Eber, we are able to do just that.

It’s very easy and hassle-free. We can find out who’s our loyal customers, who’s spent the most in the last month.

This way we can acknowledge them and reward them accordingly.

7. Any advice for other businesses looking to stay ahead?

Be aware of the news, but don’t let it affect your productivity.

Focus on finishing off daily tasks and celebrate your achievements no matter how small.

Be ready to change and adapt when necessary.

Be brave to explore new ideas and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Let me finish with this:

“If you need to be right before you move, you will lose. Speed trumps perfection. Perfection is the enemy of good when it comes to emergency management.”- Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization Health Emergency Program

More about Iman Shoppe Bookstore here.

If you’d like to launch your own customer experience management program, reach out to us here.

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