What makes you go back to your favorite eatery as a customer? What do you do to gain loyal customers as a retailer or service provider? Loyalty is the word that comes to mind when you attempt to answer these two questions. A customer’s loyalty cannot be bought with money; it is earned. It is determined by the satisfaction customers get after consuming your product or patronizing your services.
Satisfying customers is very difficult. That is why not many people are able to do that in Ghana. The good news is, there is an app that can help service providers and retailers achieve this. It is called ImLoyal app. The app has so many interesting features. It doesn’t benefit service providers and retailers alone but customers also stand a chance to benefit greatly by using it. ImLoyal has the potential to bring a transformation to service delivery in the country and even beyond. For retailers and service providers, nothing beats the feeling of having loyal customers and to customers, there is nothing like a wonderful service delivery experience at your favorite eatery, hotel or shop. This can be made possible with ImLoyal.
We had a chat with Kofi Aboagye, a co-founder of the app and he shared quite a lot with us.
Below are some of the excerpts of what the interview:
What is ImLoyal and what does it do?
Kofi Aboagye: ImLoyal is a customer loyalty mobile application which is available for Android devices, Apple Iphone and a Web App version. The app serves restaurants, hotels, shops, companies and other service providers. Customers don’t have to walk around with so many loyalty cards in their pockets anymore; they can have it all on one app. In so doing there would never be a case of a customer showing up at the counter without a loyalty card, maybe because they left it at home.
How did you guys come up with the idea?
Kofi Aboagye: We noticed there were so many offers available that customers did not know of until they visited a place. From my background in business we noticed how customer loyalty was actually key to success. So we started looking into customer loyalty applications. We developed this application in such a way that as customers come in they earn points and these points, when they pile up, can earn them rewards, discounts, special offers and free stuff from the various places. That’s how this idea came up. We did a little research on it, talked ,went round and interviewed some customers and merchants.
Do you have any partners on board?
Kofi Aboagye: We have gotten a few businesses to sign up, but we want to get quite a number to cover the huge numbers that we want. But we will be signing on more clients to increase our reach and coverage. We are actually preparing for our pilot kick-off; the pilot kick-off will be done on 1 October.
Can you tell us about your team?
Kofi Aboagye: We have quite a strong team, my partner and co-founder Kweku Acheampong is a Computer Engineer from KNUST, we have a good Graphic Design team who handle all artwork and multimedia stuff. We also have a good marketing team.
Are all these people working on a full-time bases?
Kofi Aboagye: Yes, our Marketing team is full-time employees.
How do you people manage to work together?
Kofi Aboagye: We meet to work as and when we have a project but we actually work well together and complete tasks in due time. We are more like a family and make ImLoyal-related work priority if it takes working late to get the job done.
What are some of the features of the App?
Kofi Aboagye: The first one is the loyalty point. As customers[users of the app] visit these various places they are able to collect loyalty points which they can redeem later on. Secondly, they can call a merchant and make reservations or place orders as and when they want to. There is also the ‘directions feature’ which helps users to get directions to the various places from their current location; picture sharing; posts on social media; reviews etc.
Who are your target users?
Kofi Aboagye: Our target group is basically anybody that has purchasing power. Our target group is quite wide. The groups that would use the app are the youth and adults basically.
How many users do you have?
Kofi Aboagye: We have about 400 downloads already.
What are some of the feedback you have had?
Kofi Aboagye: We are getting some useful feedback. Everybody wants to be rewarded. People are showing interest in the idea and are waiting for the app to launch.
Location based apps tend to work well in the West because of how the society is structured. How confident are you that this idea would work in Ghana?
Kofi Aboagye: Our app basically seeks to reward customers; and every customer wants to be rewarded, trust me, for the same things that you do everyday and so that is what is driving our application – the reward system.
What is unique about the app?
Kofi Aboagye: Everybody ends up getting customer loyalty cards which can be lost or left at home. So basically this is the meeting place for all loyalty cards where we have all of them in one application. All you have to do is to pick your phone and check in that you’re here and collect your points in them. It’s also a place where people make recommendations as to where to eat or where to have fun in Ghana; this will be very useful to tourists. A lot of expatriates are downloading the app already.
Are you looking forward to adding extra features to the app as you move forward?
Kofi Aboagye: There are so many features we’d like to integrate into the app but as it stands now, what we want to do is to get used to what we have on there now. We have a lot in our bag. We will reveal them as time goes on.
How are you going to make money? What’s the plan?
Kofi Aboagye: For now we want to use a pilot to determine the best way to make revenue off the app. But when it comes to pricing the merchants would have to pay for subscription. We are also looking at running ads on the app. There are various revenue models we are looking at but for now, we are going to use the pilot to see the response and take it from there.