We recently took part in the Agriculture and Commercial Show of Zambia, which is the country’s premier show held in the capital city, Lusaka. It runs for five days from the last Thursday in July to the first Monday of August each year. It offers a platform for regional and international cultural exchange, and exhibitors at the show have included companies from many countries so it’s a big affair for companies and families.
For five days straight, my team and I kept saying the same things over and over again to over 500 different people who visited our stand. Now as dreadful as that might sound, we were more than happy to do it,as we all had one goal in mind which was to create awareness about our awesome services and learn as much as we could from the patrons. The amazing thing is once we asked for the general public’s opinion of our company and the services that we offer, their attitude was “You asked, so here is exactly what I think...” Out poured suggestions, questions, criticisms and lots of praise. We were told to our faces to extend the number of Champion Agents to all provincial capitals, to advertise more, and even the names of some problematic Agents. Some of the questions we were asked were, “what do you do? How can I be part of you? Why should I trust you with my money? How do you control your Agents to ensure that they are doing the right thing?
Our Chilubi Island Agent who is located in far off the beaten track received a lot of praise for being able to do transactions in such a remote area. We also got attention for our low transaction fees which attracted show goers to send money and sign up on our mobile Makwacha account. Our brand also got huge thumbs up and from all of this feedback we compiled a report that was used to come up with a lot of action plans which we are currently implementing.
The feedback was overwhelming and I believe the effect of the exhibition remains to be seen in the coming weeks. But more than anything the Agriculture Show taught me that people love to be listened to and if you just ask and give an ear, you can be amazed at what you can actually learn. Needles to say we learnt a lot.