Episode 89 Transcript

Welcome to Episode 89 of the Business of Morocco Podcast uh today we are talking with one of our former guests the founder owner CEO of I Lave U a company based here in morocco uh Karim Jennane we had Karim on to talk with us in episode 54 which was back in February which was uh before the world changed we didn't even know it Karim we were we were having a an interview in our office here and we didn't know that the world is about to change very significantly but a lot has changed but since then and we'll talk about that um during the episode but for those who did not see that episode uh could you just give a brief introduction about yourself and your company yes sure thanks Ryan for inviting me once again all the pleasure to be here uh without the other Ryan but we we're thinking thinking about him from from Morocco yes he's he's in Canada right now um yeah things are for me um it's kind of steady since the launch of the concept um let's say um business is going quite well uh we can say that given the facts um yeah given the current situation in morocco uh and all over the world so i love you is also touched by by this situation and but we are working on it working on improving things on improving the process as well and the business is growing the team as well and um trying to do our best actually to at least to um to make our concept known um in Casablanca which is actually as i said as i said before the city uh where the project has been lost so just give yeah give our audience a basic uh summary of the services that you offer yeah sure uh i love you uh is a dry cleaning service it's a laundry service um i love you pick up your laundry and deliver direct to your dual step and it's done through the app through an application and website uh we're declining actually just choose the pickup and delivery time

choose the address as well how how he's gonna pay and we just uh we just execute actually what is as goodbye by the by the customer so we're offering three different services uh the dry cleaning uh the shoe uh the shoe repair but also the tailoring so three different services on one application yeah it's great i mean i've used it a couple times and you can have your your you can schedule the pickup and the delivery at the the place that you want right and you can also pick uh a window a time you know a two hour window where where the the person's gonna come and pick up or drop off the laundry for me this has been very convenient because i know like when i need to be at home or when i need to be at the office in order to uh meet the delivery driver and for me that's that's very valuable um the real added value compared to um let's say traditional laundry uh shop is that the client really chooses actually when and where he wants to be picked up or delivered so there's a huge flexibility in terms of client experience right and talk to us a little bit about um sort of your philosophy of business uh for example uh your scooter that you deliver on is electric tell us about the the culture of your business and what your philosophy is well um today uh we realized that 95 percent of our customers are women and uh so in the beginning we yeah we are still we've been targeting men and women as well uh i understood that men talk to their wives and women are very active actually on social media and um so first we're targeting both of them uh this is in terms of uh in terms of customers customers target and related to our strategy we are yeah we decided to to be um we decided to to respect uh to respect some some processes related to to the delivery service like delivering on scooters today um and we've also created a kind of uh kind of box where we can where we can deliver shirts suits for example on in the scooter which is very really time consuming not time consuming compared to comparing to delivering on on the car um related to the products which uh we use for our on services they are 100 uh ecological as well and uh we are this is something really rare in in morocco this is something really rare rare because uh more than 90 percent of the laundry shops are using um using a product which is really uh toxic and uh so we are struggling not to use not to use it not to use it and to deliver the same quality service yeah that's hard and it's hard to communicate these different uh product offerings and the values and often you know having a a good impact on the environment it costs more i mean it's more expensive uh to offer things like that but you gotta you gotta find the right type of customer who cares about these types of things so so you mentioned that 95 of your customers are women can you talk to us about your your marketing strategy and and your your strategy for acquiring new customers what what are you doing to to make i love you a brand that everyone in casablanca knows about yeah um what i can say is that the client customer acquisition is decreasing from day to day that's a really good point and but in the meantime our marketing budget is also increasing because we we definitely understood that without communicating well on social media but also using great strategies on google ads on youtube on different platforms to answer briefly to your question we we communicate through google ads by using the the accurate keywords keywords all related to our activity so and but also on instagram on facebook and also working with some influencers here in casablanca influencers which are really close to our to our brand so what uh so 95 of your customers are women what what do they want you to clean for them what what is the most popular product or service that they they want you to do for them the most popular one is the shirt but also a lot of a lot of customers are asking for the tailoring in the beginning they were really reluctant to that because they were asking themselves how would it work if there is maybe a team member from i love you can come home to take the measures etc and uh yeah we've been able to to answer to their needs and

yeah apparently they were convinced on on the service so it worked it worked well uh so i can i can say that is the shirt but also um but also the suits so uh

yeah i imagine that that one of the reasons that uh maybe you don't have as many men um requesting services because a lot of people have been told they don't need to go to the office and i'm sure that you saw that during confinement and even over the summer that a lot of people who would normally they'd be getting their dress shirts and their suits dry cleaned and on a regular basis they just say i don't need to do this because i'm i'm working from home or is that still the case or are you seeing that change a little bit yeah even if we see a huge traffic jam we can see that people don't use their clothes in the same way by the way i've been wondering every day why why there is that traffic jam in casablanca because i know that there is a lot of homework in home office and so i'm really wondering how how can that happen but um yeah things are sticks um i think that is improving even if studs say the the opposite i think the statistics say the opposite that corona is increasing here in casablanca but uh i think that people are more confident uh and uh yeah they're trying to just to leave their life as as it should be and that's it i i agree i think that uh you know we're we're seven months into this now and i think we're just at the point where everyone we just need to realize that that covet is just it's here to stay you know it's gonna be around um people who are older or maybe have health problems we need to be very careful yeah but we have to get the economy going again we have to get back to work you know we can't let all these businesses fail um you know businesses like yours that are employing people um you know i have clients that have had a very hard time uh in these last six or seven months and you know i think you're right we need to be careful we need to be cautious but we we need to get back to work and uh and one of your services uh is a great service because you you can stay at home yeah right you can order your your dry cleaning your tailoring um you guys also do things for like um for you clean furniture and shoes and other types of things i was looking as i was doing the research to prepare for the show you guys have added a lot of services since we last talked you are cleaning a lot of things and i just saw here we have some redo so we have some drapes and so i'm going to be ordering the tailoring of some drapes here after the show because uh we need some some some drapes uh cut to length so we're done with it that that's new um but what if what if somebody is looking at your website and they want to have something clean but they it's not on the website what can they do this kind of things happen and happen mainly in the beginning they just call us they call the service client the client service and they just ask for this uh this item so so that someone someone in the information system adds it to to the platform otherwise for some people who uh yeah i got used to to receive some calls from people asking whether they can order without uh ordering online i mean doing it through whatsapp or by phone um sometimes i i accept this kind of this kind of orders and people get used to it a little bit so so in general when you talk about your customer what devices are they using what's the most popular way to order the services on i love you which device which platform um today uh the device for which i got um most of the orders is the application uh is the app around around 65 percent is that android or iphone or both um um well i would say have a person yeah so these are recurring customers then if they if they download your application they're using your service more than one time yeah definitely i i i got around i got around more than 50 percent of of the customers who really come back again and that's really a good really good percentage so um i'm trying also to um to to keep them faithful by either offering um offering some some sales yeah so like a referral fee like uh exactly yeah referral fee to encourage people to to tell their friends and family members about the app that's the peripheral uh service right yeah great so you as the referral you can you can talk to the business to many a referee and each referee win 30 durians and this is uh this can be done through through the app as well and what about payments are you seeing people are they willing to use their bank cards or what percentage are you seeing people pay with their their bank card versus uh in in cash on aspes moroccan are really used to to pay cash uh this is in our habits uh but uh things are getting different they they got to well they need to trust actually the the business so uh it's increasing from day to day i would say but still still not enough compared to the cash uh to the cash transactions yeah uh and uh very soon we'll be working with a with a company for for the payment mobile payments okay so so people will pay through the app sorry they'll pay with their phone when you when the driver arrives exactly either they pay cash or uh through the uh through the tpu or uh or using the their mobile phone as a wallet so this is gonna be a partnership with the bank here like apple pay so so apple pay would be an example i think that uh yeah pay with your iphone exactly yeah it's gonna be yeah this can be used for next uh next transactions as well we're thinking about it uh yeah that's it so obviously you've uh you've faced many challenges uh in these last six months um

because on this show we like to talk about entrepreneurship and business and really you know i'm sure as you you would agree running a business is about solving problems you know you have problems and you gotta find a solution you gotta you gotta do what you can to survive to increase your revenue to reduce expenses so tell us what has been your biggest challenge uh over the last few months

you are you are so right because uh you are solving problems like every every hour and the idea is just to decrease this kind of problems and to i have a word in french capitalism

and to avoid them and the idea is to to define processes to uh to make sure this problem won't be back and uh yeah today the most my huge challenge i would say is to educate moroccan people on using digital uh concept because here in morocco we are so used to uh just to call people and to to do things for us yeah um but here what i'm what i love you is proposing is something digital that you can use yourself taking two three minutes and then your order is completed and and that's it yeah i mean i i will just describe my own experience it's so easy you you log in you got your email your password you log in you select your services you put in your address you say i want pick up on this date at this time and it's done and you know you get a call before the driver is arriving you know as a reminder just to confirm the pickup or the delivery and you know for me it's been you know i love you has been one of the the better customer service experiences you know that i've had in morocco and and we've talked a lot on this podcast about how important customer service is and how honestly how a lot of companies here in morocco they they don't care about it or you know they don't focus on it and and as a result there's some bad experiences sometimes but you guys have done in my opinion a very good job of focusing on the customer and providing a good experience this is really my my uh my main objective today is to well this is very cliche actually by company saying um i just want to satisfy the client but yeah this is very cliche uh this is today this is our main goal is to satisfy the customer first and of course it's not going to be satisfied um for free uh because i have some time some clients asking for promo code uh like every day but i cannot deliver problem goals every day so this is the business uh the business sure the business is set up for making profit but in the same way this is really important to to be client focused and client focus means client satisfaction as well by providing the best service possible and uh also the quality must be must be perfect so i'm trying to make the quality perfect every day uh and yeah mostly to learn from our for our yeah for our faults well i mean for for this is something that all businesses have to go through and it's balancing

how much time am i going to spend on on customers who are not going to be a good fit right you know i have clients and and we've talked in the past where i'll talk to their customer service people and i'll say

how much of your day is spent talking with customers who are never going to be a long-term very positive customer which is a really good question and they say half of their time right so that you got your your employees are spending half of their time dealing with customers who are not good fit for your company you know so honestly when you get these requests for promote promo codes all the time you know maybe you you can select certain people that get codes but those probably aren't your your long-term customers right they're not a good fit yeah business is not here to satisfy everyone you know we can find different restaurants but restaurant a is a targeting client type of client a or b let's say and restaurant b is target another type of client so uh it depends on the needs depends on the budget it depends on a lot of things uh i usually get um remarks from clients saying that yeah this item is a little bit uh expensive i'm saying yeah but uh try it and then you're gonna see you're gonna see the difference with with the customers um i'm always trying to to give additional um or yeah showing the difference to treated quality of the service yeah so it's not easy to satisfy everyone and it's not the goal in the same time right now you had mentioned the last interview that we had that you were you were trying to do some b to b work yeah um how is that going uh it it is very slow we can say that uh the the b2b um the b2b part is very slow um but uh we've been able to sign a few of contracts with uh with clinics and some hairdresser as well so this is um this is this isn't great yeah i can say that because it enables you to have a steady revenue cd revenues that enables you to pay actually uh the wages enables you to pay uh the gas oil etc so and then you focus on the individual on the b2c uh b2c revenues b2c clients as well have you have you tried reaching out to to restaurants to do like their linens their um their tablecloths and things like that because getting getting recurring revenue as you just said you know that could be very helpful for the business in terms of having a base of revenue to pay for your overhead yeah you know uh today restaurants are really uh looking to decrease their costs uh let's say their customers are divided by two or even more uh taking into account also the confinement on where they didn't work at all so uh believe me that even uh even the laundry costs uh uh yeah it's uh it could be a profit for them i mean they are really avoiding to pay uh to pay this kind of this kind of calls so i'm realizing that they are even changing uh they are changing um the material of their leaning so they don't need to to wash it so they're just using a unique uh uh how can i say yeah so that's definitely like a spray to to reuse the linen yeah yeah or or something that you can use only once okay yeah like paper or yeah something on paper or plastic doesn't need to be washed again at all right so uh to a restaurant is not really the great uh the best uh the best uh the best client in terms of b2b yeah we talked last time you you had thought about uh expanding to other cities uh is that on hold are you still wanting to expand i still want to expand uh but it's in hold in the same time i found people who would be willing to to work with i love you on the rabbit for example i'm focusing on rabbit for now but i'm more focusing on i'm working on having a shop here in casablanca so that we remain digital 100 percent digital but we are um we're gonna have a shop uh here in casablanca in madison very soon and uh so that we can gain in terms of street visibility and also again in terms of uh client confidence yeah some i realized that yeah we can work on digital through the through the app and uh the website but some clients needs to needs to meet yeah and needs to meet either the owner or someone actually physical in order to explain how it's going to work uh and stuff like that yeah it could be uh this is complementary

so when i think about your business

i think uh you know what opportunities do you have and i when it when when it comes to mine and i think about your process right so you have you have a customer who has an account with you whether it's on the website or through the through the app and they're they're doing recurring purchases for for dry cleaning or for for retouching and you have a driver who is going to pick up the product and then deliver it so you have two touch points right you have a you have your drivers making contact with the customer at least two times for each order exactly i'm thinking to myself like what are the other opportunities for revenue here have you thought about selling uh various types of product on your website so that you know maybe as i'm checking out for my dry cleaning you give me a pop-up on the website where it suggests hey do you want to buy some shoe polish cleaner or hey here's a sewing kit or here's uh one of those lint rollers you know like uh with the scotch for for getting on my suits getting like pet hair or stuff have you thought about ways you can upsell the client and generate some more revenue yeah this is something we still have not applied yet on the on the website neither on the website uh nor on the on the app but that's uh your idea is really good we can sell uh we've been thinking about some products that can give a nice uh perfume uh actually these are products that we are using ourselves in our uh in our shop uh and uh yeah this could be a really good idea selling not only perfumes but also it can be some derivative products like uh i don't know something for the shoes for the cleaning for shining the shoes as well uh yes this can be this can be fine for for the coming weeks so i'm gonna i'm gonna say something here that's a little it's a little bit technical uh but for our for our audience members who are interested in e-commerce because you you are an e-commerce company um so there's an idea of uh upselling so i put something into my cart on your website and before i check out before i pay the there's a pop-up that suggests i add something else to my cart right yeah and this is very common you'll see this on various websites so that's one way of doing it meaning you suggest additional products to the customer before they check out okay that's one way the other way is you let the customer go through the process they buy what they want to buy and they check out and they confirm the payment

but you as a website you retain the payment token and after the purchase is complete then you suggest other things to buy and then the customer with one click they can say yes and essentially the back end of the system goes in and changes the order and adds it after the payment's already been completed and and and the reason that i see that i say this is because the second way has a much higher conversion rate okay uh people when they get suggested products before they check out they they have a higher chance of abandoning their their purchase meaning leaving the website or leaving the app and just going away but if you wait till they're done you wait till they've already purchased they're already in the mindset of purchasing and then they're more open to actually adding things uh to being up sold so something to keep in mind for for you as an e-commerce company and also our listeners who are thinking about or running e-commerce companies right now that's um that's really nice as a as initiatives i think um i think here in morocco this is something uh yeah that i'm i'm not saying that it's not going to work of course it's going to work and i'm hundred percent sure about that but uh we'll still have to educate people on digital this is for me the main issue people have to be have to understand the added value you have to answer understand the work on the uh on the yeah the work that is done uh by the team etc but the most difficult thing as i said is to make people understand the real added value of doing that through a digital platform and also what are your earning what are you gaining not to not to go to the shop not to uh not to not to get get out from your home and uh and go enviro by yourself uh so uh i think yeah the real work that has been done first is on is on digital education before coming on details and our audience is uh is pretty digitally savvy so if you're listening and you have some ideas for kareem on certain products that that he should offer to his customers either on the website or at the moment of pickup or delivery leave leave a comment uh on youtube or send an email to contact ilobue.ma or to ryan moroccopodcast.com and um we'll we'll publish those on the site and on our on our facebook page and uh yeah that would be uh good it'd be interesting to see what the audience thinks would be uh a good item to buy at the same time getting your dry cleaning of course i would be happy to to receive their remarks sure well before we wrap up the interview crim do you have any other plans or thoughts about the economy or or the few the next few months as we we come into the end of the year

um my plans today are to um yeah to to be able to to open my shop in the coming weeks first uh at least this is for i love you i love you business and uh i think that yeah we're we are getting used to to the actual to the current context and environment and people are getting used to it hopefully uh everyone will be cautious everyone will wear a mask and uh but yeah in terms of economy i really hope that things will be will be different and uh also we'll be able to um anticipate government decisions uh if there are some yeah and this is really important for us to take into consideration so yeah let's uh think fingers crossed for the coming for the coming weeks and uh

well great uh kareem thanks again for for coming on the show a second time and giving us an update on your business i i'm very happy to hear that uh the things are going well that uh in spite of the the condition of the economy you guys are still operating you're still growing your services and your operations and uh i wish you the best of luck and uh yeah we'll uh we'll stay in touch many thanks pleasure there take care all right bye-bye thank you

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