The Juantrepreneurs & Customer Service

I recently attended the Kiddopreneur event at the Glorietta Mall.  This is an event where kids can be entrepreneurs!  It is a  venue where children are exposed to the nuances of business and entrepreneurship first hand.


I thought it might be the regular school exhibition type of products on sale but I was so blown away by the kiddopreneurs who had booths with some very innovate products for sale. The items ranged from caterpillars in glass bottles, wallets made from duct tape to food stuff.


A booth which caught my attention was The Juantrepreneurs (their surname is “Juan”) which sold the Kiddie Entrep Bank. It’s a savings bank  which was available in the shape of a piggy, a London double decker bus and the Jeepney. The Kiddie Entrep Bank has four slots to save money, which are labeled EARN, SAVE, INVEST and DONATE.


The Juantrepreneurs were just awesome with their customer service and salesmanship! I was really struck by Little Mr. Max Juan. He spoke with confidence, had detailed product knowledge. He handed me his calling card and later gave one to my wife, Michelle who told him we have one. He said take this one just in case you lose it! His older brother dressed up in a matching waist coat as Max with their brand logo, was able to explain to me how the savings bank worked.  Their cousins (sisters) make up the team at The Juantrepreneurs and they explained to me the other products on offer. I was so impressed by their skill and style. Later on, I found out they won the best customer service and best concept at the end of the day-long event and even in the past years, they have been consistently winning the best customer service award.

I am happy to see the enterprising zeal displayed by all the kids. But most importantly, it’s the support of their parents and older siblings for their creative ideas that encouraged these kids to think like entrepreneurs and understand the importance of being focused on customer service.


A Lesson on Consumer Delight: Unilever Snaps Up the Deal

I’m a recent victim of a contaminated processed food product in the Philippines, and I find it frustrating that there is no clear system nor information for consumers on how to go about filing a formal complaint with the local Food and Drug Administration. There is an FDA hotline number provided on their website but no one was answering the phone all day yesterday. Today, I sent my written complaint via email to the FDA, I remain hopeful that they will do their duty in protecting my consumer rights. As a passionate advocate for the customer, I cannot just accept that finding a dead insect inside a can of tuna is OK. It is not OK!

If it weren’t for social media, my story would probably be ignored and downplayed as not to be taken seriously. Thanks to social media, I feel reassured that people do care about things like this after all and it strengthened my resolve to do my duty as a consumer — report to authorities and raise awareness for other consumers. It’s only when we all start caring that companies and brands will take consumer protection and consumer rights more seriously.

What made the experience worse for me as a consumer was the lack of effective customer recovery efforts from this company. Instead of reassuring me and the public immediately of their commitment to quality, their delayed response can only result from having no system for customer recovery. They have lost my trust as a consumer, but as a marketing professional, they lost my respect as well. Their company executives are using people personally known to me to communicate their request for me to remove the Facebook post. I find these requests very selfish and inconsiderate of the trauma they have already caused me. I am truly sad that this had to happen because it was a brand I was loyal to for years. A brand I trusted could not be trusted after all.

Coming across this story that’s trending in India at the moment is like a breath of fresh air given what I’m going through now.


Hindustan Unilever was able to brilliantly use one man’s unfortunate customer experience to promote the goodness of their company. Laxminarayan Krishnamurthy based in Mumbai purchased a Samsung mobile phone on Snapdeal (online store), when the package was delivered to his home, there was no phone inside the box, instead it had a Vim (A Unilever brand) dishwashing bar and a brick.



Snapdeal initially was not cooperative until Mr. Krishnamurthy‘s  Facebook post on his experience became viral. Snapdeal eventually refunded the customer. But it was Hindustan Unilever’s act of kindness and sheer marketing brilliance, which became the bigger story. Hindustan Unilever sent the customer a brand new Samsung mobile phone and 2 bottles of Vim Dishwashing liquid. Now, this is what I call commitment to the brand. I love the statement from Hindustan Unilever:

“Inadvertently our brand Vim became a part of a negative consumer experience. We not only realised the need for a positive engagement with the consumer but also saw this as an opportunity for creating a delightful brand experience for the consumer. It is heartening to know that our gesture has been appreciated by the consumer.”



Hurray for the customer!

Images courtesy: Laxminarayan Krishnamurthy’s Facebook Page & Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

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