M.B.A. Assistance by Invite
Just as any start-up, we are always evolving to address gaps in the matrimonial markets, and to provide greater value to our customers. One such endeavour was launching the assisted search service on M.B.A.
I assisted people in shortlisting relevant prospects through various matrimonial platforms, in order to be closer to the market and to add greater value to my advisory clients. It started with helping a couple of friends, but pretty soon others wanted to engage my services. So I decided to advertise it on my website, especially because the experience was immensely useful in learning about the market first hand (well, almost). Being in the market, and having some skin in the game made me realise how naïve my earlier perception was.
Skin in the game
Finding relevant prospects for my clients on matrimonial websites is about orchestrating magic out of platforms that’s nothing but a last resort for most people on it. My clients are always made aware of the possibility of miracles happening here, rather the lack it. My clients understand this perfectly, and they simply hire me to save them bandwidth, and heartburn. But in the process, I found myself feeling terribly unsatisfied. I felt as if we were on a thread mill, constantly acting, spending very little time on facilitating introspection for my clients. I don’t know if it was the service mandate where I refrained from providing unsolicited advice or the service design attracted certain types of people, but my experience was quite homogenous across clients of each gender.
I am pretty good at what I do, but increasingly over the last year, I kept feeling like I was selling myself cheap. But as I increased prices every quarter to eventually get on par with the market (EliteMatrimony, VIPShaadi), I realised that my joy wasn’t correlated with the revenues. I realised this when I out-priced the market at one point, and people were STILL interested in hiring my services. At this point, I could hire people who would do the filtering on my behalf, in order to scale. But that’s precisely what these big matrimonial firms do – employ relationship managers who’ve little to no domain knowledge and have a very poor understanding of their customers’ needs. While I may be providing superior customer experience, I realised that I am not solving any problems by adopting a model that already existed. I needed to take a moment to pause, reflect and learn something from this experience to help unlock my own journey forward.
I am immensely grateful to all my clients who’ve trusted and engaged my assistance services till date. Going forward, I will stop advertising this service on my website. The service will be invite only and open to my existing clients who’ve gone through the 3-month advisory program. This way, I can add value to clients while maximising my own learning. If any of you still want to engage my assistance service, then you will need to first book my advisory services, post which you may be extended an invitation subject to availability.