In an article released by Stears earlier this year, they shared a chart based on available data about the number of deals that have involved CEOs with a Nigerian Education since 2019. In the chart, Obafemi Awolowo University confidently wears the crown with 48 deals while the University of Ibadan trails in 4th position with just 12. This tally for University of Ibadan is however bound to change now as 3 students from the school launched a business intelligence startup called Custimony.
The solution this ambitious trio is providing is set to change the way brands view testimonials or customer reviews by helping brands unlock the true value in them. This is a helpful innovation coming when the tech ecosystem in Nigeria is buzzing with activities. Within 7 years, the startup tech industry has raised up to $2 billion and it is a top destination for investors in Africa. Unfortunately, it is not all entrepreneurs who dream that make it out of the harsh woods of the industry. The chance of being a successful startup in Nigeria stands at 39% according to reports and one critical factor to that is sales. This is where Custimony plays a crucial role as it takes customers' testimonials or reviews about brands from mere compliments to a money-making tool. This is done by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and consumer psychology.
According to research by Wyzowl, nine out of ten people will believe what a customer says about a brand rather than what a brand says about itself. By implication, brands that can't harness the power of testimonials are sitting on a gold mine without knowing it. This helps in no small measure in creating brand awareness as it is a digital word of mouth. Generally speaking, testimonials have a way of establishing the credibility of a brand in the mind of a potential customer. This contributes in no small measure to the buyer’s journey as it helps make it much easier to convert leads to paying customers. Speaking on the need to have Custimony as a solution, the CEO and Founder of the Startup, Adams Paul said “I started Custimony because as a senior software developer, I discovered a gap in managing customers’ testimonials or reviews from multiple sources. For every company I worked with, we had stale testimonials on the website and always find it difficult to update. I decided to do my research and then discovered I could also do other innovative things to help businesses convert these testimonials or reviews into new sales whilst solving the issue of testimonial management.”
To address these issues, Custimony relies on three core features to alleviate these problems that brands face. The first one allows brands to collate all their testimonials from different platforms into one place where they can manage it from one dashboard. This removes the problem of scattered testimonials as companies can easily aggregate their testimonials from Google Review, Appstore, Google Play Store, or any other review platforms. Custimony also solves the problem of inaccessible testimonials as it allows you to locate testimonials on social media like Youtube, Instagram, and other social media platforms. The format that these testimonials come in doesn’t matter as the platform provided by Custimony supports both video and text.
For businesses that can maximize the power of Custimony, it is possible to gain solid control over the management of testimonials. Asides from collating testimonials from customers on social media, the platform also allows brands to share curated testimonials on their social media channels. A feature that allows them to do this is the Custimony Studio where they can easily turn these collected testimonials into professional flyers in line with their brand palette.
On the role artificial intelligence plays in tools Custimony provides, Williams Owoeye, Head of Marketing had this to say: “Brands in Nigeria are doing a lot against the odds of harsh economic conditions and we feel it is high time they started getting their flowers for all the work they do. So for each of those testimonials they receive, we try to supercharge them for optimum value. Artificial intelligence helps us to do this as those testimonials also serve as data to train the AI model we call Custy. In the end, what you have is this smart business assistant that is like ChatGPT but knows the ins and outs of your brand from the viewpoint of your customers. So, asides from helping you to convert leads to sales, Custimony also gives you contextual insights into the health of your business through AI. Businesses can simply chat up Custy when they are curious about suggestions to grow their brand and they get valuable and relevant replies instantly ”
In conclusion, with the ambitious trio from the University of Ibadan exploring a niche that is not popular in the tech ecosystem, the future looks promising but daunting nevertheless. A lot of Nigerian business owners are not fully aware of the huge difference it can make when they take charge of their testimonials and customer reviews which calls for a lot of education. Hopefully, when more brands are more aware, Custimony can change the narrative, and testimonials and customer reviews will never be seen the same way again.