May 31, 2011
You've spent your hard-earned money in hopes of bringing in new clients or customers via Groupon, Living Social or one of the other myriad daily deal sites that exist. Or you own a restaurant and are about to take part in your area's Restaurant Week — or are now offering discounts through restaurant.com. Whatever the case, you're discounting your product or service to market to a new audience. But are you happy about it?
Getting those gift certificates and coupons in the hands of could-be fans is one thing, but retaining their business is another — a far more important other. How are you treating these Groupon-toting customers? Have you trained your staff to provide the same high level customer service they would with a full-paying customer when accepting them? Some business owners and employees are downright surly about accepting them, almost giving customers a what-for for taking part in the marketing program they offered. I just ran into this problem — again — and found out over dinner last night that family and friends have, too.
To business owners: Don't be disgruntled about any marketing plan you've enacted. Use it for what it is: An opportunity to share the great things you offer with people who might otherwise have never heard about you or experienced your offerings. Woo them so they'll return. If you're a restaurant taking part in your area Restaurant Week, glamor those new customers with your best dishes. Don't let that first impression be the last.