Recently, an article ran in the The New York Times titled ‘Is Groupon Ruining Retail?’. In this article, Jay Goltz discusses the unforeseen obstacles that businesses encounter after using popular ‘daily deal’ services such as Groupon. Among several pitfalls of the daily deal pricing model, the article mentions one obstacle we are seeing our own customers facing.
The article states, “The coupons can drive an awful lot of people into your store, but not every store is prepared for the onslaught.”
There is no arguing this growth spurt in business is a positive trend for small businesses and the main driver behind the success of the daily deal advertising phenomenon; however, if the business is not prepared, they can become overwhelmed by the demand of low-paying customers. This stress can damage the overall experience for the new customers, as well as anger reoccurring customers who ARE paying full prices for services and/or products.
According to an article in www.mainstreet.com called ‘Should Small Businesses Use Groupon?’, the consensus is that small businesses should not use daily deal services to increase revenue but instead to generate buzz and awareness about their business to local customers.
With this in mind, it’s becoming clear that the success of these daily deals depends on providing a top-notch customer experience the first time around so that these new customers will return again and see the value in paying full price for your product or service at a later date.
So how do small businesses accomplish this with little resources and budget? Here are some tips to help your business prepare and succeed with your next daily deal.
1. Remember your goal – Focus on generating awareness for your business and not generating new revenue. First impressions are everything, and in this case, there is no room for error. Staffing accordingly, researching vendors who can help, and make sure you have the supplies and manpower in place to accommodate increased demand and overflow.
2. Prepare for customer overflow – Companies can prepare for increased demand and overflow of customer calls and emails by partnering with a 24/7 answering service. A good answering service can provide new customers with a positive call experience equal or even sometimes better than the experience provided by your own staff. Most answering services offer the convieniece and functionality to book appointments for you, respond to emails, and assist with online purchase of products, transfer live calls, and answer commonly asked questions from your customers. Looking for an answering service can be overwhelming at times so feel free to download this white paper on ‘Tips You Should Know Before Choosing a Call Center Provider’.
3. Educate your staff – Educate your staff on the timeline and goals behind the daily deal. Helping your staff understand why you are running a daily deal and what you expect to gain from the exposure will help employees when engaging with these new customers.
4. Take advantage of upsell opportunities and encourage repeat customers – Think about how you are going to communicate with your new customers after their first purchase or experience with your business. Make sure you’re capturing the individual’s info (including name, phone number and email) and have a plan in place to communicate with these individuals in the future, via email or phone.
5. Don’t lose sight of current customers – Don’t lose sight of your current customer needs due to a potential major uptick of new business. Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track and manage your customers as new or existing can give you insight into who is a new customer and who is a current customer. It also gives you the ability to track the number of new customers earned from the daily deal special. Find an overview of affordable CRM solutions for small business here.
A little planning can go a long way and make a huge difference in the long-term success of your next daily deal experience.