Groupon Takes Customer Service to a Whole New Level
I assume that everyone reading this knows who and what Groupon is, but just in case you’ve been living under a digital rock, here is a Wiki-definition. Actually, it’s investopedia, but who’s checking?
Groupon—“A special type of coupon website that offers group deals to a group of consumers. Groupons attempt to tap into the power of collective purchasing by offering a substantial discount, such as half off, to a group of people if they will buy a particular product or service. Many restaurants and other retailers use Groupons in an effort to lure groups of customers into their establishments.”
I don’t know if you’ve ever bought one, but I have. I have bought LOTS of them. For restaurants, photographers, movie tickets and cakes, just to name a few. And I think this is a fabulous way to check out a place you might not otherwise try out.
I also wrote a blog a while back about whether there is a place in our industry for a version of this business model. If memory serves, the response was mostly a qualified “NO!” Companies are not willing to sacrifice all of their profit margin in the name of a new account that may or may not prove to become a profitable client in the near future. OK, I won’t argue with that.
But here’s what we can and should take from the Groupon model—absolutely ridiculous customer service. And I’m not just talking about Groupon, but many other retailers that have built their businesses (and very successful ones) on the premise that customers expect a very high degree of customer service when they make online purchases today.
I recently bought some discounted movie tickets from Groupon, and they arrived only a few days later. I promptly lost them. After having turned my office upside-down looking for them, I thought, “What the hell. I’ll drop Groupon a quick line with my confirmation email asking for another set, promising to return the first set if I ever find them, and see what happens.”