The first response surrounding daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social was that it was the golden ticket to new sales. Then the backlash hit. Companies like Posie’s Café told their true experiences, which involved losing money, dealing with irate customers and not seeing any of the deal takers back as repeat business.
So where do we stand now? As a consumer, I adore daily deals. I get more emails from sites like Yipit, America’s Daily Deals and Groupon than I do from friends and family. As a marketer, I say you get what you put into it.
I wrote a similar post on Small Business Trends, outlining ways to make a daily deal a success. Every time I use a deal coupon, I always ask the business owner if the campaign brought new business. Here’s a few of the responses I’ve gotten.
One of my deals was for a manicure and pedicure. The owner said she was very happy with the response, and that many people had come back for additional service. I also observed her hugging regular customers and making them feel at home. This illustrates my point that you’ve got to provide excellent customer service to get them back in the door.
Another deal was for a restaurant I hadn’t tried. Despite there being only about 10 customers in the place, we waited 15 minutes to be seated, before leaving in frustration. This goes back to customer service, but also touches on the fact that if you have a daily deal, you need to have the staff to accommodate it.
I also bought a scuba diving lesson. Haven’t used it yet, because they’re booked until September. I’ll wait, but it frustrates me. Many deals don’t help businesses because they’re not the type of business that can scale to hundreds of sales at a time. If you can only give 2 lessons a weekend and you sell 300, is it worth it for your customer to save $100 to wait 6 months?
So if you’re considering offering a daily deal, make sure:
- Your staff will treat them like royalty
- You capture their email addresses so you can stay in touch
- You plan for a surge in business
- You can scale to accommodating all deals within a few weeks
Have you participated in a daily deal? Please share your experience with us!