Lessons in Groupon® – part II

and now, the conclusion of Adventures in Social Shopping:

When Groupon Goes Ballistic.

In part I, I outlined all the things that worked really well when I escorted a client through the land of social shopping. And now, in all fairness, I should highlight the things that could have run a little better. I’ll attempt to do it in the kindest way possible (for myself, that is).

Prepare early. The day before our Groupon Deal, the Groupon rep sent us a nice little list of suggestions on how to prepare for the day. Like, increase staff. Expect more traffic. How to train employees to redeem Groupons. Honestly? Could have used this information at least a week in advance. 24 hours notice was barely time for us to prepare for what was coming, let alone implement some of the helpful advice we got.

* What I should have done: I should have talked to more people and companies about their Groupon experience, to get their first-person insights. Is there another way I could have gotten the tip sheet from Groupon a little earlier? I don’t know. If you do, please share.

Check-in with your client. About EVERYTHING. I thought I had all of our bases covered, but I didn’t realize my client was closing up the retail location during our 90 minute appearance in downtown Minneapolis. Had I asked about that, I would have made sure we had someone on duty for that brief time. How could we have known that ONE SINGLE person would stop by with a Groupon – early in the day – and leave in a huff? Ugh. A mistake not to be repeated.

* What I should have done: Pushed aside the notion that it would be stupid to ask, “Who’s manning the shop?” Because it was my job to think of everything.

Be on the lookout. Groupon can be an exciting, happy day for a client. But we still had a few people who took advantage of my client by using multiple copies of the same Groupon. We were in such a state of frenzy that we didn’t notice until it was too late — and yes, we’d been duped by a customer.

* What I should have done: I should have been more familiar with Groupon and readily checking the unique codes on each one – rather than blindly smiling and checking people off the list. But I am happy to say that our Groupon rep was very helpful and readily refunded my client for each fake Groupon that had been cashed in. Now that’s great follow-up service.

And finally:

Don’t have an emergency root canal the day before your client’s Groupon. There I was, one hour into a root canal with my face swollen to all hell. Reeling. I got an email and a phone call from the Groupon rep – because of a glitch, we had to re-do the terms. It was less than 14 hours before the promotion, I was bleeding all over my own face, and I had to perform re-negotiations between an adamant Groupon rep and a very unhappy client.

* What I should have done: Had I not been in the root canal chair, I would have fought harder. I might even had advised my client to walk away — we didn’t need Groupon to pull off our event. That’s absolutely how I feel about it today. But I wasn’t in a state to fight hard, let alone fight at all.

When the root canal was over, I postponed pain medication until I had made enough phone calls and emails to result in a content Groupon rep and a fairly content client.

And then I took two Vicodin, fell into bed, and prepared for the big event to launch at midnight.

I’d say it still went rather well — wouldn’t you?

(missed Part I? No prob – read it here.) (oh, if you want to write a similar success story for your own company – minus the minor issues, DEFINITELY minus the root canal — let’s connect!)

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