Are customers on cheap offers given second class service?
Some companies offering deals via the Groupon discount website are offering customers a second class service that is more likely to lose them business.
That’s the finding of a specialist online reputation company which has uncovered cases of Groupon voucher holders getting a worse deal than full-price customers.
According to UK-based GotJuice.co.uk, voucher-holding restaurant customers are asked to sit away from full-price diners; while concert-goers with Groupon vouchers were made to wait until all other customers had entered the venue first.
“We’re convinced that Groupon is a bad way of doing business,” says Mark Hall MD of GotJuice.co.uk, “and some customers are finding that their discount isn’t worth the money.”
“We’re experts in internet reputation, and we’ve seen 95% of companies that have had offers on Groupon receiving negative reviews as a result. And a single bad review on the internet is enough to keep new custom away in droves.”
Among the poor Groupon experiences brought to GotJuice.co.uk ‘s attention are:
• Restaurant customers forced to sit in a separate “Groupon room” away from full-paying diners
• Diners only being able to choose from a restricted Groupon menu
• Voucher holders only being allowed to book awkward times. One business only offered a midweek 6.30-7.00pm slot to Groupon customers
• Concert-goers made to wait outside venues until all non-Groupon customers had been admitted
Got Juice say that while many people are pleased with their Groupon deals, growing numbers are finding themselves disillusioned by arbitrary restrictions and inconvenient terms.
“The problem with Groupon is that it can be more expensive for companies than they realise,” said Hall. “It’s a terrible business model that means restaurants and shops can lose money very quickly.”
According to GotJuice.co.uk, companies sell discount vouchers to a limited number of customers through the website. Groupon then take half of that already discounted price, which means that companies are then dealing with customers expecting first-class service while taking up to a 75% hit on their income.
“No wonder voucher holders sometimes get a second-class service,” said Mark Hall, “they’re a loss to the company the second they step through the door.”
“We reckon that to make money, they’ve got to get every single punter back as repeat business,” said GotJuice.co.uk ‘s Hall, “And treating them badly on their first visit is a recipe for disaster.”
GotJuice.co.uk think there are far better ways to attract and keep customers.
“The quick publicity of a Groupon deal may get people through the door,” Hall says, “but old-fashioned great service is the way to maintain a top reputation and get people coming back.”