Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Customer Service

Ravings: Groupon, and the sites that followed it, came on like a storm and have taken over internet bargain shopping. If you are unfamiliar then I am completely amazed that you navigated your way to this blog! As a consumer, I love Groupon type sites. But I am also aware that they aren’t revenue generating for businesses. I think the idea is that is supposed to be a marketing tool, hopefully creating some interest in your business/service and creating a new repeat customer. As a business, you control the number of whatever service/product you offer for sale at the discounted price, and you are immediately aware of how many are sold. I would hope you would then keep track of how many are used, and in the case of a service like a salon of who used them. Salons that I frequent keep track of lots of identifying/demographic information for marketing purposes. I would also think that you would want to know if the Groupon created any repeat customers.

But maybe these business owners aren’t thinking this far ahead, because I have recently had a horrible experience. I have had other Groupons that expired before I could get an appointment and the business was more than happy to extend the date in an effort to make sure I was a happy customer. Apparently Bella Mia West Salon isn’t too concerned about my satisfaction as a potential customer. A few months ago my amazing husband bought be a message Groupon just because he loves me and knows that when I’m relaxed he ends up happier. I haven’t had a ton of free time to go get a message, but knew that the expiration date was coming up in a few weeks so I decided to just make the time. I called and told the man on the phone that I had a Groupon and was calling to schedule the message. He firsts asks me which Groupon, which indicates that have several going at the moment and after telling him, he gruffly states “We have no available Saturday appointments before the expiration date.” So I say, that’s ok, I can come in the evening. He then says the only available appointment this week is Friday at 10am. I remind him that I can’t come during the day. So then he tells me they have next Friday at 11am. I can see where this is going and say “I have a 9-5 job. I can’t come during the day.” So he proceeds to tell me that they have no other available appointments left before the Groupon expires. I hesitate a moment, waiting for him to say that they will extend the date and ask when I can be available after that. But nothing. He just breathes into the phone. So I say “Will you honor the Groupon past the expiration date since you have no openings.” He proceeds to tell me that they will only honor the purchase price, which Groupon requires. I remind him that they have no openings and he responds that I should have called sooner. Things take a downward spiral from there. But he basically told me it’s not his problem that I can’t get an appointment when it’s convenient for me and he doesn’t care if I’m upset about that.

Clearly he also doesn’t care that I will never patronize that establishment and that I will make sure everyone I know is aware of my experience. I can’t imagine how poorly they treat actual customers if they treat potential customers this badly!

On the up side, Groupon was awesome and refunded my money, no questions asked. This is why Groupon has done so well! They have wonderful customer service.

Cravings: I am so not caught up on organizing my recipes, and I believe I entered some sort of time warp this past week because I can't even recall what I cooked! It's on my to do list. I promise!

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