Wednesday, December 28, 2011
The first commandment of business: Honor thy offer
When you've signed up with a partner to help promote your business, put a plan in place to so your employees actually honor the deal when your customers request it.
Seems pretty obvious, right? Apparently, it's not.
Last week we held our annual holiday "shopping" men's night in Madison. The night always begins at one of State Street's legendary establishments and since I'm trying to fully understand this whole social media/mobile marketing phenomenon, upon arrival I checked in on foursquare where I was pleasantly surprised to find the watering hole in question was offering $5 off your tab when you checked in.
After ordering, I asked the bartender about the deal and his response was, "I don't even know what foursquare is." Upon showing him the screen on my phone, he still had no idea about the special.
Needless to say, he couldn't help me take advantage of the promotion.
Needless to say, I was less than satisfied with that response.
Being that it was the holidays and I was with friends, I let it go. But the lesson here is pretty clear.
A lot of decisions in a business are made at levels way above the front line employees. Whether it's a daily deal offered on the web, a change or update to your product, a customer service policy or any other decision that directly impacts your customer, you must communicate with the front lines.
Nothing makes a brand or business look worse than confusion.