Even the best, most highly regarded brands in the world experience service delays or snafus.
When they do, they need to react promptly and appropriately to address the issue, assuage the unhappy customer and boost the odds that the customer will remain a client for the long term. Coupons are commonly used by all types of companies to appease customers when regular communications fail. But providing coupons can be fraught with many challenges. Chief among them is the ability to provide customer service reps a quick and seamless way to reach out to the customer with a satisfactory response.
When it Comes to Appeasement Immediacy Matters
The process for issuing a discount coupon to a customer when a problem occurs can be long and complex. Any delay in resolving the issue can cause the customer to further stew and fume over whatever the service problem may have been. During that time, a disgruntled customer can vent wildly over social media channels, sharing their dissatisfaction, however trivial or not, with potentially thousands of others who may likewise share the post and exponentially exacerbate the problem.
You don’t want that to happen. But there’s another important reason to offer appeasement as quickly as a New York minute. Research shows that the ability to provide immediate appeasement matters a lot. In fact, research has consistently shown that unhappy customers share their poor experiences to far more people than happy customers share opposite, positive experiences.
Fortunately, while the downside may be how quickly bad news can go viral, an upside is that technology can help to quickly expedite the customer appeasement process.
Digital Coupons Can Streamline the Appeasement Process
As an offensive strategy, the use of digital coupons to provide fast resolution and appeasement to unhappy customers can minimize the potential negative spread of reputational damage. Customer service reps are at the forefront of this battle and companies need to do all they can to give them the right tools to defuse a bad situation from becoming worse.
To that end, digital coupons can offer any number of smart customer service mitigations:
- Immediacy and instant gratification. Literally with the push of a button your service agents—or any authorized staff in your organization—can deliver a coupon to a dissatisfied customer.
- Flexibility in delivery format. Customers have different preferences when it comes to how they prefer to receive information. With couponing, these preferences can run the gamut from email, to chat, to text message and even social media.
- The easier it is for your service reps to request and process a coupon, the more likely they’ll do so and the more quickly customers will be satisfied with the response.
- Management control. Digital coupons make it easy to track distribution and generate reports indicating when, where and by whom coupon offers have been issued.
- Tracking Delivery and Redemptions. Tracking helps keep account of the cost of appeasement and reveal important insights into the actions disgruntled customers take. For instance, trending data on redemptions can help you monitor the effectiveness of your appeasement efforts and your ability to avoid losing customers.
While offering traditional gift cards or paper coupons to disgruntled customers can be a proven way to mollify customers and turn potential negative word-of-mouth into positive, there is the potential for some negative impacts on the bottom line if the process isn’t handled smartly and quickly.
Single-use Digital Coupons Protect the Bottom Line
A digital coupon that can be used multiple times obviously represents the potential for revenue risk. Companies want to ensure that any coupons they offer will be used only by the customer they were intended for and only once. That’s virtually impossible to do with traditional digital coupons.
With single-use digital coupons, though, coupons and gift cards are redeemable only once, either at the point of sale or online. Once redeemed, they’re immediately deactivated and cannot be used again. Similarly, customers aren’t able to redeem the coupon on more than one device.
Clearly, the ability to carefully control the distribution and appropriate redemption of digital coupons has a real bottom-line impact for organizations from two perspectives:
- Ensuring that appeasement efforts keep valued customers on-board
- Protecting revenue by carefully controlling coupon distribution and redemption
Customer service issues happen. When they do, it’s important for companies (and call centers) to feel confident and empowered in their ability to promptly respond, and to close upon customer satisfaction. Instantly issued single-use digital coupons and gift cards make conflict resolution a win-win. Not only are customers made happy, but it virtually guarantees they will return to do business with you. Better yet, it also boosts the odds that they will spread positive word-of-mouth about their experience to many others.
About the Author
Dan Slavin is CEO and co-founder of CodeBroker, a provider of mobile marketing solutions. He was CEO of Framework Technologies, VP of Open Market, and CEO of International Testing Services. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Yale and an MBA from Harvard.