The Double Edge Sword of Daily Deals


Share on LinkedIn

UPDATE: 10/03/2011 – There’s more to lose with Groupon than just your reputation. Business analyst compares Groupon to a Ponzi scheme.

With the explosion of online deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, Buckaroo and hundreds more, researchers are starting to measure “deal fatigue” not unlike social media fatigue, in general. But I see a potential bigger problem for brick and mortar stores who offer daily deals. What happens to their reputation if they drop the ball on customer service?

There’s no question that consumer expectations are much higher than they were when the Internet was in its infancy. Then, the big question for online retailers was trust. Thanks to Amazon, Zappos and others, who created an online shopping experience that was natural and actually fun, establishing trust is no longer the hurdle it once was.

Today, customers have less patience with any online retailer who fails to fulfill on their promise. But the customer experience and subsequent unhappiness can also be more subtle. If you don’t receive the promised goods, that’s an obvious fault on the retailer’s part; but what about a customer who feels they’ve been treated like a second-class citizen?

That was my experience with a recent Groupon purchase. Yes, the deal was enticing, but I responded more so because the offer landed in my email inbox. I called to make the appointment and was offered a slot 5 weeks away. I thought, “Well this must be for the daily deal new customers.” I was willing to ignore the lengthy wait time for the 50% discount.

Two days later, I receive a call telling me that Mondays were no longer available; I’d have to move my appointment to a Tuesday, another 4 weeks away. Now I’m annoyed. The only explanation was that the dentist for that location no longer works on Mondays. No discount is worth waiting two months to get my teeth cleaned. The value for me just wasn’t there.

More importantly, that dentist office will never earn my business because the appointment was so poorly handled.

Retailers must evaluate whether they have the staff to handle an influx of phone calls and appointments before engaging in “daily deals.” Is this really “deal fatigue” or growing pains? You be the judge. What I do know is this:

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Nicolette Beard
As a former publisher and editor, I'm passionate about the written word. I craft content to help drive the autonomous customer experience (CX) revolution. My goal is to show call center leaders how to reduce the increasing complexity of the customer journey.


  1. Nicolette, I wish that people will also start measuring social media fatigue. But, I have to say that it’s not the beauty of the deals that customers are getting tired of, but on E-businesses failing to meet their expectations.. and we might as well say that if something’s too good to be true, it probably is. Unlike social media fatigue which is a result of time management, information overload and boredom, deal fatigue can be easily remedied if one will deliver what was promised in the first place. Nothing beats a damaged reputation in bringing your brand faster to the ground, than what the laws of gravity can allow.

  2. Hi Aaron Eden,
    you are correct, we are not getting exactly these which we really want. And these companies fail to complete our expectation but except all of this, we are getting benefit of these deals which are available.

  3. Aaron,

    Good point. I’m experiencing it myself with Facebook. Just too much noise with their recent changes. Technology is great, but in the hands of the inexperienced, it starts to feel like mass marketing all over again and not relationship building.

    Thanks for stopping by.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here