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Using Groupon and Living Social: How It Can Help Your Business


Over the weekend I hosted a small dinner party at my home and the dinner conversation turned to Groupon and Living Social. We all exchanged some funny stories like driving one hour to get a 50% discount on a new frame for a picture we recently purchased to eating out at some very unusual places. The overall consensus  remained the same however- we all were able to suggest a restaurant that we had tried through Groupon or Living Social that we do return to because of the experience we had while using the coupon. We all agreed that when we find a place that delivers on the brand promise, we will shop or dine at the business again. Good service, good products or food, with a pleasant atmosphere will bring us back.

Before using Groupon I feel that the merchant must really be ready to staff accordingly and engage with the customer in a friendly and unique way as a first time guest using a coupon. Making the customer feel welcomed instead of the look of, “Oh no, not another Groupon customer” will do wonders to get me back! But am I alone? We did a little digging to find some recent research on the subject and found the study noted below:


Research Study: ForeSee Groupon Satisfaction Study, March 2012

Data collected from thousands of local merchants who have worked with Groupon shows that these businesses see significant value and benefits, including increases to their customer bases, consumer loyalty and brand awareness.

Key findings from the reports include:

Groupon earns high marks in merchant satisfaction

  • Groupon’s overall merchant satisfaction was a very strong 79 in March (source: ForeSee Groupon Satisfaction Study, March 2012)
  • The average satisfaction score for a B2B company in ForeSee’s benchmark is 64, which means that Groupon’s merchant satisfaction score is 15 points higher than an average of its B2B peers, and even exceeds the Fortune 500 benchmark by 10 points (source: ForeSee Satisfaction Benchmark, March 2012)

Groupon brings business through the door and helps local merchants attract long-term, loyal customers

  • Groupon brings customers in the door and 74% of merchants say that is the main reason they work with the company (source: ForeSee Groupon Satisfaction Study, March 2012)
  • 91% of daily deal customers have already or plan to conduct business with the merchant again since buying the deal (source: Foresee Daily Deal Commentary, February 2012)

“We see that satisfaction with Groupon is consistently above average, for both merchants and customers alike, and our extensive research shows us that companies who score favorably with these two groups are well-positioned for success,” said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee. “All of the studies we’ve done about Groupon lead me to believe this is a company that clearly drives new and repeat business.”

“Our internal data regularly demonstrates high merchant satisfaction and strong results for local businesses running Groupon features,” said Eric Rasmussen, VP Market Research at Groupon. “The ForeSee Daily Deal Commentary report confirms the important role Groupon plays to help local businesses spark growth and entice new customers.”

To further improve a merchant’s ability to evaluate their performance with Groupon, the company recently launched a series of products designed to improve ease of use, increase ROI transparency and deepen merchant-to-customer relationships. These include the free online scheduling tool Groupon Scheduler ( as well as the company’s loyalty program for businesses, Groupon Rewards ( and the revamped Merchant Center, a dashboard providing real-time customer feedback and performance across traditional Feature Deals and Groupon Now! Deals. Merchants can also use Groupon’s free iPhone and Android applications to redeem vouchers and track deal performance.


ForeSee B2B Benchmark, March 2012 (Independent Study)

ForeSee Daily Deal Commentary, February 2012 (Independent Study)

ForeSee Groupon Satisfaction Study, March 2012 (Commissioned by Groupon)


What about you? Have you found a great place because of a Groupon or Living Social coupon?

“Have The Courage To Start With The Customer”


This was the one piece of advice Groupon’s ex-CEO shared with his staff in his resignation to his employees last week. The full quote of the memo reads:


“If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers.”


This can be true for employees too – don’t let the numbers get the best of you, your employees, or your customers. It’s a no win situation.


This quote led me to thinking about experiences others have shared in the workplace that speak to this very quote. These are instances in which data seems to be overriding what is in the best interest of customers and employees:


1. One retail chain sent a memo to its staff saying that it’s taking them too long to clock out once their shift is over. The “policy” is that all employees clock out within 5 minutes of leaving their register – data shows it is taking an average of 5 minutes, 30 seconds. Management stated the employees would be watched to make sure the 30 seconds is shaved off their timings. Never mind that the time clock is in the very back of the store, and employees are required to put away returns once they are off the register before they can leave.


2. I was a customer in a store recently and stopped an employee walking by to ask for help. The employee said, “I’m so sorry I can’t help you. I’m getting back from lunch and not on the clock. I can get in trouble if they see me helping you off the clock.” What? I can see the logic, but again, it would take two seconds for the employee to answer my question. As a customer, this not only sends the message to me that employees can’t help me if they’re not “on the clock” but it also made me wonder what kind of environment the employees are working in.


3. A grocery chain employee shared that their location keeps registered understaffed to keep “numbers down.” As a result, customer complaints have risen and long lines ensued. Staff and customers shared this insight with management, but it fell on deaf ears. Meeting numbers was more important than customer satisfaction.


4. An employee with a company truck recently shared a story of how the company has installed GPS systems on each company owned vehicle to track driving time, etc. Definitely a good concept to ensure that staff are where they are supposed to be, not using the company vehicle for excessive personal purposes, and the like, but imagine the employee’s surprise when he received an angry call from the boss about an “unexplained deviation” from his route.


He was working near his child’s school when they called to say she was running a high fever and needed to go home. His wife was at work an hour away and could not leave to pick the child up. He alerted his supervisor that he would be stopping to pick his child up and take her home, which was all in close proximity to the job site. This was approved, but the boss didn’t see eye to eye with this and offered a lecture on personal use of the vehicle. While definitely understood, this was an extreme case by an employee who has never once broken this rule and did ask for permission beforehand. The boss explained that they need to keep “with the numbers” on vehicle use and expenditures, and he was written up for his “deviant behavior.”


All of these examples show that data is overriding decisions that are in the best interest for the employees and customers. Times are tough, no doubt, and everyone is trying to do as much as possible with as little as possible, but at what cost?