The Trouble With Coupons

Coupons help drive business to your store, but they can be more of a hassle than they are as a benefit. I had problems with coupons as a customer and an employee in the last week. First I went to the drug store and decided to get some stuff to clear up my allergies and I saw a coupon in my pocket saying $5 off if you spend $15 or more. So I decided to go to the counter and get some decongestant, soda and paper towels My total did come to the required amount, but the problem was I read the exceptions and it did not say anything about over the counter medications. Unfortunately I had to go back to work since my fifteen minutes of break time was ending so I ended up paying the regular price.

Then a day later I had an incident with a customer who received our bounce back coupon good from the 17th to the 23rd. Usually I do tell my guests who come in my store that the coupon is for the week ahead, but it seems there are a lot of empty heads who think that the coupon is actually good for this week even when I tell them earlier it is not. The day was the 16th (Saturday), the coupon was issued on the 12th (Tuesday), I told her I would be pleased to accept the coupon tomorrow, but she ended up giving out a temper tantrum saying that she was given the coupon last week, but I politely told her it was given this week and she walked out.

I think for my store personally we need to mark our coupons better so we can prevent customer drama and make customers happy. Bounce back coupons are meant for people to come back next week, not for immediate savings in the long run. Instead of having the expiration date listed first where customers get confused and think the coupon is good immediately we should put the effective dates first by saying Coupon Good from 5/17/09 to 5/23/09, then on the next line saying Expires May 23 09 with both lines in bold text.

In our challenging economy making our customers happy should be the utmost importance while respecting the bottom line of the company’s finances.

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