I am shocked by the number companies that make promotional offers but fail in their execution. What is the reason for this? Is it because those who generate the ideas get all the kudos, while the people responsible for bringing them to life go unrewarded? Or is it because no one with authority actually tests the process to ensure it works?
A great idea is nothing more than a thought unless there's a well-prepared implementation plan to go with it; a plan that has the buy-in of all key stakeholders. Unless full consideration is given to the what, when, where, how, who and why the brilliant idea you thought would have consumers banging on your door could instead cause untold damage to your business and your reputation.
Rather than a hypothetical case, here is a real life example of what I mean:
I had to buy a new clothes dryer. Rather than jump in the car and head for the nearest home maker centre , I did what most consumers do today - I turned to Google.
I soon discovered choosing a dryer was not as simple as I thought. The first challenge was to decide on the type of dryer - vented, condenser or heat pump? I was surprised to find very few retailers provide information to help their customers make this decision or even indicate each type in their range.
So, I decided to stick with what I knew and what I could afford; a vented clothes dryer. Now I had to choose a brand, the model and where to buy. While going through this process I found a major retailer was selling current model factory refurbished dryers at a significantly reduced price.
I found the model I wanted and placed my order. Then 3 days later came an email to tell me there was no stock. It included an offer to purchase the exact same dryer brand new for an extra $38. It went on to say I had 48 hours to respond after which my order would be cancelled and a credit issued.
So, I replied and accepted the offer the same day. While I waited the washing piled up around me. A week passed and as I was running out of things to wear, I decided to call. It was then that I realised there were no contact details on the email I'd received. It took considerable effort and about 30min of being transferred from one person to another before I found someone in the organisation to help me.
It was bad enough that I was sent an order confirmation only to be advised 3 days later that the order couldn’t be fulfilled. To then make an offer that would keep the sale and generate goodwill without a proper process is just plain stupid, in anyone's language.
Having such a contingency for unexpected out of stocks is smart thinking, but failing to ensure a clear process to honour it is not. But it's not enough to have a process, it needs to be tested to ensure it actually works.
Considering what it costs to generate a lead and to convert a sale. It will be a waste of time and money if you fail to consider what happens next.
Well, I'm pleased to report that my new dryer finally arrived. Although, it took two weeks from the day I accepted the offer.