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Careless Coupon Campaigns – Crabby Customers Crash Your Site

10th September 2012

Everyone is trying to save money these days, and more Americans than ever before are using coupons as a way to cut costs. Coupon redemption is at an all-time high, and coupon campaigns can do wonders to increase business. Lots of businesses consider coupon campaigns in order to earn new customers and encourage higher spending. Many times, it works like a charm.

Careless coupon campaigns, on the other hand, can backfire with disastrous results. If you don’t put a lot of thought into things, a misguided coupon campaign can hurt your business in more ways than one. Besides losing money, crabby customers can crash your website. Here are some tips on how to keep your customers happy and your website up during your next coupon campaign.

Planning Your Promotion

There are so many different kinds of coupons you can offer. You can offer a dollar amount off of a purchase, a free item, free shipping, a percentage discount, and more. The type of coupon you put out will make a big difference in customer satisfaction. You may think that offering a free item will make people the happiest. This is true, until you get such a high demand that you can’t fulfill every request. In the couponing community online, word of promotions for free items, free samples, and very high discounts spread like wildfire. High-value coupons will spark a lot of interest in your site, but you need to make sure you can handle it.

Optimizing Your Website

You will be experiencing a surge of traffic to your website when people come to claim or redeem their coupons. If you have a small server, your website could crash. Now is the time to think about upgrading your server or adding a second server to handle the overload. You may want to pay for a better hosting package. You can also do little things to optimize your website. Use caching, compress your webpages, and optimize your images so they require less bandwidth to load. You can also test out your site with a service like LoadImpact.com to see how it will fare with a traffic surge.

Bolstering Customer Service

One of the most important things you can do during a large coupon campaign it bolster your customer service. There will be a lot of customers with questions or complaints about the coupon redemption, and you need to be able to help them all if you want to protect your business’s reputation. Make sure all your employees have the knowledge and preparation needed to handle all inquires about their coupons. You may even consider temporarily hiring some additional help. Give them more than one avenue to contact customer service, too. Form submissions on your website are great, but they will increase the load on your servers if too many people use them. Try clearly posting your email address and phone number to encourage more customers to leave your site and contact you another way.

The Bottom Line

In order to weather your coupon campaign, never offer more than you can realistically give to your customers, and keep your offer conservative enough to boost sales without starting a wildfire.

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