How do you deal with customers who are deliberately abusing coupons?
We have a pretty lenient coupon policy in my opinion - the reason we offer them is to get customers in the door and try our food for the first time. However, there are always those customers that will try to stretch the discount, use the coupon more than once, and complain in front of other customers if they don't get their way. How do I handle this (nicely) while still providing excellent customer service?
You may need to post a note stating that only one coupon per customer a week/ month depending on your policy. This will cut down and they have it in writing. It can be posted on the coupon from this point on, so no one misunderstands the coupon issue anymore.
On the publication of the offer, you write clearly that this offer is limited to one per customer and you take in all the coupons in exchange for the product.
The average redemption rate for coupons across most industries is less than 10%. Even if some customers abuse an offer, that coupon is still working to gain attention for the brand and may possibly create a loyal user for life. The worst possible outcome is to make the customer feel negative about the interaction and the brand. My advice is to chalk it up, let the few abusers slide (as long as it is within reason) and evaluate the entire program to make sure that it was effective.
Explain to them that the coupons are only for "first time" customers, so that they can have a chance to try the product.
"It is clear to me that you have tried the product and that you like it, otherwise you would not be coming back.
As a return customer, I can not give you or accept a second coupon, however if you purchase 2 units in stead of the one, I can offer you a discount off ..."
This way you are looking for a win / win position, along with a position from which they can not complain in front of others, as you are coming across both fair and reasonable.
Cannibalization of revenues due to Coupons and Discounts are bound to happen. Yu could use technology by Capturing the IP address of customers who use customers once and then not allowing any more coupons to be activated for the IP etc.. But do note, as you look at giving value to New Customers , even existing customers will expect the same.. I would suggest you not to worry about the Coupon Abuse unless and until you are going Negative on those orders. Coupons help you on the Topline and burn your bottom line ..
FIRE THEM unless there is a misunderstanding...Then give them 1 more trial...and if abuse FIRE THEM
You answered your own question...you have a pretty lenient coupon policy so expect abuse. Otherwise, put conditions on, "new customers only" "single use" and you can require credit card so you have the customer data. You can also have a second tier of coupon in a "loyalty program" that way you let the person who lives for a deal feel he is getting one even if it is not as good as the initial one. If a customer wants a discount make a way to let them feel they are "winning" but use the legal restrictions you are allowed on offers to control abuse.
1. Short, clear and unequivocal terrms of usage printed on the coupon itself and on a clearly visible banner within sell point.
2. Simple method to mark utilized coupons (electronically/physically) .
3. "Legal abuse" procedure, with less discount , for example.