Last night, Jacob and I went on a Haunted Las Vegas tour, courtesy of our favorite new site, Groupon. For those of you who have never used Groupon, they give out super discounted tickets for restaurants, entertainment venues, and other fun places in select American cities.
The tour was really fun. Our tour guide had a knack for riding the fine line between the spooky and the comedic, and told a lot of great celebrity death stories. His commentary was colorful and he didn’t take himself (or the audience) too seriously, which is what you’d want traveling about in a tour bus hoping for a glimpse of pioneer ghosts.
A picture I took of a supposedly haunted tree in Henderson, NV
So I loved the tour, but one thing really brought down the experience. Before we boarded the bus, Jacob overheard the sales lady her telling the tour guide not to talk with us before the show. We did not “pay full price” (since most of us were Groupon ticket holders), and therefore, we didn’t “earn” the right to hear any stories while we needlessly waited in the lobby for half an hour.
This makes absolutely no sense to me. First, how tacky is it to tell the tour guide we are somehow sub-par customers right before the show. The tour company decided to sell more tickets by offering a discount, and we paid for a show we normally would not have seen.
Second, hanging around the hotel lobby was excruciatingly boring. Had the tour guide got us “in the mood” with a free pre-hand ghost stories, we would have been more talkative on the bus. As it was, we didn’t really warm up to the tour guide at first because he was hanging around the lobby stiff and silent, not interacting with us.
And finally, wasn’t the whole point of the tour selling discounted tickets to spread good word of mouth? If some people got in on a discount, they’d tell their friends how wonderful it was and get them to go too, but at full-price. As it is, I’m spreading the word in this very blog about that lady’s poor customer service before the show, rather than telling you how great the show is (and the show was pretty fun, if you’re into that campfire type of ghost story experience).
As an entrepreneur, we sometimes sell our products at discounts in order to lure customers in. We need traffic and attention in order to spread word of mouth and be successful. But if you go this route, don’t treat a customer differently just because they took the bait. Odds are, if you offer something less, you’ll end up destroying the entire purpose of doing a discount in the first place.
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