It is not often you see a large consumer chain admit their mistakes, and do so quickly. The day after a gaff with their online coupon system, Papa Ginos’ sent out the following message.
To Our Valued Guests;
On Monday, September 14th, we offered a “50% off” coupon for on-line orders submitted for that day. The volume of orders exceeded our estimates and we encountered technical problems that many of you experienced. We are sincerely sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused. We appreciate your business and your complete satisfaction is our #1 priority. Be on the lookout for a special offer from Papa Gino’s that you will receive soon by e-mail. You can be sure that Papa Gino’s will continue to send you great offers. Once again, we are very sorry and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you again.
Chief Information Officer
Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo
600 Providence Highway
What was right about this mesasge?
- Timing – they responded quickly and timely – they did not wait to think about it and formulate a plan, they reacted
- Personalization – even though they sent this to their mass audience, they signed it from an undividual – making it feel like a “conversation” and personal versus some generic mass message
- Authority – it was signed from the CIO giving it authority and substance
What was wrong with this message?
- There is no offer. Papa Gino’s is constantly sending out offers in their email messaging – that is the purpose of the email distribution – and yet when they make a mistake the only thing they can say is “be on the lookout” – what a great opportunity it would have been to turn the tables completely and make some sort of offer (not much different than they would probably have done in a future email) but tie it to this mistaks
- No opportunity for response and communication – this email missed on the greatest opportunity – a chance for the company to engage the customer. What an opportunity that would have been. And moreso, the customer would have had the impression of talking directly with the CIO. The company couild have gained incredible insight and also deepend the loyalty of the customer – but instead chose to just leave it with “be on the lookout”
Am I right? Would most companies make the same mistakes? Is this just a situation where a company is trying to living in our new online digital world but only knows some of the rules of engagement?
Ok – I just received the follow up email - a great offer – to all of the people on their list they sent out a coupon for a free pizza – well done. And… the email was a letter from the president and CEO. One problem - it was a graphic image only – so again the personalization was lost. Not to mention the ability for people to say “Thank you” and to use that in follow on campaigns. But… I guess people are learning about the new world.