Social Media Blogger/Online Citizen Journalist hybrid. LA born. DC made.
There was a time that I took my lunch break at a popular Mexican joint that also had a Foursquare check-in special incentive. Unfortunately, I encountered a bit of a problem when trying to apply their call to action toward my meal purchase.
Here’s how it all went down:
A flier posted on the restaurant’s window encouraged me to check-in and receive a rewarded discount in return.
Being the social media enthusiast and entrepreneur that I am, I was more than delighted to check in to one of my favorite eateries. However, there was no such special connected to checking into the place when loading the venue on my iPhone.
This spelled major bad news for the venue because there was not only a conflict of advertising messaging between the flier on the window and the actual smartphone app. There was also the relational aspect of dashing your customers’ hopes of getting rewarded for doing something.
Potential. Snowball. Effect.
If it hasn’t already to some extent done so, this in turn could have led to the deeper problem of lost customers who will Facebook, tweet, blog, ect. about the pseudo-special. This might account in some ways, from what I’ve observed, for the reason the place is practically empty on a nightly basis.
When I approached the cashier about the matter and to pay for my order, she tried her best to help me but couldn’t understand how Foursquare worked. While upper management may know about the advantage of using location-based apps for business, the likelihood of seeing a major return on investment is low if the employees on the main floor know nothing about how to use mobile apps for the business.
My situation is a classic example. Despite the cashier’s goodwill and genuine efforts to help me with figuring out why there was no special popping up on my phone, she couldn’t help me in the end because she didn’t understand Foursquare.
Any company that chooses to leverage a social campaign should make sure that everyone’s on the same page in knowing how they work.
The good thing about my recent experience at this particular restaurant is that the cashier allowed me to briefly explain to her the concept behind location-based apps. After listening to my short lesson, she put my advice into immediate action by rewarding my check-in with a free drink to compliment my meal.
[Update] I’ve recently visited the the restaurant again since my last ordeal. They have updated their Foursquare special so that it pops up on the iPhone; however, they still ought to train their employees to become familiar with mobile apps. It’s in the interests of the business as a whole.