Sticky Situation: Instant Deal Gone Awry

What do you do when your limited-time spa treatment deal attracts an unexpectedly big response?



The Situation: “If I get in at 9 a.m. and see there’s a light schedule, we blast last-minute instant specials to our email list of about 10,000 on a first come/first serve basis,” says Scott Kerschbaumer, co-owner of ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skin Care in Pittsburgh and ESSpa at the Carnegie Inn & Spa in State College, Pennsylvania. “We recently offered a great deal on a manicure—$9 for the first caller! We got that first call within 22 seconds, and filled up the remaining appointment slots within 10 minutes, which is the whole idea. But then, two hours later, somebody calls hoping to be the first caller. When I explain that it’s been claimed, she spends 16 minutes reading me the Riot Act and threatening to call an attorney and the Better Business Bureau.”

The Solution: “We did nothing wrong, but of course I still wanted to calm her down,” Kerschbaumer says, “so I just tried to patiently explain how these deals work, and how it’s all about calling in faster. The key is to always just remain calm and let upset people vent. Hear them out, and then calmly explain the facts of the situation.”

What would you have done? Please sound off below in the comment field. Have you had a similar experience? Got a sticky situation to share? Email your spa horror story to [email protected]!

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