TGIFridays gets a big #fail from me.

03Oct09

I’m sure everyone has seen the commercials with Woody for TGIFridays. If he reached a certain number of Fans by the end of the month, then everyone would get a free Jack Daniels Burger or Chicken Sandwich. Well the boyfriend & I eat there a lot and the JD burger or chicken sandwich is usually what he orders, so I figure why not participate? It’ll be a free meal for him, plus it’s interesting seeing social media campaigns from the customer perspective, it makes me a better marketer.

So I signed up, so did over 950,000 other people. Then I receive the email this week with my coupon… (It goes downhill from here)

First thing I notice is that this coupon is only good from October 4th (a Sunday) through October 8th (a Thursday), that’s annoying.

Next, when I go to print my coupon, I have to install software on my computer. Not really cool to me, but install anyways, I can always uninstall later, right?

Finally, I went on to the Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/fanwoody) and there were a ton of negative comments. I’d say the comments were almost 50/50 – positive/negative, yet no sign from the admins responding to questions.

Here are my issues & why Fridays gets a big #fail from me:

1. Limitations on the coupon. So you hype us all up with the promise of free tastiness, then when it comes time to redeem that tastiness you put a huge restriction on the time that it is valid. I didn’t see anything like that in the original commercial and don’t give me that “fine print” BS. Fine print is for tricking your customers, not for building relationships.

2. No comments from Woody about this. Okay, well Woody himself probably wouldn’t respond, it would be a PR or Marketing person from TGIFridays. Well leading up to all of this “Woody” was pretty active, posting pictures of his travels, trying to hype us all up for burgery-goodness, yet when the promotion is done, little is being said.

3. Apparently there are issues with people not receiving their coupons, so they are offering a second chance to make sure you get it between 10/4 – 10/6. Good for them to make sure it wasn’t false advertising, here’s the problem though: Those dates are 2 out of the 4 dates that the damn coupon in valid!

Final Thoughts: If TGIFridays wants to play in this space, then they need to take a risk & actually have a conversation. Don’t try to dupe your customers into becoming a fan with the promise of free stuff then put major restrictions on when that bonus can be used. It’s just not good customer service.

Will the boyfriend & I use the coupon? Maybe, not 100% b/c the weekends are usually when we go out to eat. It would be a good brand builder for them to allow me to use the coupon when I am able. How about any time during the month of October? That would at least allow me ample time to use the reward.

A side note – When I commented on the Fan Page, other fans commented as well (most were flamers) about me complaining about getting a free burger. Well what I’m complaining about are the restrictions, restrictions don’t build relationships, happiness does. Make your customers happy & they’ll keep coming back.

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