Start Up Blog

How not to run a promotion – the Chef’s Hat

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on June 4, 2010

I had a discussion with Luke Waldren who had a very poor customer service experience from the Chef’s Hat in Melbourne. For those who don’t know, the Chef’s Hat is regardred as the premier retailer in our city for restraunters, cafe owners and hard core Foodies. They sell a range of appliances and all things related to food retailing – except for the actual food.

Luke went down to buy a a Kitchen Aid appliance, for which he knew there was a promotion at the Chef’s Hat retail store. The offer was pretty simple: Buy a Kitchen Aid blender and recieve a free Kicthen Aid knife worth $49.95. A nice bonus offer for consumers. The offer is below – which mind you is on the front page of their website.

So when Luke arrives at the cash register to pay, there is no mention of the free knife. He then proceeds to ask and says. “Hey, isn’t there a free knife that comes with the blender.” The retail assistant claims no knowledge of the promotion. But luke brings out the iPhone and shows the bonus offer straight from their website as proof.┬áThe retail assistant then asks for the manager over the load speaker to come and help. When the manager arrives this is the conversation that transpired:

Retail assistant: “Are we giving away knives with these blenders?”

Manager: “if we have to…”

The manager then leans over to a draw filled with said knives, grabs one and throws it across the table to give to Luke. As though he got caught out. As though he lost one of his precious inventory to god forbid, a customer who entered the store because of the promotion.

If you are going to run a promotion. You have to mean it.

We have to advise those who didn’t know about it. We need to share the benefit with delight. We have to share the message that we go the extra mile and create more value than our competitors. If we are going to act like we don’t really want to participate, then we shouldn’t. Or worse, if we are going to treat our customers with disdain, then we’ll end up on blogs like this spreading the bad word.

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5 Responses

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  1. marketingmelb said, on June 4, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Shocking – first rule of promotions is make sure your frontline staff know about it…

    Second tell people about it regardless of whether they know – it’s your chance to delight them and get them to talk about the great customer service they received!

    Some people are so concerned about their short term bottom line they’re not thinking about the longer term… heads up people!

  2. Sam Sabey said, on June 4, 2010 at 11:51 am

    …it is bad luck, very bad to give away knives.

    Sam,
    @samotage

    • marketingmelb said, on June 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      the person receiving the knife needs to give the knife giver money if I recall :-)

  3. [...] I had a discussion with Luke Waldren who had a very poor customer service experience from the Chef's Hat in Melbourne. For those who don't know, the Chef's Hat is regardred as the premier retailer in our city for restraunters, cafe owners and hard core Foodies. They sell a range of appliances and all things related to food retailing – except for the actual food. Luke went down to buy a a Kitchen Aid appliance, for which he knew there was a promot … Read More [...]

  4. Steve Sammartino said, on June 6, 2010 at 11:47 am

    UPDATE: This blogging stuff must work. The person who was subject on this post was called the same day by the business ‘The Chef’s Hat’ – to make good the situation.

    Kudos to them for having the guts to engage and try to fix things up.
    Steve.


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