Hope you are having a good week. I have a couple words for you that might make you feel better: IT'S FRIDAY!!!
Things are moving on this very here blog. We have new Monday bloggers. Scott Jackson and JJ Joyce are dentists in Ocala, and they have agreed to share the Monday duties. Both have been avid readers of the blog for a long time. They have both been guest bloggers and have done a great job, so I asked them if they would like to do Mondays, and they both agreed. They have both made it through the rigorous application process and background checks. I am so pumped and I think they are both going to bring stuff here.
I watched Social Network last night. Damn, it was good. I mean, I finished the movie and started looking up all the characters on Google to learn more. It is a must-see.
Okay, today I want to talk about Groupon. Let's be honest - I am dude: I am not an expert on coupons or online coupons. But you would have to be holed up in a cave for a very long time not to know about Groupon. You go online and there are "Daily Specials." Coupons for services. Coupons for restaurants. Coupons for things in your zip code.
The concept has been so successful that Google wanted to buy Groupon for somewhere in the neighborhood for SIX BILLION DOLLARS!!! [Yes, that is billion with a "B"]
In my town right now, they have a $600 laser hair removal for $99 at a spa. They are saying this is an 84% markdown. And the special only runs for a couple of days. A lot of dentists are putting there Zoom whitening on Groupon. You know, a $650 value for $99.
If you are the dentist and you contract with Groupon, this is how I understand it works. The customer pays Groupon, and Groupon pays you 50% of the coupon. That means the spa is getting $49.50 for $600 of hair removal. The laser dentist is getting $45.50 for a Zoom treatment.
Let's talk about the dentist for a minute. Look, we are all trying to get people into our office. I mean, I am thinking of putting on a tooth fairy outfit and waving my wand outside by the street (yes, it is that bad). And we all have to make decisions on how to get people in here. Some people do mail-outs and give a free exam. Some people put an ad in the local magazine. Some people get themselves in a local church bulletin. Some people sponsor baseball teams.
I have to tell you, I have tried them all. But I am opposed to doing the Groupon thing. First, because now people think you were ripping them off before. You have a $600 product that you are now willing to give away at $99? What happened to the person that just paid full fee? They are pissed.
So you do it to just get traffic into your office. You will do a whitening procedure for free basically just so someone will come to the office. You (and I) feel that if you get them to your office that they will be blown away at the service and be a raving fan of the office. They will schedule right then and there for a new patient exam and you will have a patient for life. Right?
Wrong. I have found that people who get a coupon or a raffle prize come in for the service, are wowed by the office, and never come back. They come in for the free exam and never get any work done.
Also, I think you are cheapening the service for every other dentist in the area. I have a friend who runs a home-grown family retail shop and he hates those warehouse stores. Something he sells for $100 is now going for $39 at the f!@#$%ing warehouse store. He buys his product from his wholesale rep for $50; he couldn't sell it for $39 if he tried.
So not only does he look like an idiot when the warehouse store has the product, but now everyone thinks he is ripping them off. We all know that one warehouse store sells an electric toothbrush for less than we can buy them from our rep. HOW DO THEY DO THAT?
Anyway, I am not sold on Groupon. I am not sold about the concept of getting people to come in and seeing if I can "wow" them. As much as I would love for more people to want my services, and as much as I am willing to pay to get people to see my office, I am not going to do it that way.
I don't know. This is just my opinion. What say you? Have you used Groupon? Are you doing more advertising? Is it working?
Hey, have a great weekend. March Madness is here baby, and I am so excited about it. The weather here in Orlando is so beautiful this time of year. I will be outside a lot this weekend.
See you Wednesday,