When Offering a Customer Discount is Meaningless



I travel alot and always rent cars. I appreciate a low discount rate just like every other traveler. I always try to get the best deal when I book the trip.

But something very strange happened last week while returning a car in New York for Dollar Rental Car. When I pulled in the lot, the person that checked my car in said,

“Was everything okay?: (Me: Yes)

“Great. I am giving you a $25 discount off your bill.” (Me: Thank you!)

Now this made no sense to me. I had not complained and did not ask for a discount. Did Dollar think they were charging me too much for a two day rental? I don’t think so. Was the Dollar employee instructed to give out so many discounts in a day? Maybe. Was she just bored? Probably.

The point is that giving me this discount did not improve my opinion or my customer experience with Dollar. If I had complained, and they had compensated me for it, I would feel grateful and spread a positive story. In this case, it’s just a silly one and really accomplished nothing.

In your small business, don’t give out discounts “just because”. I doesn’t mean you will get raves from your customers. They will probably just be left as dumbfounded as me and it will  just cuts into your profit margin.

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