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Tell Us You Like Us Or We Wont Let You Leave

I just had a very interesting experience. I was at a car dealership where I recently purchased a new (used) vehicle. The whole process did not go very well and I ended up taking back the first car I bought after 2 days and an 8 hour shift in the service department waiting area. Now this post isn’t about that experience, but it’s important to note.

See, today I had stopped by to drop off the title of my first purchase and get my $100 deposit back. (They sold me car #2 without the title from car #1 because it hadn’t come in the mail yet and just took a $100 deposit until I brought back the car #1 title.) While I was at the counter, the customer service woman was giving me the schtick about “liking” their facebook page. “Have you had a chance to like our facebook page yet?” she asked. I laughed and simply said “no”. Keep in mind I did not have the best experience and although I’m in a different vehicle it still ended up costing me time and money. She knew the situation. “It takes less than 30 seconds if you know your login” she proceeded….”You’ll get special offers and coupons…like the other night I had tickets to a {insert favorite baseball team here} game and I threw them up there and the first person to come in got them!” she exclaimed. My first thought was, even if only 10 people came in, that means 9 left disappointed. Hmm, well I’m not the kind of person that would scramble across town for baseball tickets so maybe that kind of person would be happy just to have the chance.

After all this rambling and still not processing my $100 refund she finally ran the credit. Then, holding my credit receipt literally just out of reach she said “so what do you say? Will you like our page?”. Like most people I said “sure” just so I could get my receipt and leave. To my surprise I was immediately ambushed by a young intern with a laptop who thrust it in front of me and said “Here, just login, I’ll do the rest”. I was amazed! Luckily for me, I have a business only Facebook account. Yep, no friends and my social life productivity is a testimony to that! So when I explained that I can’t “like” a page without being one of the business profiles I manage they just stared at me. Then the lady says to me “Well do you know your wife or kids’ login?”. I felt sick to my stomach. So I just grabbed my receipt from her and said “have a nice day”. On the ride back to the office I kept thinking what’s the first thing I’d do if I had actually ‘liked’ the page? One of two things; I’d either simply unlike the page or post my not so nice experience for all to see. That got me wondering about other issues;

  • Is assigning used car sales people (literally) to getting people to like your page really a good practice?
  • Is a ‘like’ so important to you that you don’t care whether the person actually likes your business and had a good experience or not?
  • How would most people feel after being ‘encouraged’ to like a business, no matter the overall experience, right at the front counter?
  • Did you really just ask me if I knew my wife or kids’ login to Facebook?!

Now I know myself well enough to know that I don’t always agree with the majority. Maybe this is a good tactic. Maybe this works out well for them. However, I can’t help but wonder out of how many ‘fans’ the business has how many of those people are true fans?

When all was said and done I felt like I was (almost) muscled into liking a business. Could I have stood up for myself more and simply said “no” right away? Sure. But that’s not the point. The point is that there is a large majority of people that will comply with a little inconvenience rather than “make a scene” even though it probably wouldn’t have been a scene.

What do you think? Do you or a business you know use a tactic like this? What was your experience? Do you think it works?

(I must say while the entire car buying experience was frustrating and inconvenience at times, ultimately I got a car I was happy with. So, I left out any specifics because I’m not trying to bash the business in any way.)