How to Deal With Customers Asking For a Discount (Tips & Tricks)

how-to-deal-with-customers

Everyone always wants a discount, no matter where they’re buying from. Learning how to deal with customers asking for a discount is a valuable skill if you hope to build recurring relationships. Naturally, you can’t say yes to every request, but you can’t tell customers to get out of your online store either.

Sometimes, giving a discount to a customer is the right thing to do. You miss out on a bit of revenue, but you build trust, and you get a happy customer. That happy customer is much more likely to come back to you the next time he needs to make a purchase.

In this article, we’ll go into the specifics of how to deal with customers asking for a discount. Let’s get to it!

Don’t Dismiss Customers Outright

The first thing to keep in mind when it comes to discount requests is not to dismiss them outright. Your first instinct might be to say, “Pay full price or get out,” but that can rub a lot of people the wrong way.

Instead of simply offering a discount every time that a customer asks for one, you can use the opportunity to let them know about other ways to save money. If you have an upcoming sale, that is the perfect moment to mention it:

“Hello John,

We’re not offering any discounts at the moment, but our Black Friday sale is going to kick off in X days. If you want, we’ll let you know once the sale starts so that you can make your purchase then. You can also pre-purchase store credit as gift cards that you can use during the sale.

Thanks for reaching out!”

A quick message like that gets you out of giving a discount coupon on the spot. It also increases the chances that the client will want to check out your store again down the line.

If your store also offers gift cards, this is the perfect opportunity to mention them. Although WooCommerce doesn’t offer gift card functionality, you can implement it using the Advanced Gift Cards for WooCommerce plugin.

Setting the value for a WooCommerce gift card
Advanced Coupons lets you run gift card offers on your store (click to zoom)

Store credits are also available if you use the Free Advanced Coupons plugin. They’re not precisely a discount, but they offer a fantastic way to incentivize sales in your store.

Take the Opportunity to Mention Your Loyalty Program

If you’re not comfortable offering discounts on demand (and few people are), you can launch a loyalty program instead. A loyalty program enables customers to earn discounts for every purchase that they make.

Loyalty programs have been shown to incentivize recurring purchases in clients. In 2021, 45% of consumers admitted to making between one and three purchases based on earning loyalty points and rewards.

Although WooCommerce doesn’t offer loyalty program functionality, you can easily fix that with the right plugin. Our Loyalty Program for WooCommerce plugin adds a loyalty system to WooCommerce. If you get the Advanced Coupons Growth Bundle you can get the Loyalty Program for WooCommerce plugin as well as the Advanced Coupons Premium and Advanced Gift Cards.

The Advanced Coupons plugin
Loyalty Program for WooCommerce is also available in Advanced Coupons Growth Bundle

A loyalty program offers a great alternative to giving discounts. When a customer writes asking for a discount, you can always redirect them to the program and explain how it works:

“Hi Jane,

We’re not offering any discounts at the moment, but if you make any purchase from our store, you can earn loyalty or reward points. You can exchange those points for discounts on any future purchases at any time!”

New customers are much less likely to know about your loyalty program, so it’s important that you take any opportunity available to tell them about it. Ideally, you’ll also link visitors to a page that fully explains how the loyalty program works and how many points they can earn from their purchases.

Offer Discounts on Clients’ First (and Second) Orders

Sometimes, offering a discount can be a smart move. We’re big fans of offering discounts for first-time buyers as it’s the perfect way to show new customers that you appreciate them. Moreover, those customers are much more likely to return to the store if they leave happy with their first purchase.

That last part is essential as return customers are the cornerstone of most successful businesses. Existing customers tend to increase their spending over time for stores they trust. A single discount on their first order can transform into years of business for you.

There are several ways to offer this type of discount using Advanced Coupons. For example, you can use cart conditions to create discount coupons that only apply if a customer hasn’t made an order before:

Offering a discount coupon on a first order
(click to zoom)

If you want to offer discounts for second orders as well, you can do so by changing the count in the cart conditions menu to one. However, that would be a separate coupon.

What level of discount to offer for first purchases will depend on your store’s prices and margins. One strategy that works for a lot of stores is to offer these first-purchase discount coupons in exchange for signing up for an email list. That way, you get the customer’s contact information at the same time that you guide them to make their first purchase.

Conclusion

Learning how to deal with customers asking for a discount is a valuable skill if you’re running an online store. Just saying no is not the best option most times. What you want to do instead is tell customers about the many options they have for saving money in your store without asking for a discount code.

If you’re not sure what to tell these customers, here are three quick tips to help guide the conversation:

  1. Don’t dismiss customers outright.
  2. Take the opportunity to mention your loyalty program.
  3. Offer discounts on clients’ first (and second) orders.

Do you have any questions about how to deal with customers asking for a discount? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!

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