Groupon CEO: What His Departure Can Teach Us About Data and Building Customer Relationships

Groupon’s CEO, Andrew Mason, was fired by the company he helped co-found, but it’s Mason’s farewell letter to his employees that’s been generating a lot of discussion. Mason wrote,

“If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness – don’t waste the opportunity!”

There’s a valuable lesson here that all businesses can learn from.

It’s important to listen to your customers. Know their concerns. Find out what motivates them. Mason essentially says during his time at Groupon there were instances where he had a gut feeling about what was best for the customer, but ignored it due to a “lack of data.”

Data can often deliver amazing insight into what your customers are doing, how they use your products, when they buy and what they say about your brand, just to name a few. A lack of data can be debilitating for a business. Having no customer information can leave a company frozen and immobile, unable to react to the ever-changing habits and sentiments of the consumer.

At Right On Interactive we understand the importance of collecting data to develop a true 3-Dimensional marketing profile. We also understand that companies can’t simply rely on data alone. It’s important to cultivate real relationships with customers in order to better understand their wants and needs. Knowing what makes them tick, what motivates them, will allow your business to react to those needs quickly.

The bottom line is this: Use data wisely. Use it to understand your customers or clients, but don’t be afraid to ask them directly about what they expect from your company. Once you do, it becomes a lot easier to trust your gut.