Groupon To Replace Jobs!?

Since it’s introduction in Chicago exactly four years ago, Groupon has spread across the U.S. to Boston, New York City, and Toronto as well. Although it benefits consumers by saving them money daily on local products and services, many have debated the implications it has for local businesses. Whether it actually increases their returning customer base is just one of the issues many businesses have to face when considering offering a Groupon.

Anthony Raso, though, has found a way for Groupon to better organize and increase his customer base. The owner of a car maintenance garage in Toronto, Raso decided to advertise a rustproofing deal on Groupon to increase his local customer base. He soon found himself with too many people calling in for his services, but not enough employees to actually organize and book all of the potential customers. Not being able to increase his customer base as much as he could have drove Raso to eventually take advantage of Groupon Scheduler, a service which allows customers to book their own appointments online. He could also use this service to book clients who called in. The appointments are automatically stored in an online calendar, allowing Raso to focus on providing his excellent services instead of worrying about booking customers.

Raso considered his previous appointment booking technique too time consuming, and called it the bottleneck of his business. Running into problems like double booking and forgetting appointments was slowing down his service time and caused him to not service as many customers as he could. With the help of Groupon Scheduler, he can now maximize his profits by leaving the scheduling of appointments to Groupon, allowing him to focus on what he does best.

Similar to what the paper puppet activity showed us, bottlenecks are constraints that limit the output of production. Throughput gets caught in the bottleneck and takes longer to complete than in any other stage of the product cycle, thereby reducing maximum output. A bottleneck can severely harm a business by preventing it from performing at its fullest potential. Raso was able his solve his bottleneck process by introducing a digital method of booking appointments for his business so that it would no longer take away from him being able to work on his customer’s cars. Eliminating this bottleneck will allow Raso to increase his customer base and his overall profits.

What do you think of this scheduling service that Groupon now offers to businesses? Do you think it is essentially reducing the need for employees whose job it may be to book appointments? Can you foresee any problems that businesses utilizing this service may run into?

10 thoughts on “Groupon To Replace Jobs!?

  1. I think that for a small business something such as Groupon Scheduler is the best option. If it is free and alleviates time employees spend on booking appointments, I do not see why a small business wouldn’t utilize this tool. Of course they are only using it when they are offering a Groupon and an influx of demand results, so I do not imagine many jobs are being replaced by this. Potential problems may come up though, since the business is depending on a third party to make appointments and this could cause scheduling conflicts with their daily operations.

  2. I also believe that the Groupon Scheduler is a great tool that will not only save employees time but also limit mistakes in booking a client twice. Groupon has been getting extremely popular and so the number of clients that buy the groupons is hard to estimate. I do not believe that the Groupon Scheduler has a huge influence on a business that it will cause a reduction in need for employees. Trying new organizers may have potential problems, however, I can only think of how much more it will benefit a business. With a schedule of appointments listed online, it would be easily accessible and organized.

  3. I think the Groupon scheduler would best be suited for small businesses who are in a niche market and attract a certain customer base. The problem would be if he advertised many different services through Groupon he would eventually need more employees just to handle the increase in customers, not to mention all the other things that come along with a growing customer base and business growth. Although this service is offered through Groupon nothing will ever compare to good customer service, which leads to referrals as well as future business. This may be a convenient tool, but I personally don’t think it should be used to replace jobs permanently.

  4. Having never used Groupon, I did not know this was even an offered feature. I agree that it is very beneficial for small businesses as it replaces a time consuming task originally done by an employee. It might also in some businesses replace the need of hiring someone just to make appointments. Like the first comment pointed out, there may be problems by using a third party to schedule appointments. I know there are many programs out there that may be another option for small businesses as well although they may require an employee to run them.

  5. I don’t feel like this tool will replace jobs. If anything, tools like this one will help out small businesses. From what I can tell from the article, it did not seem like Anthony Raso had any sort of staff that could handle all of the calls he was recieving. And since he was operating this small garage, it probably did not make sense to hire a large support staff just to schedule a rust detailing deal. This scheduling tool allowed him to bring in large amounts of customers without hurting paying a ton of money to hire and train workers to answer phones and make appointments.

  6. i think the groupon scheduler will benefit the company to manage bookings efficiently and avoid errors. Since detailing is not the only service provided and not all services will be marketed on groupon, A telephone operator will always be needed to answer queries, reconfirm appointments,provide information etc even though the scheduler can handle it. so i don’t see the scheduler as a threat to employees.

  7. Interesting article I think that the scheduling service is a great idea for small businesses and I don’t feel that it will hurt any jobs. Small businesses usually don’t have to many employees anyways because of the amount of profit they make so having something to save them time to help other customers I think it’s a great idea so I think that groupon scheduler service will help them increase and grow their business when if more employees are need then they could hire them. Overall, I think that groupon did a good job by offering something helpful to small business to help them.

  8. I think the scheduling service that Groupon offers to businesses is very useful for businesses since it helps them to easily keep their booking information online. By using the Groupon’s scheduler software, businesses can reduce their need for employees to organize and book appointments. Even though Raco could fix the book keeping problem or what he considered as a bottleneck of his business, another bottleneck may occur. It is true that the scheduling service allow his business to increase its customer base. However, if the business has too many customers to handle, the increase of services that the business has to render can be a new bottleneck of the business. As a result, demand will exceed capacity , and he still needs to hire more people to perform services. I agree with “f1233jmahren” that with the increase in customers, he would eventually need more employees. Lastly, I think Groupon can indirectly increase a number of businesses to run more deals through the company by offering a free scheduling service.

  9. I think the scheduling service that Groupon is offering to businesses is both well organized and highly efficient. By implementing an online booking schedule, time is saved for both Groupon and the business who is scheduling the appointment. In addition, this strategy saves Groupon money because they will not need to hire employees for receptionist-like positions to book these appointments for the company. By having these appointments scheduled and saved in an online book, Groupon can also increase customer satisfaction by allowing them to have the luxury to choose the date and time that works best for them.
    Although Groupon is eliminating this bottleneck with an online booking schedule, I agree with f1234swatch on the fact that another bottleneck could easily occur. If a mass amount of customers begin to use the online booking schedule, Groupon may take on more than they could handle. A mass amount of customers using the service could cause traffic for the system, which could lead to customers becoming frustrated with a slow online service which could in the end lead to the customers desire to want that one on one attention from a Groupon employee. I know personally I get frustrated with talking to automated computers on the phone to schedule an appointment and would prefer to have a human being to talk to to walk me through the scheduling process.

  10. I have bought groupons in the past but not so much recently and not to a business where I would need an appointment but if I did I think that this service would definitely help the business. I think its a great system for the business owners and I dont think it will effect jobs at the business. With more customers they might need to hire more employees to fulfill these services as well as someone scheduling services that are not offered as a groupon. There are definitely problems that may occur but that is expected with a new system and it probably wouldnt be anything that cant be fixed.

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