1. Spread some love: Well, this one's easy. As Emerson says, "It seems silly, but when you take your focus away from selling and put it instead on giving (even if it's just giving customers something to look at), they'll want to come back." Coming up with an occasion to celebrate (a random holiday, a big game, or even a favorite decade), handing out some small treats, and overall, just giving your employees and customers an excuse to have a little fun will make the shopping experience that much more rewarding — and for very little effort!
Here's a little inspiration from some of our College Store Stories:
- Iowa State Celebrates Magic Mondays
- UAA Bookstores Get into the Spirit
- UVU Bookstore Surprises Student with Free Textbooks
- Elizabethtown College Store Flashes Back to the ‘90s
- The Blue Colt Bookstore Switches Gears During Buyback
2. Send a heartfelt message: Saying thank you goes a long way! While something like a handwritten note is a lovely idea, it's not particularly practical in terms of reaching out to a large student body. Instead, you could post a message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or even just take the time to get to know your regulars with a friendly chat. The key here, according to Emerson, is to keep the emphasis on your customers, and steer clear of a "sales-y" feel.
3. Offer incentive to come back: In addition to exceptional customer service, give 'em an extra reason to return! Special offers, coupons or a loyalty program will give your customers an added reason to stop by again soon.
- Loyalty program: The Phoenix Bookstore Encourages Students to Treat Yo’ Self
- Coupons for participation: Old Post Bookstore Offers Prizes for Spring Break Pics
- Special offers: TCTC Campus Store Shows Its Fun Side with Fall Frenzy
- During our Bookstores without Barriers webinar series, our panelists shared their techniques for tapping into what their customers were thinking. Check it out here.