Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



How to Handle Social Media Complaints

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 3/14/16 11:00 PM

As unfortunate as it may be, customer complaints come with the territory of being a retailer. Try as you might, some people aren't going to be satisfied with your services no matter what you do. And in this era of social media, those customers have a bigger platform than ever on which to let people know loud and clear exactly what they feel you've done wrong. That's why it's so important to know precisely how to hand complaints in this day and age, especially on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. In this post from Jay Baer at Buffer, he's put together "The 6 Step Playbook for Handling Social Media Complaints," which will help guide you through the process of communicating with unhappy customers on social media. Check out an excerpt from his playbook below, or read through all six steps here.

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Happy Customers, Happy You [Slideshare]

Posted by Kate Seat on 3/9/16 1:00 AM
It's an age-old question. Can you have your cake and eat it, too?
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Why Empowering Employees Improves Customer Service

Posted by Kate Seat on 3/3/16 11:30 PM

As an active member of the retail industry, you've probably heard the phrase "the customer is always right" more times than you can count. Would it surprise you to learn that that famous quote, often attributed to Marshall Field, was originally "assume that the customer is right until it is plain beyond all question he is not?" In reality, it isn't practical to defer to customers 100 percent of the time, so making sure that your employees have the confidence to trust their own judgement can go a long way toward improving the service they provide. Here are three practical ways to empower your staff, drawn from a post written by Laura Macleod for Independent Retailer.

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7 Customer Service Fails That Could Get You Dumped

Posted by Kate Seat on 2/12/16 2:48 AM

If you want to make sure your relationship with your customers extends past this Valentine's Day, there are a few behaviors you should definitely avoid. We've selected the seven we felt were most relevant for college stores from a post by Elizabeth Kraus (but make sure you check out her additional points as well).

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One Third of Retailers Are Letting Customers down in One Easy Way: Are You?

Posted by Dean Asher on 2/11/16 2:55 AM

College bookstores pride themselves in customer service. After all, it's one of the things that really sets them apart from the big-box online retailers in the textbook market. But according to recent studies, there's one key area many retailers in general are not serving their customers as well as they could: email. Retail Customer Experience broke down a recent study on retailers' email habits and how they're impacting customer loyalty.

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The ISU Bookstore Gives the GIFT of Great Service

Posted by Kate Seat on 2/7/16 11:30 PM

Three years ago, the staff at the Iowa State University Bookstore adopted a new strategy striving for “Excellence in Customer Service.” After evaluating their approach to the unique challenge of a store with a great deal of floor space, a large, diverse inventory and a broad range of different types of customers, they came up with a new platform for expectation for all UBS staff members.

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Best Customer Service Practices for Social Media

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 1/18/16 10:00 PM

Doing customer service online can be tough. Without a face to face interaction, things can get contentious fairly quickly. But social media, being a public forum, can also be an excellent opportunity to show people that you really do have your customers' best interests at heart. In this post from Mashable, they cover some of the best practices for making social media customer service easy - or at least as easy as possible. Check out the full list here, or an excerpt below.

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Rush Survival [Infographic]

Posted by Kate Seat on 1/15/16 1:00 AM

The back-to-school rush has already begun for many stores out there and for everyone else, it's about to start. Make sure you and your staff are ready when the crowds of students begin flooding in!

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Are You Reaching Your Customers with All 5 Senses?

Posted by Kate Seat on 1/8/16 3:24 AM

Consider a friendly greeting to be just the beginning when it comes to providing a complete customer experience. From a service standpoint, you can also offer a shopping experience that reaches them on a sensory level — including everything from an aesthetically-pleasing layout to product samples or an occasional sweet treat.

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Good Customer Service Is Your Best Investment [Infographic]

Posted by Kate Seat on 12/18/15 1:30 AM

One of the most important investments you can make for your store is in the customer service you provide. This is true at any time of the year, but especially at your busiest times (like during buyback and rush). Find out why:

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