Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

A Little Bit Extra Goes a Long Way

Posted by Kate Seat on 10/2/14 11:00 PM
Topics: college store customer service, sales strategies, customer loyalty

Over the years, we've shared some great stories from college stores about how they reach out to their customers. So keep up the good work! For some more inspiration, check out the following excerpt from a post by Chip R. Bell, originally featured on Entrepeneur.

Everyone knows how important it is to exceed customer expectations. Instead of adding more services, why not try to adopt something of value that's unique — making your business service unexpectedly delightful? Here are some simple, inexpensive ways to enchant your customers while enhancing your bottom line:

Don’t be afraid of the whimsical. Hotel Monaco is a medium-priced hotel chain with properties in many U.S. cities that seeks to enchant business traveler guests with quirky additions. The bathrobe is not boring white; it is a leopard- or zebra-skin print. Instead of the proverbial mint on the pillow at turndown, guests find an unexpected treat (a foreign coin, a flower, a lottery ticket or who knows).

College Store Strategy: In addition to offering fun sales and contests periodically, stocking unusual or nostalgic merchandise can be a big draw! Especially if the items you choose are a little bit quirky and inexpensive.

The way to a customer’s purse is via the heart. Nicholson-Hardie is a nursery and garden center in Dallas known as the “garden center with the cats.” Ask any customer about the garden center and the cats will be a part of the reported charm.

College Store Strategy: We've heard of some exceptional store mascots out there! Does your store have an animal "customer service specialist?"

George and Molly, from Swarthmore College Bookstore

Make the details matter to your customers. Innovative service should be as simple as it is unexpected.

College Store Strategy: During the holidays, why not offer hot cocoa, warm apple cider or cookies to your customers? Or hand out candies or chocolate as students wait in line at buyback?

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