Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Set Your Store Apart with These Customer Service Tips

Posted by Kate Seat on 5/29/15 4:12 AM
Topics: social media, college store customer service

Whether your store serves a large campus or a small one, in a big city or a rural setting, you have opportunities to reach out to your customers in a way that your competitors can't. By personalizing your approach to reflect your school and the needs of your students specifically, you can make a big impact. Designing promotions revolving around key on-campus events like orientation or graduation, or sharing strategies to make college life easier can help significantly increase your customers' awareness of your store — and make it more likely that they'll stop by. To get you started, check out these two areas you can focus on right now, selected from a post by Retail Minded's Nicole Reyhle.

Go for more with social

It’s no surprise that customers turn to social media to either sing the praises of a recent experience or rant about their grievances. Most businesses are aware they need to not only be present on social platforms, but also quick to respond to feedback, whether positive or negative. But again, this is the bare minimum in today’s business world.

Take social media a step further and work to make your social accounts a valuable resource for customers. Lifelock, an identity theft protection company, does a great job of this. By providing tips on Twitter that are relevant to its business – and useful to its customers – the company has become a trusted source of information. This is an extra step in customer service that pays dividends in creating a loyal following.


October 2014 Foreword Online Marketing Plan Post tips and tricks to help make college life easier (and increase store traffic!)

Show you care

Lastly, sometimes customer service simply means putting a smile on someone’s face during your normal interactions. It’s not enough to be friendly and courteous; actually showing you care goes a long way in deepening customer relationships. Dutch Bros Coffee is a stellar example of a company that prides itself on going the extra mile with relating to customers. When you go through any of its drive-thru establishments, a bubbly team member will greet you and go out of his or her way to ask about your day. While it’s obvious that this is part of the required culture, these genuine person-to-person interactions can make customers feel important. It also will make them want to keep coming back.

So when it comes to customer service, we need to bust out of the mindset that the baseline is “enough.” It’s not. Use social media to be a valuable resource to customers, involve senior leaders when appropriate, do whatever it takes to ensure customers get what they’re promised and go out of your way to make interactions genuine. With these steps, you’ll see a rise in customer happiness – and loyalty.

What does your store do to set yourself apart? Let us know in the comments!

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