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Three Customer Service Tips for an eCommerce Rush

Posted by Liz Schulte on 1/13/21 6:30 AM
Topics: Bookstore marketing, college bookstore industry trends, campus bookstore marketing

Once again, a new term is upon us and it is likely that most college stores will be directing as much student traffic online as possible. How is rush different online and how can you be sure that students continue to have the level of service from the store that they expect? We have collected three tips to help boost your rush this term.

Three Customer Service Tips for an eCommerce Rush3 tips to boost your eCommerce rush

  1. Preemptively answer student questions
    One of the perks of coming into the store rather than shopping online is that customers can ask questions and benefit from the expertise of store associates. Try to think of ways your store can answer the most frequently asked questions.

    It might not be feasible to set up a Zoom meeting with every student to answer textbook questions, but you can poll your staff and find out what questions consistently come up every rush. Create an FAQ page on your website or record a video where you answer each question. By doing this, you are keeping your website fresh with new content, making it easy for customers to find the answers they are looking for and providing students with the superior service they expect from the campus store.

    “Recently, I recorded my screen and posted a video that walks students through the process start to finish. I started with the registrar link and went all the way through the checkout so students can feel comfortable with placing an online order from the NWTC Bookstore. We posted the video on the front page of our website because we anticipate getting a lot of phone calls asking how to get started,” NWTC Bookstore and The Buzz Coffee Shop Manager Gretchen Bonnema “It’s not that we don’t want to talk to students, but we only have so many resources. Being able to offer students a convenient way to answer the question and save time definitely helps us and them. With the increased prevalence of eBooks this term, I also created a video about how to access digital textbooks. We are helping students by giving them the tools they will need to work with us.”

    Learn more about how the NWTC Bookstore prepared to be 100% online in the fall.

  2. Advertise
    What kind of advertising efforts do you put into letting students know they can order from the bookstore? In a recent survey conducted by NACS OnCampus Research, some students indicated that they didn’t have access to the campus store. All students might not naturally think about the campus store when doing their back-to-school online shopping. It’s important to let students know that you are open and available to help them.

    Six out of 10 students said that emails from the bookstore influence them to shop there in a recent Barnes & Noble College Student Pulse survey. Make a plan to maximize the resources available to your bookstore to remind students that the bookstore is the perfect place to get all of their back-to-school merchandise.

    Need some ideas? Check out our free marketing plan that provides materials to help students understand the importance of course materials.

  3. Tell students why they should shop with you
    Now is a good time to get back to the basics. Remind students, faculty and staff why their support of the campus store matters to the campus. Remind them that the store is a local business and how you help support the community.

    Also, highlight the services your store provides. Do you help students find low-cost course materials? Do you offer students a chance to learn about the different types of course materials before the beginning of the term? Can students use SFA to purchase books in your store? What kind of delivery/pick up options do you offer? All of these things help set you apart from normal online retailers.

    If the proceeds from the bookstore go back into the campus community in any way, that is also good to share with customers. Like maybe your store helps support student scholarships or provides services to help combat student hunger. Whatever your store does, share it with customers so they know how the money they spend in your store goes back into their community.

What are some of the ways you prepared for rush this term? Please share in the comments below. 


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