Foreword Online

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Go Where the Students Are

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 10/30/14 3:55 AM
Topics: social media, college store customer service, Bookstores without Barriers, retail management, Marketing to Students

The latest installment in our Bookstores without Barriers series covered new ways to reach students across multiple channels. (Did you miss it? Watch it here!) One key takeaway was the importance of using every social media outlet available — to go where the students are — whether that means Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter (or, ideally, all of the above). But how do you know where to focus your efforts?

One of our panelists outlined how she used a simple survey to determine which platform merited increased attention — she was surprised when the feedback showed that Instagram was the clear favorite of the student population. Can creating a survey help you hone in on your target audience, save you some guesswork and maximize your marketing efforts? Yes! The following excerpt from a post by Susan Chive for explains a bit more about using surveys as a marketing tool:

You may think that your business treats your customers well and that they are happy with the service that you give to them. Most of them probably are, but it can only be a good thing if you are able to get feedback from your customers and use this Using real students as models is a great way to market your merchandise.information to improve the experience that your customers receive.

There are a number of different ways that you can get in touch with your customers to find out what they really think about the experience they have had while dealing with your business. Surveys can be sent out by post or email where customers are asked to give their feedback about the service they have received from your business.

You will also need to decide what areas of customer service you will want the market research to cover. If there are already things that you feel you may be able to improve upon you may want to concentrate on these areas to see if your customers feel the same way. You may want to see how your business is performing in a number of different areas and if this is the case then you will want to ask a wide range of questions and be less specific.

Once you have the results, you will need to decide how you are going to use this information to improve the service that you provide to your customers. If there is an issue that has been mentioned by a number of customers as being something that they were not happy with then this should be addressed immediately. There may also be various other things that people have identified as slight weaknesses. If this is the case then you may need to develop a strategy to improve on these issues. This may involve prioritizing which issues will be addressed first and deciding what action will be taken.

Ensuring that your existing customers return to you is just as important as attracting new ones.

Upcoming sessions in our Bookstores without Barriers series: "Overcoming Competition" on Nov. 5 and "Sourcing the Best and Most Course Materials" on Nov. 12. Register now!

If you attended either of the first two sessions, let us know what you think in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook with #storechallenges!

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