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Back to School Basics

Bryan Brennan
By Bryan Brennan on Aug 13, 2015 9:32:00 AM

As summer draws to a close, parents begin the arduous process of getting their children ready for school. When it was my turn to go back to school, longer than I care to admit, my parents and I had a check-list of sorts to make sure I was ready for my first day. It looked something like this: 

We were always lost. We typically had a general idea of what to buy (clothes, school supplies, etc.) but actually formulating where to buy these items was always a big question mark for us. Thus, we would be looking for recommendations from friends, family, etc.

Today, those type of recommendations occur on social media as parents and children have wider access to this information. Retailers have already started mass marketing their back to school sales, trying to get people to shop with them during this pseudo-holiday. However, as we’ve seen with other holidays, marketing is only the first step to maximizing your return on social media and turn customers into loyal advocates.

One of the larger issue that retailers have with social media is integrating online to offline communication. Retailers excel at marketing their services but during these heavy spikes in volume to their locations (online or brick and mortar), they have traditionally missed opportunities to serve “in-the-moment” customer experiences. Here are some helpful tips to help you integrate online and offline communication during this back to school season.

  • Be ready to resolve - With marketing pushing out the Back-to-School sales messages, social media volumes typically increase 5x from the norm. Having the right people on call to resolve issues that are being tweeted or posted whilst in store or shopping online, is critical to timely issue resolution. It can also influence a shopper at the point of sale, reaching the holy grail of social ROI.
  • Tag conversations - Be sure to mark the conversations that are happening on social regarding Back-to-School. Therefore, the executives can see the greater business effect of the event sale besides just the marketing efforts.
  • Set business hours - Nothing upsets anyone more than when they are not responded to. Business hours can be set on social media and you can condition your audience that you will respond between these hours. Therefore issues can be addressed and resolved when the team is ready and continuously meet the service SLAs.

Back-to-School is the start of a busy end of the year for many retailers. Take advantage of it by providing a seamless customer experience on social media and providing service during a hectic time.

For more helpful tips, check out the Definitive Guide to Social Media Customer Service. Also feel free to follow me @bbren151

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