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The effect of the 2014/15 NFL American Football Season on e-commerce and retail companies

Bryan Brennan
By Bryan Brennan on Oct 15, 2014 12:50:00 PM

Are you ready for some (American) Football?!

With Week 6 already gone, and Week 7 approaching, football season is well and truly under way. So what role does social media or social customer service play in all of this?

An important one, for sure. I often take to Twitter to vent, consolidate and congratulate my team depending on the result. Whether my team is doing well or poorly, I want to show my support. How do I do that?  Easy - I jump online to  NFLshop or Amazon to shop for a t-shirt, jersey, etc. Or I could go into the store and get my #74 Nick Mangold jersey (Yes, I’m a Jets fan, and I’m proud to shout/tweet about it).

With the influx of people purchasing merchandise now that the season is in full swing, retailers and e-commerce outlets need to be able to deal with the high volumes of customers purchasing specific items. These retailers/ecommerce companies already have operations and workflows in place to handle customer service operations, and must also apply these operations to social.  

Why social?

Most of these retailers have driven traffic to their stores/websites through digital advertising (I for one would definitely click on anything with Johnny Football, seen above). When a customer is acquired through a specific form of content like social, they are more likely going to use that medium for future interactions.  Social has always been tricky for some brands because it is public, and people expect a quicker/faster response.

Here are my tips on how to effectively work through increases in content over social media during this busy time of year:

- Prioritize customer service issues: Make sure you can easily identify customer service content so it gets handled immediately. When your online store runs out of the Johnny Football Jersey before his Week Five start (I do think Hoyer will be out, and Johnny in by that time), you need to be able to handle those issues amidst the general inquiries that get filtered through your social channels. Companies don’t want to miss a tweet and by prioritizing customer service content you can make sure that important tweets get handled faster.

- Triage and assign incoming messages automatically: Most companies have different teams inside of their overall customer service team, having content auto-tagged and auto-assigned to the appropriate agent ensures a quicker more effective responses.  

- Allow your team members to work efficiently and improve satisfaction within your team: Remember when you got back from vacation and you looked at your work email?  Imagine that reaction by your team when they see 4,000 unanswered tweets/posts Tuesday morning about why they didn’t get their LeSean McCoy.  This leads to lower agent satisfaction and can increase churn inside of the call center.  From a higher level: YOUR COSTS GO UP.  Not a good thing...Check out Conversocial’s new product feature PLAY for a more in depth discussion on how to tackle this!

The NFL season should be the kickoff to a great end of the year for retailers.  As social evolves to just tweeting/posting tailgating photos to questions about where to buy their Johnny Football jersey, retailers need to be the next play ahead to ensure there isn’t a turnover on downs. Working social into the customer service organization is just another facet of the playbook that brands/organizations can use to punch it in the endzone for six.

Topics: Brand Stories, Hospitality

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