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Managing Apparel Customer Expectations on Social Media

Social media is a phenomenon apparel e-commerce retailers can't afford to ignore. Seventy percent of Americans have at least one social media profile. If you analyze young adults aged 18 to 29, the demographic many apparel e-tailers target, that figure jumps to 90 percent. In addition, a third of millennials would rather use social media to communicate with businesses than any other channel. This preference makes social media a valuable platform for managing customer expectations for your apparel brand.

Listen and Respond

apparel social

Monitor your social media accounts and you'll soon find a wealth of valuable feedback. Customers will often head to their social network of choice to praise companies they feel are getting it right and bash the ones that have disappointed them. Both positive and negative feedback can teach you about your customers' expectations and whether you're meeting or exceeding them.

Listening to the feedback your customers provide is useful, but it's not enough for most consumers. Nearly a third of people contacting a company for customer support expect a response within 30 minutes. Forty-two percent expect you'll make contact within an hour. Despite this, 35 percent of consumers say they rarely or never receive answers or resolutions to issues from businesses via social media. If you do provide the timely communication your customers crave, you'll go some way toward meeting their expectations.

Change Practices to Reflect Consumer Demand

Of course, customer expectations don't stop with providing social media responses. It's important to take what you've learned online and, wherever possible, apply it to the real world.

If your customers complain that their orders are taking too long, see what you can do to reduce shipping times. Perhaps you could use a different shipping method or provider. If your customers complain about receiving incorrect items or sizes, investigate why the wrong products are distributed.

Remember to keep communication open while investigating issues and implementing changes. Transparency breeds trust. Customers don't expect businesses to be perfect all the time, but they will respect companies that admit their mistakes and seek to rectify them. When you let your followers know you've heard their concerns and taken steps to improve, they'll feel valued. When customers feel valued, they're more likely to become loyal, repeat shoppers.

Sometimes you may not be able to make the changes your customers want. For example, more than half of all online shoppers expect free shipping , but this may not be feasible for small apparel e-tailers or companies shipping heavy apparel items like coats. Being honest about your limitations and perhaps meeting customers halfway, by offering free shipping with a minimum spend, for example, can satisfy customers.

Work Closely With Third-Party Logistics Providers

A third-party logistics provider specializing in apparel, or 3PL provider, plays an important role in helping apparel e-tailers meet and exceed customer expectations. They package and ship customer orders, ensuring the right clothes and accessories arrive in good condition within expected timeframes. The best relationships between 3PL providers and fashion e-tailers are open ones. When you know what your 3PL is doing, you can more accurately communicate with your social media followers.

For a partnership with a reputable 3PL who understands the fashion industry, look no further than The Apparel Logistics Group. Complete our consultation form to learn more about how our services can benefit your business.

Posted: 8/16/2017 2:15:39 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments


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