The back-to-school shopping season is here again and, in the call center, that means more promotions, higher contact volume and checking sales tax twice.
Back-to-school spending on K-12 students is expected to increase 9.6 percent to $27.3 billion in 2016 from the year before, according to the National Retail Federation. Include college shopping, and that’s a total $75.8 billion. Families with children will spend an average $673.57, up $43.21 from 2015, according to the NRF’s recent survey.
As the second biggest retail season of the year kicks into high gear in August and September, several states set tax-free shopping holidays to let consumers buy specified apparel and school supplies without paying tax. Tax holidays are held through early September – Florida’s and Ohio’s, for instance, were Aug. 5-7 this year.
Contact centers can take measures to ensure their customers are getting the tax savings they’re due, such as tracking the states that offer tax holidays and the dates they are offered, then double-checking relevant transactions.
Those extra measures help create a smooth interaction and instill the back-to-school shopper with confidence in the brand, both building blocks for brand loyalty. According to a Connexity study published in InternetRetailer, 30 percent of back-to-school customers say brand loyalty influences their purchases.
“We’re here to build relationships and create exceptional customer experiences every day,” says Global Response Co-CEO Wendy Shooster. “During the back-to-school season, that can mean helping to find the perfect school outfit, keeping an eye on sales tax or simply making it easy for a parent who is excited about the new year.”