newsagents helper, facebook siteI was asked by Emma Spencer to draw retailers’ attention to the Newsagents’ Helper page on Facebook and I am happy to do so.

The page is open to UK news retailers and is strong on humour and sharing frustrations about the behaviour of shoppers and the failings of suppliers.

Amid the general chatter there are some very strong items about issues, such as a post about how an epos system was sold or a post about a spate of armed robberies.

What I like are the posts about when something great happens, such as when a customer switches his Saturday newspaper order to the i but insists on being charged what he was charged before because he does not want the retailer to lose out.

Where I think retailers have to be careful is when they blog about frustrations. There is a danger that you can fall into the trap of sharing your frustrations online and projecting a negative world view. While it may be frustrating that your shoppers go to Tesco, it is also a fact of life. The solution is to provide a better service, consistently, rather than to be rude about customers behind their backs.

For some reason the previous group called Newsagents was disabled by the good folk at Facebook so the website has been restarted from scratch. With 61 members and rising, Emma and her fellow retailers hope more news retailers will use the site as a resource.