“Clienteling” has become something of a buzzword lately. However, the focus is usually on mobile apps or other software, and how businesses can use them to effectively store customer information.
For example, tablets and mobile technology are now widely used to help customer-facing associates better serve customers by creating profiles, storing previous purchases, and more. The common assumption is that if they know previous purchases, associates can better assist the customer.
These features can certainly support and enhance the customer experience, but the technology itself is not clienteling.
“The technology itself is not clienteling”
That’s the secret – simply adding technology to the equation is not enough. It’s the feeling the technology can help create, and its impact on the customer experience, that is the true meaning of clienteling.
If the experience isn’t the focus, an associate can easily hide behind a tablet or mobile device and do nothing more than recite frequently purchased items. For the customer, the experience can quickly turn robotic, with nothing to differentiate the sales associate from a Self-Scan checkout machine.
In essence, clienteling is driven by customer engagement. It will only be effective if you can leverage your prior interactions to provide memorable, personalized experiences that make your customer want to return. That’s it, plain and simple.
But simple doesn’t always mean easy.
In a retail climate where online sales keep growing, it’s even more crucial to build closer, more interactive customer relationships in-store.
As a business, you need to commit to supporting customer engagement across your entire enterprise, whatever type of technology you employ.
The key to generating sales from multichannel experiences is to create the right feeling at each touch point. The stronger emotional connection a business can create with its customer, the greater the influence.
Corporate strategies drive traffic into stores.
Tiered loyalty programs can yield great insight into your business, helping you create targeted customer relations marketing campaigns. The more specific the campaign, the greater the return on investment: that’s why the individualized data you gather from loyalty programs and other corporate strategies are so essential.
Stores convert traffic and build the sale.
The clienteling strategies you choose should empower your sales team to deliver personal, memorable customer experiences. Train them well, recognize the outliers, and set expectations for them each and every day. By encouraging the behaviors that build loyal customers, i.e., your clientele, you ensure future business. These teams are your best marketers. A great corporate strategy cannot make up for underperforming sales teams.
When you automate a system for these best practices – corporate drives traffic with targeted campaigns; stores convert that traffic and build the sale with personalized engagement – you will see the return on investment. That’s the formula for successful clienteling.
It’s up to you to solve for X—the tipping point that gets the customer to say “Yes.”
Do you have a system in place to determine what your customer really wants? Do you know what makes a truly engaging experience for your customer? Our Customer Intercept and CSAT can help you gain that insight and monitor feedback, whatever your clienteling system.