In today’s retail environment, every customer wants to feel valued and important. If your business can achieve this you will be adding value to the customer’s shopping experience, making them more likely to return to spend with you again. In a time where loyalty to brands is swiftly becoming a thing of the past, taking steps to establish long term and rewarding relationships with your customers is vital to remain successful. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by clienteling, a technique that uses data about customers in order to provide an enhanced level of customer service.
How can clienteling help my business?
By gathering valuable information about your customer’s preferences and purchases you can tailor your marketing efforts for key demographics and send them targeted special offers, promotions and loyalty rewards. This will in turn help your customers feel valued and important, improving their experience with your brand.
You will also see a positive impact on many of your retail key performance indicators (KPIs). Happy customers usually spend more and spend more often, positively impacting your sales figures and increasing the lifetime value of that customer to your business.
Customer insights will also show you how your customers prefer to buy. Is Mr Smith an online shopper, or does he like to come into store? If you have multiple stores which one does he go to most often? If it is not out of convenience then there may be a reason why he chooses one over another, which you could find out by using a short survey or by asking him when he next visits his preferred store. This information could highlight any action that you need to take to improve the success of either your online or in-store product availability or customer service.
Enhance your in-store customer service
Imagine if your sales assistants could have up-to-the-minute information about your customers at the touch of a button?Clienteling empowers your sales assistants to create an exemplary in-store customer experience.
Being able to see the past purchase history, preferences and more of each consumer will help your in-store staff to personalise their service. They will be able to talk about the products that the customer has previously bought, newer models available, and any discounts or rewards that the customer may be eligible for. If you know that a particular customer prefers to have his items shipped to his office rather than purchased or delivered to his home address, you can streamline the ordering process by having this information to hand. Not only do these insights empower your in-store sales team, but it adds a personal touch to the shopping experience your brand offers, making customers happier and more likely to return to your store to shop again.
Help your employees reach their full potential
Clienteling doesn’t only empower the top tier of sales assistants in your business; it can improve the skills, techniques and standards of every member of your team.
It takes the behaviours of the very best salespeople you have and sets them up as a code of ‘best practise’. Less accomplished sales assistants can use them as guidance to help them create exceptional service for their customer’s entire in-store retail experience.
This builds on the skills of your staff members, making them more valuable whilst simultaneously fulfilling the desire of your customer for a personal service from a brand that values and appreciates them.
Boost the effectiveness of your online store
The benefits of clienteling aren’t just for your physical stores either. Online stores that are integrated with clienteling software solutions are also able to create a highly personalised shopping journey. Features such as ‘recommended items’ based on the customer’s browsing history, storing delivery addresses and preferences, and even their last viewed products all help you keep strong lines of communication and service flowing between you and your customers.
Amazon is one of the best examples of online retailer clienteling that we have seen. Sneaking in dozens of ways to gather all sorts of personal data about its customers and their shopping habits, Amazon provides a completely personalised service that works across PCs, tablets and mobile devices, making it easier than ever to spend with them.
Even knowing what your customers didn’t buy is valuable information to have. A key benefit of online stores is that you can assess the items in abandoned virtual baskets to try and establish the reason the customer didn’t complete the sale. Was it cheaper elsewhere, did they buy an alternative product or simply change their mind? Perhaps they have simply forgotten about it and need a gentle nudge to make the purchase? Understanding their reasons for not buying can help you make changes to fulfil their needs and make those transactions happen!
Clienteling is good value for money
Whilst you may have to spend a little to purchase a good clienteling software solution, the return on your investment will be huge. Some of the benefits you can expect to see include:
- Increased traffic to your physical and online stores
- Increased conversion rates
- Increase in average transaction value
- Increase in customer lifetime value
A solid personalisation strategy should be an integral part of any good retailer’s business strategy if they wish to survive the fallout from the decline in brand loyalty.
If you would like further information on the importance of effective clienteling then we would be happy to support you. Watch our clienteling video for more information or contact us!
22nd October 2015 – Posted by Nigel Read