Clientelling – The Future of Retail Business
Everybody is talking about it – Clientelling! But what is it? Why is it important?, And how do you implement it in your business? I am asked this question many times by all different kinds of retailers – along with; are there solutions available to create a client telling foundation? Are there any best practices to guide you through the process? How do you measure your progress and successes? Lets answer those questions:
Clientelling in a nutshell
Even if the word is new, the basic and fundamental goal is well known: “Get to know your customers well enough to give them a personalized service and build a relationship to them”.
The most important thing in Clientelling is to listen to the customers and to remember their preferences, their buying behaviour and wishes. Based on this you will be able to tailor your services and offer the personalized experience to your customer – an experience based on assistance and help – not on an aggressive sales approach.
Customers exposed to an efficient Clientelling experience will be more likely to prefer and recommend your brand/store – leading to increase in sales and customer base. Customers not treated and recognized are more likely to do their shopping elsewhere!
Solutions to clientelling
In this digital age, we all know that we are recognized and exposed to Clientelling when we go to an online store – and we actually more or less expect to be presented with products that resemble or complement other products that we have already bought, searched for or marked as wishes.
These, same levels of recognition are not copied or transferred to the physical stores which means that the shopping experience in the physical store is inferior and less personalized than on the internet. This is quite interesting, since by choosing to go to the physical store the customer have the added “personal factor” by face-to-face interaction – but the stores actually end up giving a less personal experience!
Can the technology of today overcome this? Off course! You will have to look for 3 things in your solution in order to make it happen:
- True Multi-channel capabilities – meaning that the information can be collected and re-used across all customer touch points. The wishes and preferences identified in the Web shop also apply in the physical store!
- Device independence. Your store assistants should not be limited to getting information on a cash register if they can service the customer better via an iPad or Smartphone on the store floor.
- Multiple ways of recognizing your customer. You should be able to recognize the customer in many ways making it simpler for the store assistant to “link” the physical customer to the customer profile in your database. This means using either loyalty cards, email addresses or phone numbers to identify the customer when they enter your physical store before the transaction happens at the counter. There are many ways already to do this and many new applications is being developed for this purpose.
How to implement and succeed
As always, when it comes to sales you will need to have a strategy and a focused approach. These are some of the goals and targets you should identify and work to reach:
- Identify your Target Customers. Who do you want to offer better services to – and how do you differentiate them from the other customers.
- Define target and KPI’s for your effort. KPI’s could be Basket Size, Sales Frequency or any other metric that will reflect your success and progress.
- Implement the processes and systems that support the above targets and measurements.
- Get your organization and employees engaged through incentives and recognition.
For more inspiration
Being a Retailer means a lot of adapting to new ways of attracting customers and keeping them loyal both online and in-store and for inspiration on client telling I recommend you to watch these videos for more inspiration:
Or read a document that have served as inspiration for this article here.