Christina Abbott at RBTE

Developing a relationship with a customer goes way beyond making the sale

As we reflect on our experience at Europe’s leading technology event for the retail industry, RBTE, we came away feeling more than ever that in a super tech enabled, hyper connected world we need to ensure we don’t lose focus of our most valuable asset, our people.

Supporting shop floor staff to give exceptional customer service is one of the best steps you can take to connect with your customers. Using technology to nurture relationships, not solely to drive sales, is key to building long-lasting loyalty. Your people are your brand ambassadors and your best advocate.

"Know how rewarding developing a relationship with a client is, it goes way beyond making a sale".

Serving Royal Family members, high profile business leaders and VIP’s for over 30 years, personal stylist, Christina Abbott joined us at RBTE to share how rewarding developing a relationship with a client is, and how it goes way beyond making a sale.

“Going that extra mile and surprising clients, remembering their purchases, the things they said, it’s very special to connect with a client in a way that is personal and unique to them, underlying that the relationship with them is of value."

The perception of value is what keeps people coming back to a specific retailer. You can buy the same pair of shoes from several multi brand retailers, so why do customers keep returning to one specific retailer, it’s because they value their service. 

Our purchases are emotional, they are connected to our moods, social status and aspirations. When we discuss our purchase with shop floor staff we’re not always looking for a swift transaction, but emotional engagement, a vote of confidence, validation in choosing well.

"These relationships are about building trust, being discreet, being a guardian of the client relationship and only selling a product that is right for the client. The days of pressure selling are over. Clients don’t want to be sold to, they want to be known, they want a relationship, to feel they matter.” 

As a tech company, our mission is to nurture these trusted relationships by providing the smartest tools for retailer's shop floor teams. Relationships are our key focus, how we enable them, how we support them, to build long lasting customer relationships. It’s great to be a retail tech innovator, but it’s also great to be able to support relationships that have been built on years of service history. To innovate in the future you have to respect your past and make the most of how digital can transform experience in the real world. 

We're popping up at RBTE

Come and visit us at the Proximity Insight Pop Up at RBTE 2018.

What’s in store for you?
We have some amazing prizes and experiences to be won, and a few special visitors popping by -

Day 1 – Ask our Founders: Q&A
CRM guru Kris Moyse - certified Salesforce consultant who specialises in retail CRM applications.

Retail tech specialist Matt Lacey - legendary Salesforce MVP and creator of numerous specialist retail apps.

Day 2 – Exceptional Service with Christina

Meet personal stylist superstar Christina Abbott - 25 years of exceptional client service has won Christina the loyalty of celebrities, royalty and VIPs around the world.

And whilst you’re at the Proximity Insight Pop Up, why not add your thoughts on the evolution of retail tech to our insight tree. It’s your chance to guide the path of our development roadmap to help us shape the future of clienteling and shop floor engagement.

Also, feel free to book a demo with Emma and team to see our GDPR compliant shop floor engagement app which nurtures real relationships beyond the shop floor, driving revenue for our clients.

We look forward to welcoming you to RBTE.

Stand K110
2nd - 3rd May 2018
09:30 - 17:00
Olympia London,
Hammersmith Road,
W14 8UX

Thank You

Always a retailer at heart...why physical retail is here to stay.

Having had some time to reflect on the the themes of various events I have attended in the first quarter of this year I thought I would like to focus on why I feel that physical retail is here to stay.

It comes as no surprise that the main messages that are being blasted through the expo halls and in various keynotes focus on the future of retail. Topics such as the era of AI with an emphasis on IoT, automation and innovation are followed hotly by numerous forums for “reinventing retail” and the prevailing need for retailers to digitally transform their customer experiences.

These are all thought provoking themes but the underlying message that continues to resonate with me is that this does not mean the end of the physical retail. It just means that our customers shop differently and therefore there is a need for retailers to adapt and evolve the purpose of the store and the overall store experience. And this is definitely not new news!

I am passionate about the role of the modern retail store and it’s place as the heart and soul of the brand – whether you are buying a coffee or a car, retail is essentially a service industry. It was 30 years ago when I started my career on the shop floor and my very first manager taught me the principles of great customer service (thank you Carol Hubbard!). The majority of those principles have not changed despite the deluge of digital disruption.

What has changed is the customer’s expectations and their path to purchase. Today’s customer has greater choice and convenience and has access to more information than ever before about the products he or she wishes to purchase – often more information than our store teams. In my day the sales associate was the font of all knowledge, or at least the good ones were, but today unless the sales associate is equipped with great in-store tech they are often left to use their own devices to find out information on behalf of the customer and that is not always a great experience.

In today’s Amazon age the store has to be the place for the customer to go and experience the brand, to feel part of a community and to connect emotionally. A great store experience has a blend of what our customer success teams call the aspirational “A*s” – ambience, assortment and associates.

A* Ambience is about the store as a destination, the store providing an experience beyond just browsing and touching, the store as a fulfilment centre, a place where you can test, explore, be inspired and also as a leisure destination delivering an ambience of fun, differentiation and a memorable experience.

A* Assortment is of course essential as retail is all about having amazing products but in today’s world it is less about having the product in the right place as long as you can somehow exceed customer expectations and get the product to them quickly and conveniently.

A* Associates – friendly, knowledgeable associates that have information at their fingertips, are passionate about the products they sell and can humanise and inspire their customers – consistently delivering the “I in AI”.

Brick and mortar retailers have an opportunity to excel at what they do best – to create a great customer experience and build lifelong relationships. They have an innate advantage when it comes to making an emotional connection with their customers and let’s face it most non-commodity purchases we make as consumers involve an emotion and so today’s retail world definitely demands high EQ.

So we are now at a stage where these messages can no longer just be “thought provoking” and “interesting” – we cannot afford to be complacent – we have to take action – a little action is better than no action at all and so I would advocate trying three things:

1. Create that connection from the very first time a customer purchases with your brand and ensure that every interaction with your customer is focused on building that lifelong relationship.

2. Connect with your customers and don’t communicate at your customers; get to know them, what he or she likes and wow them with simple “messages and personalised follow ups.

3. Measure, analyse and continually adapt your customer journeys. Make customer success stories the most important agenda topic every Monday morning. Celebrate and reward examples of great customer service.

Regardless of how small or big your retail business is why not execute at least one of the above suggestions after the Easter break and measure the impact. Empower your store teams to make this happen and let us know how it works out for you!

Have a great, fun Easter! Let's hope the sun shines and the tills keep ringing!

proximity insight customer hub header

Cathy Interviewed On Empowering Your Sales Assistants

Cate Trotter of Insider Trends, recently interviewed our CEO, Cathy McCabe. In the interview they discussed how our Shop Floor Engagement platform is being used by our customers to democratize the customer experience:

It’s a really good time in retail. I think brands are suddenly waking up to how do they start to reimagine and reinvent the store and blend that with their online channels. There’s been a lot of talk around new tech and how can tech enable that in-store experience and connect those journeys between the digital experience and the physical experience. But I think people have been reluctant to really try to shift the power to the sales associates away from automated marketing. We’re really seeing a response to the fact that you can have a really simple front-end that acts as glue between all your disparate systems.

Read more at Insider Trends