What is clienteling and how does it actually work?

Clienteling is a technique used by retail sales associates to establish long-term relationships with key customers based on data about their preferences, behaviours and purchases. Technology supports sales associates to build relationships by providing them with relevant customer information which can also be associated with tasks, sales attribution and communication. Data from a Customer Relationship Management platform (CMS) such as Salesforce, is presented in a single easy-to-use App alongside communication channels including WhatsApp, WeChat, SMS, i-Message and email. Clienteling enables sales associates to create one-to-one outreach to customers to build a truly personal relationship.

Why is there a need for clienteling?

Traditionally, retail was built around providing the best service possible in order to ensure customers are loyal to one particular retailer. Competition from other retailers was predominantly driven by geographic location. With the introduction and convenience of online shopping we are able to buy items from multiple retailers all over the world whilst seeking the most competitive price, from the comfort of our home or anywhere on our mobile device. Now, retailers must ensure the best customer experience across each and every touch point, from ease of transaction and returns policies to in-store experience and customer service. We could say that customer experience and service is now even more important than ever before. This gives a huge opportunity for retailers to use this to their competitive advantage. Clienteling combines traditional retail values and digital insights to enable a deep understanding of customer behaviours and preferences. By getting closer to our customer we exceeding their expectations and give exceptional customer experience.

Why is it important to unify online and in-store customer behaviour?

When we shop online, we leave a trail of digital information that is incredibly valuable but typically not visible to in-store shopping teams. The importance of bringing together both on and offline touchpoints into a single view enables us to understand the customer in a way that is more rounded. This is known as a 360-degree view. Once we have full visibility of our customer we can make sure that information is available across both on and offline, no matter where it was originally generated. This information can now be used by in-store associates to understand customers, and importantly bring them into the retail space.


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