Clienteling – the forgotten ingredient for a Superior Experience Mix
Clienteling is an age-old technique that promises to establish long-term relationships with valued customers based on information about their preferences, behaviors, and purchases. This aspect becomes crucial and acquires a new meaning and outlook in the ever-expanding PhyGital world (a mix of Physical+Digital) of today and tomorrow.
Remember shopping in the days gone by? Wading across the market place was a “charming” experience in its own right, as you knew the shop owners and they valued you. If you needed something, you went to the store and compared several different options. The shopkeeper instantly identified and greeted you, called you by your name or nickname in certain instances, asked about your family, remembered your last purchase and offered helpful suggestions and reviews. Soon enough, you completed your transaction and walked out with your desires in hand, no wait times, no queues, and above all a satisfied smile on your face, knowing you got “more” than what you wanted as you experienced personalized service from a “friend”.
Now picture a scenario in the present times! You have walked into your wife’s favorite store and are struggling with the task of buying her a gift. You are instantly recognized and welcomed by the sales associate who walks up to you with an iPad powered by Reciproci’s Store Manager’s App and effortlessly pulls up all the key information about your wife that has been collected and stored, during their past interactions with her. This is also coupled with a wide-ranging comparative view of other purchases she made. Thus, with this know-how coupled with the help of the knowledgeable associate, the dreary and risky task of choosing the right gift for her is simplified and tends delightful.
The variable in both the scenario is the service provider. One is banking upon his memory and a lot depends on if you are in his good books, in short, a major part of the Experience is individualistic and personality-driven. The second scenario, on the contrary, is enhanced by technology, enriched by data and governed by processes and professes the model of the customer and mobile-first approach perfected by Reciproci. This, in turn, guarantees a seamless holistic and delightful experience for all and sundry regardless of who they are or where they walk in life. They are customers first and so they are recognized and cherished.
Exane BNP Paribas reports that interactions based on mobile clienteling “are expected to equate to about 40 percent of the luxury market’s growth by 2020.”
Also, consider this: A recent survey indicated that a full 48% of shoppers today believe that they know more about the product they’re looking for than the sales associate helping them. Another reason you need to enable your store’s employees with knowledge about the products, information about the competition and insights about the customer!
In the times today, that of volatile marketplaces, cut-throat competition, fading practices of price protection, customer evolution and their potently higher levels of awareness it becomes paramount that Retailers reflect on lessons from the past and leverage their most critical and crucial arsenal – their physical stores and sales associates. Reciproci (watch the video here) believes that retailers today, have to determine a way to conjure the magic of the past and once again make the store the center of the wholesome brand experience. They should be servicing the customer in a micro personalized manner so that their patrons leave the store having had a positive experience and with a positive association for the brand, always looking for the first opportunity to return, Hungry for More!!
Reciproci’s long term commitment and endeavor into the Experience Commerce domain has provided us with deep insights into this vivid but elusive landscape of better and impactful clienteling. Sharing our “Sutra” to help formulate better clienteling practices enthralls us no end.
Each Clienteling effort should be encapsulated with the principles of the LEARN model that are further enhanced with seamless Technology, Data Analytics and Human Interaction, in such a manner where every touchpoint that acts on the behalf of the Retailer (management, foot soldiers or gizmo) is empowered as depicted here:
According to a CDW white paper on retail technology “Retail outfits that deploy clienteling solutions can offer deeply personalized service and interaction to customers, and see the welcome gains as a result amounting to more frequent shopping visits, higher transaction values and improved loyalty all accrue in clienteling scenarios.”
Reciproci believes that the correct clienteling technique and its wholesome transition into a robust strategy, coupled with synchronicity and installation of technological advancements will factor considerably in enticing, engaging and retaining customers. Through fortification of communication skills and channels, attention to details, agility, and adaptability with advanced retail technology crafted by Reciproci, retailers can deliver an optimized indelible CX that makes each customer feel like their only customer, is in accordance with their palate, meets or exceeds their aspirations and ranks top-notch on gratification.
The Mobile Applications Connect:
Image: Store Manager’s App depicting customer profile, past purchases etc. and in-store movement
One of the main challenges with this clienteling approach is ensuring that retailers and shoppers both download and retain the store app. Reciproci enables retailers to overcome that obstacle without even breaking a sweat. The engaging content, the way it is delivered in, time sensitivity and gamification mechanics further ensure that the customer never gets bored of the app.
Mobile app based clienteling will go a long way in driving revenue and building the types of long-term customer relationships that retailers need to thrive. In simple terms the epitome of the commerce of the future.
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