Data from a customer loyalty survey conducted by Emarsys found that 74% of consumers are more loyal to retailers that market to them in a personalized way and account for their unique needs. That means if you're not offering a personalized experience, nearly 3 out of 4 shoppers will go elsewhere.
Client management is the secret to tailoring the shopping experience for each of your key customers, turning them into loyal clients. The best part? You don't need a dedicated client manager to meet client expectations and build on your customer relationships.
With the steps in this article, you and your sales associates are just five steps away from doing it all on your own. Let's get started!
What is client management?
Client management is just what it sounds like: The technique of managing your client relationships so that interactions with clients are personalized, and each one feels like more than just another customer.
Another term you'll hear to describe client management is clienteling, or relationship selling, but they all have the same goal in mind: building long-term relationships to improve customer satisfaction.
Some retailers will do this process manually, (think spreadsheets and sticky notes) but this gets difficult to keep track of as your business grows. That's when having a digital client portal or even an app for client tracking comes in handy—more on that in our client management software section.
When done well, client management helps your sales team build relationships with clients, meet client expectations, and increase overall client satisfaction.
Why are client management skills necessary for retailers?
As a retail store owner, having your sales team work as client managers has a number of benefits. Here are just a few:
- Increased sales: When your team builds positive customer relationships and offers a personalized experience for each shopper, customers will want to spend more time in your store, and ultimately spend more money than they would have otherwise.
- Better customer service: Good client management skills can help retail staff provide higher quality customer service. By understanding what makes clients happy and paying attention to details, employees are in a better position to deliver customized solutions that leave customers fully satisfied.
- Improved client retention: With good client management skills, your team can better develop ongoing relationships with clients that incentivize them to return and shop again with you in the future. Better yet, happy customers will likely share their experience with others, introducing your store to new potential clients.
How to effectively manage clients in five steps
If you're ready to better manage your current clients, these five steps will get you started on the right path.
Step 1: Build a client base
First off, if you don't already have a solid client base, you need to start building one. Start by drafting a client profile for the regular customers you do have, and then go from there to grow your business.
This may mean optimizing your in-store experience to increase foot traffic, focusing your key performance indicators for your business more on relationships than just making sales, or training your sales team on how to improve their client communication.
If you're always looking for ways to improve your customer relationships, you'll start converting more one-time shoppers into loyal clients over time.
Step 2: Learn your clients' expectations
Once you've built a good client base, you'll need to learn what they expect from your business. What products do they want to see in your store? Which communication channels are they on, and do they expect you to be on there as well? How can you better guide clients to things they didn't even know they needed?
As you find answers to these questions, it will be that much easier to personalize the shopping experience for each of your clients and be exactly what they're looking for in a retailer.
Step 3: Take good notes
Next, as you get to know your clients, take good notes so you and your sales team can refer back to them as needed. Having a unique client profile for each of your key customers is a critical factor in efficient client management.
Your notes should include things like a buyer's contact details, product preferences, important names and dates (like birthdays and anniversaries) and whatever else you need to know the maintain a long-term client relationship.
Step 4: Communicate often
A shopper making a purchase may seem like a natural end to the sales journey, but that shouldn't be the end of your relationship with them. If you've followed step three, you will have good notes on important dates and people in their lives that will help you know when to follow up.
For example, if you own a furniture store and know that a customer mentioned they are considering refurnishing their living room in the summer, reaching out with personalized deals on living room decor during that time will entice them to come back to your store.
While mass messaging is easy to do, more personalized communications like this are far more effective in earning repeat business.
Step 5: Get honest feedback from happy clients
Finally, once you have a few clients you know you've done a good job managing, ask them for their feedback. Asking for a review on Google or another review site will help you get good customer quotes that you can use on your website, in-store signs, or in an email newsletter.
What's more, as your reviews get more attention, they'll entice readers to come into your store and see it for themselves. This will start the cycle over again for you to further build your customer base!
How can client management software help?
If you're wondering how you can manage to follow these steps all on your own, the good news is—you don't have to! Utilizing client management software is a great way to manage your clients all in one place so nothing gets lost.
Better yet, Clientbook is an app for client tracking that helps you go beyond just keeping notes tidy. With Clientbook, you can text customers, get automated reminders when to reach out, and even help buyers make transactions—all right from the app. It's the best way to turn each of your sales associates into efficient client managers.
Long-term client relationships aren't created overnight, but by following the steps in this article—and getting a little help from client management software like Clientbook—you'll be well on your way to getting to know your shoppers, understanding what they like best, and increasing your sales.
Ready to see how Clientbook can get you started? Book a demo today to see how we can help you make your clienteling dreams come true.