Clienteling—the practice of building long-term relationships with retail clients—is something that most retailers know they should do, but often fall short on in reality. Retail sales associates will give a myriad of reasons why they don't have the time or ability to actively clientele. Luckily, they don't have to do it all on their own.
Finding and implementing the right clienteling software will erase excuses, drive sales, and make retail clienteling easier than ever. In this article, we'll discuss what clienteling software is, what it can do for you, and what exactly to look for when choosing one that will work best for your retail business.
What is clienteling software?
Good in-store associates keep track of their customers, but usually the process is manual. They'll record customer insights in notebooks, keep track of product preferences on sticky notes, or set up reminders on their phones to reach out after a few weeks to build their relationships with customers.
While these are all good practices, they're time consuming and leave room for error. Clienteling software automates these practices and houses all of your customer information in one place so it's easy for your associates to clientele.
Advanced clienteling tools will have everything from trackable customer lists all the way down to a single customer's transaction history. Virtual clienteling through an advanced clienteling app makes the clienteling process easy, and can even schedule virtual appointments or allow customers to make online transactions via text.
What should I look for in a clienteling software solution?
If you're ready to move your manual clienteling process onto digital platforms, below are a few of the top features that are must-haves to get you started.
First, any digital clienteling software should have an easy way to host personal customer information on each of your key customers. This should include things like customer preferences, purchase history, an email address, phone numbers, and other information your sales associates learned from their past shopping experiences.
By having all of this information in one place, your associates can provide each individual shopper with a personalized experience. Team members can confidently make relevant recommendations based on a catalog of product suggestions unique to each shopper, building customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Next, your clienteling software should give your team automated task lists for when to reach out to customers to continue building relationships with customers over time.
A good sales associate has anywhere from 500 to 1,000 clients, depending on the industry. That's a lot of personal notes, texts, and emails to write—and a lot of anniversaries, service dates, and product recommendations to remember.
With a clienteling app, your associates will be reminded when key events are happening in your customers' lives, allowing them to start up a virtual chat or text with clients right from the app. This will drive personal relationships, increase customer satisfaction, and keep them coming back.
Integrate with your point of sale
Another key feature of any clienteling software is its ability to integrate with your point of sale system. With an integration, you'll be able to easily facilitate an online shopping experience when your clients aren't at your brick-and-mortar stores.
Through a clienteling app that's integrated with your POS, sales associates can send product recommendations to clients—complete with videos and photos—and then actually allow the customer to purchase the item right from the app. No need for an extra in-person visit or consultation, making it a win-win for both your customer and sales associate.
Sales associate tracking
Finally, a good clienteling software will not only track your clients, but your sales associates as well. By integrating your store goals and KPIs into the software, you can use it for task management. You can easily determine your top sellers, see who's meeting their goals, and find out where there's room for improvement in your team's customer service.
Then, you can coach teams based on results, allowing you to continually surpass your goals for customer engagement, retention rates, conversion rates, and more.
Clienteling is about trust. When sales associates spend less time trying to stay organized and more time with the client, it means casual shoppers are more likely to become repeat customers.
Clienteling software must enable the sales associate to know all the important dates and events in a client's life, including their past product history, wish lists, and product interests. It must help the sales associate know when to follow up and what to follow up on, creating a personalized customer experience.
Ready to increase customer lifetime value at your retail business? Schedule a demo with Clientbook to see how we can help you turn casual shoppers into loyal clients.