Customers who are extremely loyal to a business are considered brand evangelists. Typically, these people buy specific products from one brand and do not venture to their competitors. They use their positive experience with a particular business as a way to influence others into becoming loyal customers as well.
According to research, selling to new customers can cost up to five times as much as selling to existing customers. Getting and keeping clients’ interest becomes less expensive as they become familiar with a brand. Companies that recognize this know that the best way to keep their most valuable customers is to provide superior customer service – and this means clienteling.
What does clienteling mean?
Once considered little more than a buzzword that meant “catering to clients,” clienteling today has a more specific meaning. Clienteling is generally referred to as the process or tool used to offer a personalized shopping experience in order to increase customer satisfaction.
This is a multi-step process, and the overall goal is to personalize the shopping experience for customers. In order to achieve this, clienteling tools rely on client data, such as purchase history and personal information. Customers’ lifetime value is the end goal.
With clienteling, businesses can focus on those repeat customers who buy more and cost less. By building a 360-degree view of each shopper, it serves as a centralized data resource. When clienteling is implemented, data collection rates can increase by 300% and retention rates by 200%. This is especially evident for the 20% of customers responsible for 70% of sales.
Clienteling in retail improves sales
In retail, clienteling is particularly effective. Even though e-commerce has grown, 85% of consumers prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores rather than online. Business associates can use retail clienteling to identify the most loyal customers and their preferences by tracking customers’ purchases in-store. This allows them to better target services to each customer.
Mobile smart technology can also be utilized by retailers to improve in-store sales. Approximately 90% of consumers use smartphones to research products or compare prices while shopping, according to a survey by SessionM.
In order to improve the connection between employees and consumers, many businesses are using retail selling apps and store associate apps. As customers enter a store, retail clienteling software enables employees to access customer profiles and order histories.
Additionally, clienteling apps can be enhanced with predictive recommendations to aid employees in boosting conversions and increasing transaction sizes by presenting the right offer at the right time to the right customer.
Mobility in the store allows store associates to access more information, like product dimensions and inventory availability, to provide customers with faster service. Retail management can also use employee apps to track and evaluate employee performance.
Clienteling tools are being improved by new advances
Business owners once relied on notebooks, paper files, and sticky notes to keep track of data associated with their most valued customers, but clienteling apps do so much more. Clienteling is better, cheaper, more effective, and more accessible than ever before thanks to new software advances.
The most important benefit of superior clienteling is the ability to customize the customer journey to fit each individual client. Mobile solutions make it possible to access customer, product, and inventory information instantly. In addition, they enhance task management and collaboration, customer insights, product insights, and the ability to transact, resulting in improved assisted selling and an improved in-store experience.
With cloud-based technology, it is now possible for authorized users to send timely, meaningful, and unique messages based on the real-time behaviors of their customers. And with customized communications templates, you can deliver relevant content via email, mobile, social media, ads, and the web to drive in-store engagement.
A client relationship can be taken to a whole new level with client-facing tools. The ability to quickly look up customer information starts the conversation off on the right foot, allowing sales representatives to stay on top of client interests and step seamlessly into the buying process.
The site provides easy access to wish lists, online shopping carts, past purchases, outstanding orders, and rewards programs. Customer segmentation analysis provides insight into the most effective selling strategies.
Mobile apps for retail employees can also provide product insights to sales professionals. Detailed product information, including reviews, pricing, current promotions, and available inventory, is easily accessible through the product lookup feature. A data-driven approach to upsells and cross-sells helps sellers go the extra mile for their customers with predictive recommendations.
A clienteling tool’s effectiveness depends on certain factors
It is important to know what modern clienteling strategies can offer businesses before taking advantage of them. When choosing a clienteling solution, consider these six factors:
1 – An intuitive user interface
Using clienteling tools should be intuitive for retail employees without requiring advanced training. Clients will have better access to the showroom and higher adoption rates.
2 – Unified data
By integrating customer data from every available source and presenting it in an actionable manner, employees can find and use the most relevant information quickly and easily.
3 – Ease of integration
An organization should strive to improve customer service, but not at the expense of everything else. Client-centric customer service integrates seamlessly with existing systems and processes, so businesses aren’t forced to choose between keeping customers happy and keeping everything else working properly.
4 – Personalized in-store experience
When associates have deep customer insight, they are much better able to provide personalized engagement and increase in-store customer satisfaction. Ultimately, this means more return customers and fewer service issues.
5 – Cross-channel engagement
By connecting digital and physical touchpoints, a customer relationship solution can provide a seamless customer journey. Clients are more likely to be interested in hearing from you if you use personalized communication.
6 – Flexibility
New product trends come and go, client preferences shift, and new media options bring in new sales channels; it’s imperative you have a clienteling solution that can change along with it. Those tools that receive regular support updates will remain relevant for years to come.
How to transform your customers into evangelists for your brand
Learn the ins and outs of social media
Understanding your customers is the first step to success. Usually, this requires understanding their demographic information, what they stand for, and what they like to see from the businesses they purchase from.
Industry reports, purchase histories, and call center conversations offer a lot of information, but you can learn even more from listening to and interacting with your customers via social media.
Consider each of your social channels as a party you’re throwing. Making sure each person enjoys their experience is your goal. Building an engagement strategy for specific conversations may take time at first, but the effort will pay off in the long run, resulting in brand loyalty and customer advocates.
Maintain your authenticity
Do everything you can to be authentic. People crave 1:1 connections in an era of automated responses. You must also believe what you post. If you can’t carry the weight of your words, your audience will see right through you. You don’t just have to say what your customers want to hear. Being true to your brand and attracting the right customers is also important.
Post content curated by your followers and be responsive
Making your audience the heroes of your story is also a great way to build brand loyalty. By highlighting their content, you encourage them to create more and share it with their followers. Furthermore, it may inspire their networks to follow suit.
You may already have customers posting stories highlighting your products or services. For those who don’t, try offering sweepstakes or giveaways as rewards. It is important, however, to make your incentive relevant to your brand. A free iPad might get you content, but a free product or service can also help you identify brand evangelists.
In addition, it takes commitment to be responsive, but the rewards of loyalty and brand love are well worth it. Consumers expect brands and companies with a social media presence to engage with them meaningfully.
Develop a loyalty program for your brand
Some customers may be satisfied with the knowledge that their friends and family are also enjoying your products, but most want to be recognized for their loyalty. You can reach a much larger audience by developing a loyalty program that rewards customers for spreading the word about your brand.
The great thing about this is that you don’t have to start with social media, instead you can develop programs that give your audience a way to share your content.
The right incentives will increase customers’ likelihood of returning and purchasing products so they can reach different loyalty levels. Brand evangelists are typically those who purchase, share, and earn rewards.
Brand evangelists are developed through direct engagement. Customers become loyal when they feel cared for and listened to. In addition, they are likely to be more likely to become loyal customers if they see similar interactions the company has with other customers, whether through online social media communities, helpful customer service representatives, or loyalty programs. The longer this goes on, the stronger the affinity becomes.
When you build brand evangelists, you meet your customers’ needs, celebrate them, and reward their engagement, so it’s worth the time and effort to get to know them better.