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  • Writer's pictureKatie Tame

It's in our hands: What is clienteling, and why is it important?

Updated: Apr 23

What is clienteling?

In a digital era, numerous retailers face challenges in identifying their clients, both before they got to the checkout and after the point of purchase. Equipping sales associates with data and the appropriate client engagement technology can empower sales teams to provide a seamless and bespoke experience at every point of the sales journey -- this is where clienteling comes in.

Clienteling allows retailers to connect with their clients in-store, at home, on the phone, or screen to screen. By leveraging transactional and behavioral data, clienteling boosts the average order value per store visit whilst also creating a comprehensive 360-degree view on the client. The correct clienteling platform can help the sales associate build a relationship with their clients, bringing them closer to the brand by supplying the information required to blend all channels into one curated approach.

In essence, clienteling integrates sales teams and technology to enhance client satisfaction and personalize the shopping experience. This involves harnessing client data, particularly purchase history, to elevate the in-store and online experience for clients. By coordinating these elements, retailers can effectively cater to individual preferences and ensure a more tailored and value-driven experience for all their clients. The use of client data helps distinguish clienteling from other forms of customer service (which often is less informed and more transactional). While customer service will always be a crucial component of retail, it's not designed to deliver the same kind of personalized, data-driven customer experiences that clienteling can.

Clienteling drives profitability. A well built clienteling solution plays a vital role in helping sales associates discover, engage, and nurture client relationships. Not only does this engender sales and brand awareness through purchases, but it equips sales associates with the tools they need to build strong and long-lasting connections. This involves promptly identifying and engaging key consumers, such as dedicated clients, by providing exclusive, personalized experiences and rewards that solidify their loyalty. As a result, these satisfied clients often become brand advocates.

During times of economic instability, clienteling becomes even more crucial in a brand's sales strategy. Attracting and retaining new clients becomes challenging, making exceptional service a pivotal focus for success.

Data-Driven Insights Lead to Relationships:

Clienteling begins with data, but its ultimate goal is to foster meaningful and personalized interactions. Clients are far more likely to respond positively to human generated texts, calls, or personal emails compared to lackluster automated messages.

Authentic personal interactions with a human touch engages the client and is crucial to relationship building. Automated and poorly thought-out messages from brands can be off-putting and ineffective. While well-designed emails have their place, the power of building a genuine connection and addressing individual needs cannot be underestimated. To achieve this level of intimacy for each client, relevant data must be readily available to the sales associate.

Drive Repeat Business (& Loyalty):

The establishment of strong client relationships can decidedly impact loyalty and repeat interest in your brand. By providing a retail journey that sets you apart from competitors, clients are more likely to view your store as their go-to destination. The personalized approach – treating clients as close, long-term friends – fosters a sense of trust and connection that lingers even before they set foot in your store.

The importance of building these personal relationships becomes evident in how clients perceive your brand. When they have a specific product need, and a brand is known to stock it (and the sales associate makes them aware of when it is in stock), the store becomes their top and exclusive choice. This exemplifies the power of forging personal bonds with customers.

While the size of your store can influence the ease of one-on-one connections, regardless of the scale, striving to deliver exceptional service remains critical. The foundation lies in leveraging data to personalize shopper experiences. Regardless of the nature of your brand, collecting and utilizing data in some capacity can elevate the level of service you provide, enhancing client satisfaction.

Increasing your Client Base:

The advantage of cultivating strong client relationships lies in fostering loyalty, thereby motivating them to become repeat visitors to your store. Demonstrating a genuine interest in your clients becomes crucial here, as this authentic approach fosters a sense of connection and trust.

While competitive pricing, regular promotions, and a diverse product range certainly play their part in garnering customer loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion, the argument can be made that offering a highly-personalized service holds even greater significance for clients. Tailoring experiences to their individual needs and preferences leaves a lasting impression and turns an experience into a memory.

Empower and educate sales associates:

By implementing clienteling technology in your business, you empower your sales associates with enhanced knowledge, enabling them to deliver a curated shopping experience to clients. This goes beyond merely understanding client needs; sales associates have a new space in which they can familiarize themselves with an array of products that can meet the specific requirements of their clients. This approach aligns closely with the concept of upselling, where your staff can proactively anticipate customer preferences instead of merely reacting to them. Equipping your sales team with comprehensive insights through clienteling ensures they can offer a tailored and informed shopping experience to each client.

Opportunity to upsell:

Clienteling goes beyond just providing highly-personalized shopping experiences for clients; it also offers considerable financial benefits for your brand. By gathering data on preferences, behaviors, and purchase history, the opportunity to upsell arises. It is essential to approach upselling with care and integrity. Client data is not there to be abused – and should not involve pressuring clients to buy more than they intended. Instead, it is about presenting them with relevant options and helping them find the best solution to their needs or problems.

Incorporating clienteling practices not only enhances the client experience but also proves advantageous from a business standpoint by maximizing sales opportunities and fostering client satisfaction. The balance between personalized service and genuine consideration for clients interests contributes to a mutually beneficial relationship between your sales associates and its clientele.


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