Shopping is now a 24/7 experience. Digitally savvy customers are able to research, compare products and prices, and read reviews before making a purchase decision. They are becoming more vocal and share their brand experiences—good or bad—with their social network. Most brands struggle today to deliver a positive experience from sale through service and 89% of customers are leaving brands due to a bad customer experience.
It is no surprise that companies who invest in a ‘customer-centric’ strategy are seeing amazing results in their overall business KPI’s. The best brands in the world provide their customers with a memorable experience…that experience creates an emotional connection which will stay with the customer for life. McKinsey & Company provided some research in 2013 to support this theory.
Fast forward towards the end of 2015 and these statistics above are even more convincing. Organisations are no longer just focused on the ‘Increase in ROI’ they are now also conscious of two other metrics; ‘Customer Satisfaction’ and the ‘Willingness to Recommend.’ The close link between service and marketing is now apparent. A well armed marketing team should help set up every department around them to know the customer more intimately. The key is then being able to serve the customer information in a friendly and actionable manner. Welcome customer clienteling.
Retailers today need to empower their employees with information that allows them to have a helpful and meaningful conversation with clients. Innovators are recognising that the retail industry needs tools that truly fit the way consumers shop and how sales people sell. Retailers and consumers have embraced these reimagined tools, and these companies are seeing great success. According to PWC the following clienteling tools enable:
Connected Customers: Armed with a dynamic customer profile, sales and service associates can now make informed, personalized cross-sell and up-sell recommendations to customers at the point of sale. The payoff? Higher sales per customer and improved customer loyalty.
Connected Stores: The solution helps retailers create seamless, consistent interactions and experiences across multiple channels—including online, in-store, on mobile devices and via social media. The result is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Connected Employees: Better-connected employees—those who collaborate more effectively, share success stories, and contribute first-hand product knowledge—help improve their own performance as well as that of their peers. For the enterprise, this means greater operational effectiveness.
Connected Products: The solution can help deliver real-time insight into customer preferences, buying habits, product reviews and product availability. Armed with that data, enterprises can make better, informed decisions, scale more easily and increase their returns on investment.
Customer Journeys: Bring together the physical & the digital
Customer clienteling has been around for a few years now, particularly in the retail and financial space. However utilising the Salesforce platform, customer clienteling solutions can now trigger real-time journeys straight from the Marketing Cloud whilst the customer is in store or just left.
Imagine you are an existing customer and visiting a Country Road store. You are browsing their summer range when you get approached by Samantha one of their friendly customer service staff. Samantha has an iPad in her hand and with the quick scan of your loyalty card or by utilising iBeacon technology can access your customer record. Samantha now has access to your:
- Customer Profile Information
- Style Recommendations
- Wish List Items
- Online Browsing Behavior
- Purchase History Details
- Loyalty Status and Special Offers
Some customers might be frightened by companies having access to this amount of data but the objective is purely to provide a more personalized shopping experience. Samantha now becomes your own personal stylist and the same unique experience you get online can now also happen in store. Samantha also now has the ability to send you communications from within the store during your shop. For example items you have recently tried on, items that customers similar to you have purchased, trending items online, the products you have put on lay-by or more importantly send a personalised message from Samantha herself after the shop. The insights can power Samantha’s conversation and level of service, however provide the relevancy to enhance your shopping experience.
The lines between the physical and the digital are slowing becoming blurred. We can now push the boundaries of CRM, digital marketing, and the in-store experiences.
If you would like to hear more about these leading solutions, I recommend you reach out to the thought leaders and innovators in this space Proximity Insight.
You wont be disappointed!
Customer service is not a department
….it’s everyone’s job!
Billy Loizou is Chief Marketing Technologist at Digital Logic.
His guest contribution to the PI blog brings with it over 10 years experience in the creative & digital marketing space.