It’s a largely accepted fact of business that focusing marketing and sales efforts on repeat customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new customers. According to Forbes, Gartner has found that 80% of future revenue comes from 20% of current customers, and Bain & Company has found that repeat customers spend 67% more money than first-time customers.
Great! If you’re in the retail industry - what do you do with that information?
In recent years, there’s been a lot of buzz around the new poster child for driving customer loyalty: clienteling. But the term “new” is relative. The concept of clienteling has been around for ages; all it is, really, is the concept of cultivating long-term relationships with specific customers. It has always been the key strategy at play for companies with certain business models, like boutiques. So, really, clienteling isn’t new.
What is new, though, is the idea of using technology to bring clienteling techniques to the masses.
In the way it used to work, clienteling was a time-intensive and high-effort activity - a lot goes into keeping track of what you need to know about an individual customer. These days, though, it can be managed with a glance at a tablet. If a customer walks into your store (or - more likely, these days - engages with you on your website), you can look at a customer record and - even if you’ve never met the customer before in your life - greet him or her like a personal friend. Want to know her size? Check out your clienteling app. Want to know about his past purchases? Check out your clienteling app. Want to send her a follow-up message after she leaves the store to mention a few additional items she might be interested in? You can do that in your clienteling app, too.
According to research from Forrester, customer demands that have changed in the last two years include increased demand for more personalization (59% of survey respondents want more!). So in an age where personalization is becoming a customer expectation, clienteling is a great way to get there.
If clienteling is your big play for driving customer loyalty, we applaud you - it’s a good one! Especially in an environment where most people are staying at home, having the ability to reach out to specific customers and show that you know what they need and want gives you a huge competitive advantage (plus, it’s kind of a nice thing to do). So: well done, you!
But we also want to share a top-secret pro tip, from us to you: You can be doing more.
Here are the three reasons you should up-level your clienteling strategy by adding appointments.
#1: To build stronger loyalty with extra-special treatment for your extra-special customers.
Clienteling used to be about identifying top customers and giving them special treatment. With clienteling apps, you can now use the data and tools at your fingertips to give this special treatment to any customer. However - that doesn’t mean you should leave your top customers in the dust! They’re still a key revenue driver for you - and by showing them that you know it, you can continue to build upon the loyalty that they already feel.
Offering appointments is the perfect way to show valuable customers that they are at the top of your mind while also giving them the personalization they’re looking for. With appointments, you can do more than give them personalized experiences - you can give them one-to-one personalized experiences. And in a world where “social distancing” is, unfortunately, the newest buzzword - a one-to-one experience strategy is also an essential way to make customers feel safe.
#2: To increase revenue by driving upsell.
In addition to building goodwill and loyalty with your customers, one-to-one experiences drive something even more tangible: hard revenue. But don’t take our word for it. According to Inside Retail, Australian retailer Honey Birdette reports measurable increases from appointment-generated revenue: “The average transaction value from sales through booked appointments is 57 percent higher than our usual benchmark,” said founder Eloise Monaghan.
#3: To reach your customers even when they’re staying at home.
Most clienteling apps were built around the concept of brick-and-mortar store visits, which, in the age of a global pandemic, is certainly problematic. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t use your clienteling app to its fullest effect - you just need to get a little creative.
By offering remote appointments, your customer can have her cake and eat it too: A one-to-one, personalized customer experience - in the safety of her own living room. You can continue to answer questions, recommend products, and even showcase them - all without the need for an in-store visit.
All this to say: If clienteling is your thing, we’re huge fans. And if you want to know how you can take your personalization strategies to the next level - JRNI is here to help.