Today, 9 out of 10 consumers prefer to buy in-store rather than online (source: A.T Kearney). Therefore, it is best to focus on shopping experiences that place human interaction at the heart of the marketing strategy. This art of staying in close contact with the customer has a name: clienteling. Its aim is to position the sales consultant as the cornerstone of the customer relationship. Applying the principles of clienteling means addressing customers as personally as possible. This implies that the sales consultant knows them perfectly. This ultra-personalized, pro-active sales approach helps to establish, create and maintain a unique bond with the client.
Reinventing customer relationship
Fortoday, personalized selling alone is no longer enough. Sales advisors not only keep in touch with their customers in-store, but also in between visits. The continuity generated by clienteling strengthens the bond with the brand. This link is no longer occasional, but constant. A birthday card, a call to wish the customer a happy vacation, finding out how they are - these are all opportunities to remember a customer. Luxury brands are masters in the art of offering personalized attentions that touch or move the customer, while conveying the brand's identity codes. This ultra-personalized relationship between a sales associate and a client means that the latter never comes into the store by chance again. It is thanks to the stimulation created by the multiple personalized attentions that customers are drawn into the store. This proactive approach on the part of the sales advisor leads to customer loyalty, a key concept in sustainable branding. Customer information that enables the sales advisor to maintain a close bond with his or her customer, is thus a real asset that requires nurturing, preventing the customer from being seen as an opportunity that presents itself in the store.
Asthe brand's ambassador and bearer of its values, the sales associate is also the holder of precious customer information that enables him/her to maintain and nurture a privileged bond with his/her client in order to offer him a 100% personalized shopping experience. Clients, for their part, benefit from ever more relevant services and advice, and feel recognized and valued thanks to dedicated clienteling actions. The sales associate's mission is to nurture his or her customers through ongoing interpersonal communication. This service, which is an integral part of the sales process, has long been implemented by Haute Couture. Gone are the days of simply showcasing the product. Customers now prefer a one-to-one relationship, personalized to the extreme. The evidence is here: over 70% of clients want brands to personalize their communications and media. Embodied and nurtured by the sales consultant, the new brand-customer relationship is now based on three pillars: exchange, trust and proximity.
The multiple skills of the sales consultant
Tobe able to adapt to trends, consumer fashions and technological developments, the sales consultant's job specification is constantly evolving.To implement hyper-personalized selection and communication strategies, sales consultants must therefore demonstrate personal audacity and enthusiasm, while seeking to constantly renew themselves. Empathy and curiosity enable them to get to know their customers, their hobbies, their favorite vacation spot or the important dates in their lives.
The most creative will know how to imagine something that will touch their customer. The most organized will plan every action to ensure the continuity of their customer strategy. Finally, the most tenacious will reap the rewards of their investment. Every sales consultant thus has considerable development potential to excel in the art of clienteling. They just need to know how to express it.
To help them do so, RMS has developed a repository of clienteling skills and best practices, which can be adapted to suit brands, digital tools and, above all, customer expectations.
Based on this know-how, RMS offers:
- The definition of differentiating clienteling for your brand
- Self-assessment of your teams using the digital platform
- RMS Profile
- 100% digital clienteling training
- Customized digital clienteling training courses