Turning Customers Into Clients: The Power of Relationship Selling in Retail
When considering the adoption of clienteling, it's wise to keep in mind these seven factors to help ensure the program implementation is successful:
1. Understand your customer. Determine how much personal attention your customers want, then meet their expectations.
2. Get automated systems in place. While clienteling theoretically could be done on paper, in that format it becomes a barrier and extra work for sales associates. Technology makes the engagement process easier.
3. Think hard about how you want specific customers to experience this new capability and prepare your information systems to support that method of engagement.
4. Identify thought leaders in your company. Sales people who do the best job are likely to be those who are most receptive to new tools that help them sell better. Make them champions of your clienteling system to pilot the program and establish best practices for others.
5. Understand what your key performance indicators are. With data to support the concept's implementation, it becomes much simpler to expand a clienteling program to a critical mass that impacts the bottom line.
6. Recognize and reward those who embrace clienteling within your organization. Focus on success and share information on successful approaches.
7. Realize that clienteling often requires a culture shift. Don't underestimate the people-side of the equation — technology won't make the system successful on its own.
With personal attention supported by technology, you can reframe your customers as clients and lay the foundations for lifelong relationships.
Raymond Martin is product manager at MICROS-Retail.