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What is clienteling?

A tapestry of love and technology

Love is woven into the very essence of clienteling.

That may seem like a lofty statement, especially if you’ve just started on your clienteling journey.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In this blog we’ll first answer common questions about clienteling including “What is clienteling?”, “How does clienteling work?”, and “Who is clienteling for?” before diving into how it helps retailers show their customers the love.

So, what is clienteling?

In short, clienteling is the practice of developing one-on-one relationships with customers and should focus on empowering store associates to engage with customers proactively, intentionally, and most importantly, in a genuine way.

Clienteling works by collecting data on customer interactions and then leveraging that data to craft personal brand experiences for customers.

Historically, clienteling was reserved for high-end luxury brands who kept physical notes in “client books” on their customers. These books held everything from the customer’s contact information, to important dates, and even collage-style cutouts from the catalog of items they purchased. Today, with technology advances, clienteling has become much more sophisticated, and attainable for retailers of all sizes and sectors. 

Digital client books provide sales associates with access to cross-channel customer data— such as purchase history, product preferences, and personal information like birthdays or anniversaries— which they use to provide highly-tailored experiences that set them apart from other retailers.

Now that we know what clienteling is, we can ask how clienteling helps retailers show extra love to their customers?

Clienteling is all about the details

As mentioned above, the main function of clienteling is to collect customer data and leverage it to ultimately drive sales. While inherently, that doesn’t sound glamorous, it can actually be quite intimate when put into practice.

By meticulously recording customer preferences, whether it be favorite products, preferred styles, or specific colors or materials, retailers demonstrate that they are first and foremost looking to understand the customer as a person, rather than just sell them on a brand.

“Be interested, not interesting” is the way COACH puts it.

This approach enables the retailer to display a keen attention to detail by referencing the information during future interactions. When customers realize that their individual tastes and needs have been remembered and prioritized, it establishes a foundation of trust and understanding that enables them to truly fall in love with the brand.

Additionally, using digital clienteling systems can provide retailers with an omnichannel view of their customers so that they can include their online activities— like purchases and wishlists— in the customer profile.

Clienteling builds a relationship outside the store

In addition to simply being able to see a customers’ omnichannel activities, a digital clienteling solution can also integrate customer profiles with outreach capabilities. 

This enables retailers to reach out proactively, for example to express gratitude or check-in after a large purchase from in-store or online, or to share exclusive deals and updates on new releases through SMS or social messaging platforms. 

The ability to consistently engage with customers in a personalized manner outside the store environment enhances the sense of exclusivity and individualized attention. This proactive approach not only keeps the brand at the forefront of the customer’s mind but also fosters a deeper connection, making the customer feel genuinely valued and special.

Bringing it all together

Clienteling transforms the transactional into the emotional, creating a bond that transcends the physical store and truly reflects the love and appreciation retailers have for their valued customers. 

Building that foundation of love and appreciation fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty among customers who will be keen to spread the message to their circles. By embracing clienteling, retailers can elevate their brand, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive long-term business growth.

Learn more

Want to learn more about the Clienteling solution that’s loved by the world’s most iconic retailers like David Yurman, Versace, Jimmy Choo, Mulberry, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ferragamo, COACH, and Michael Kors?

Contact us today for a demo!

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