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Mar 7, 2019

How To Build Brand Loyalty with Clienteling

There’s a simple formula to brand loyalty: Shoppers to new customers, new customers to repeat customers, repeat customers to brand evangelists.

By Leigh Sevin, Co-Founder @ Endear

Brand loyalty is a high-priority goal of any retailer. 

There’s a simple formula to brand loyalty: Shoppers become new customers; new customers become repeat customers; and repeat customers become brand evangelists.

This doesn't happen overnight, however — building these types of customer relationships can take years of time and effort. Thankfully, clienteling can build faster and stronger brand relationships than typical customer service.

What is Clienteling?

Clienteling is efficiently using personal information to create intimate customer experiences.

Clienteling provides a uniquely memorable shopping experience by focusing on establishing long-term customer relationships. It can take many forms — from handwritten notes, spreadsheets or custom retail CRM software.

Regardless, a clienteling strategy is all about having a system to collect, track, and use real-time customer data to build relationships and sell with more personalization. This applies whether you’re an e-commerce business or operating a physical store.

But what about clienteling makes it so useful? Why does a clienteling system build faster brand loyalty? Let’s unpack how clienteling contributes to the customer loyalty formula we defined above.

Clienteling Turns Shoppers into Customers

In today’s retail environment, simply having contact with customers is not enough. Almost 80% of consumers expect brands to demonstrate they care — on a regular basis. To express that they understand and listen, retail brands must personalize their customer touchpoints. Nobody wants to be one of thousands receiving the same generic email.

Clienteling Turns Customers into Return Customers

There’s nothing customers hate more than receiving generic retail customer service. Nearly half of consumers say they will abandon brands that consistently provide impersonal or poor service.

A brand can log dozens of touchpoints with a customer. But if those touchpoints aren’t personalized, they can have a neutral — if not negative — effect on customers’ relationships with the brand. A customer who continuously receives lackluster emails or poorly targeted ads is likely to lose interest. A customer who is routinely ignored will quickly leave.

Instead, a clienteling system empowers associates to treat every customer like a “regular.” A good clienteling system makes it simple for sales associates to look up information about individual clients (such as product preferences and past purchase history) and provide amazing customer service. With that information, associates can easily create not only individualized in-store experiences, but also tailored out-of-the-store follow-up messages.

Sending a text message about an item going on sale, a personalized product recommendation, or a style tip is much more powerful than a generic email about markdowns. These personal messages have a much higher chance of converting your best customers to purchase again and again.

Clienteling Turns Repeat Customers Into Evangelists

At the end of the day, customers want to feel understood and cared about. By fulfilling their needs, teaching them about products, and creating a culture of trust, your return customers have a high chance of evangelizing for you.

To get a step-by-step idea of how to use a clienteling solution to create customer evangelists, we walk through it in our free e-book. It breaks down the how and why as simple as possible.