Clienteling has thrown retailers a life preserver in the coronavirus storm. To stand out in a vast sea of options, retailers are using clienteling technology to connect with consumers and deliver the personalized assistance that converts shoppers into repeat buyers — even if that encounter is now conducted at a distance. At the same time, clienteling delivery is transforming, with retailers outside of high-end retail starting to adopt the technology to better serve customers.
Best Buy, for example, converted its in-home advisors to virtual consultants offering in-home technical assistance via chat, phone or video for safer service. The U.K.’s John Lewis debuted hour-long video consultations with specialists in interior design, nursery or fashion. Even smaller hardgoods chains are getting into virtual clienteling to drive revenue while consumers are largely staying home. Meanwhile, retailers’ contact centers are increasingly being pressed to move beyond assisting customers to perform traditional clienteling activities.
According to Accenture’s “COVID-19: New Habits Are Here to Stay for Retail Consumers,” huge numbers of consumers increased their use of clienteling-type omnichannel services during the COVID-19 outbreak and expect to sustain this new usage.
Adding or pivoting to digital clienteling requires identifying and implementing key processes and tools. The steps that follow will help retailers level-up their clienteling programs for the digital era.