The winning line-up included household names like Macy’s and American Apparel, so it was a great result to pick up the Silver Award in Customer Engagement.
The Cole Haan Clienteling story began about 18 months ago when the company’s head of CRM was guest speaker at our annual client conference. As a customer of our North American partner Epicor, Cole Haan presented best practice use of its CRM system. The retailer was actively seeking a Clienteling solution at the time and, during the two-day event, our sleek Clienteling tool caught the eye.
Clienteling is all about building closer relationships with customers to generate incremental margin on your bottom line. It puts the sales associate in control of customer relationships and arms them with all the information they need to provide an unrivalled personal service.
This helps create a culture of repeatable customer excellence by leveraging every customer touchpoint and connecting the entire retail operation with a goal of knowing, engaging with, and serving the customer better.
Everyone gets the VIP service
Our Clienteling tool is compatible with any mobile device – and Cole Haan opted to use it on in-store iPads. As a luxury brand, the in-store experience plays a massive part in establishing and retaining customer loyalty.
Sitting on top of the company’s CRM solution, the Clienteling tool completes the circle and puts all customer data at the fingertips of the sales associates. This in turn is turning the traditional role of associate on its head – so rather than wait for a customer to come in, the tool is helping them proactively draw in customers.
Part of this proactive aspect is set up in the system itself. Cole Haan is aiming for “a customer-centric strategy that will enable the business to build lifetime value with our most profitable clients”.
So sales associates receive regular updates and tasks on a “30-60-90-120” day basis, depending on when a customer last visited. They can see who their most profitable and valuable customers are and engage with them in a way that’s tailored to the customer.
By digitising its traditional “black books” and integrating this information with its CRM system, Cole Haan is getting a single customer view. It sets parameters and tasks but is not overly prescriptive – the sales associate can still choose to contact customers and track this activity in the system.
It’s early days yet, but already the results are compelling. Cody Perret, Sales Associate 5th Avenue Store, Cole Haan said: “This is the tool that will make our good sales associates amazing and our great sales associates INCREDIBLE. The iPad also keeps us ON THE FLOOR. Instead of disappearing behind a register where the client assumes they have been forgotten about, we stay in sight and they know we are assisting them.” Other benefits include:
- former ‘black book’ clients that typically purchased twice a year are already purchasing three times since implementation
- team members can utilise the iPad for expediting regular, ongoing and seasonal tasks, such as floor mapping and changing out product lines
- paper-based seasonal floor plans are no longer sent to each store, but instead plans are communicated electronically – saving significantly on print and postal costs
- store managers and associates don’t have to leave the sales floor to print directives or perform outreach – product knowledge is always a ‘swipe away’
- an overall increase in productivity.
Clienteling is important in North America and we’re seeing some frontrunners in the UK, Asia and Europe take it up as we’re rolling out the tool with half a dozen UK customers over the next few months. It’s another idea from over here that’s doing rather well over there.
Posted by Tanya Bowen, Director of CRM, Loyalty and Clienteling, BT Expedite
We’ve always been a fan of tablet computers and have long thought they could add fantastic value to in-store operations. But when iPads first appeared, we were very sceptical about whether Apple technology was right for our customers.
We have to admit we were wrong. We’ve spent many hours evaluating a range of alternative devices, from HP to Acer. We’re running a pilot at Aurora Fashions and have our clienteling application running on iPads in another major fashion brand. We declare ourselves converted.
Here’s eight reasons why iPads rock in fashion retail!
They help staff serve customers better – staff can photograph customers trying on garments, front and back, so that shoppers can easily see which dress and which colour suits them best, they can look at their own (or a competitor) website and place orders from the fitting room.
They’re great for clienteling – we’ve got a fab iPad clientling application especially designed for fashion but, at a more basic level, we’ve found staff keen to digitise their own “black books.
They help staff and head office communicate better – retailers often email store staff with important information, such as visual merchandising plans. These emails are accessible on the back office PC or at the till. With an iPad, staff can have the right information in their hand, wherever they are in the store. And in colour. We can’t tell you how surprised we are at how many of our customers only have black and white printers in their shops.
Everyone knows how to use one – we don’t underestimate this. People pick up iPads and use them. They don’t ask for the instruction manual or a training course or call the help desk. They just pick them up, turn them on and off they go.
They can double as an EPOS – Store 6, our EPOS software, works great on an iPad and, when the tablet’s not in use, it can dock on top of a cash drawer and double as a fixed till.
They are always on brand – change the wallpaper, add a sleeve and your iPad is immediately reflects your business’s personality.
They don’t run Windows – okay, we all know that there is no Windows device that comes close to the iPad’s usability but we think there’s more than this. Windows = work. Our experience is that people generally only use Windows devices for the purposes they are given them for. In contrast, with iPads people don’t feel constrained by the technology. They experiment, play and come up with use cases nobody had thought of.
They don’t go wrong – it’s early days but we’ve iPad apps deployed at a few retailers and in a number of countries and we’re not getting many service calls. Fingers crossed.
Director of Store Consulting
You can find out more about our mobile POS products at: http://www.btexpedite.com/mobilepos