Hello everyone. Brent, again, and today, I’m excited to share a special episode of our podcast with you. This episode features a fascinating discussion with Madeleine Anderson and Casey Drake from Endear. We discuss clienteling, its evolution, and its importance in retail sales. We also touch on the role of associates in clienteling and the impact of COVID-19 on loyalty and customer engagement.
The Art of Clienteling
Casey Drake, VP of Sales at Endear, is not just a sales expert but also a passionate entertainer. She runs a YouTube channel where she tries to make people laugh and be interested in her content. I must admit, her style of humor is quite different from mine, which tends to make people want to leave. But let’s get back to the topic at hand – clienteling.
Casey explains that clienteling is proactive sales outbound activity in retail. It’s all about ensuring that customers have an exceptional experience, love their products, and are informed about new products and different ways to purchase them. In essence, it’s retail’s fancy word for sales.
The Evolution of Clienteling
We then moved on to discuss how clienteling has evolved over time. Casey references the show “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and explains that clienteling originated from the cutthroat world of retail sales in the 50s and 60s. Salespeople relied on their contacts and provided personalized service to customers. We also reminisced about an episode of “Gilmore Girls” that showcases the high level of attention and service provided to customers in the past.
The Role of Associates in Clienteling
Casey highlighted the significance of associates in Clienteling. She emphasized that when customers enter a store, the first person they encounter is an associate, and that person becomes the face of the brand for the customer. Customers’ loyalty and attachment towards a brand are often influenced by their interactions with these associates. Casey gave an example of a client who prefers shopping at Lululemon because of her attachment to a specific associate, even though Alo Yoga offers a better product at a better price.
Clienteling in High-End vs. Mass-Market Brands
Madeleine Anderson then asked about the difference in clientele between high-end brands like Diane von Furstenberg and mass-market brands like Target. Casey explained that bigger department stores still focus on clienteling, mainly because of their commission-driven sales approach. However, she believes that smaller brands can compete by adopting new technologies and providing a higher level of service. She also mentioned that the success of clients’ telling lies in the hands of the designers who can put passionate associates in their stores and maintain communication with customers.
The Challenges of Scaling Customer Service in Retail
The conversation shifted to the challenges of scaling customer service in retail. Casey suggested that retail needs to reset its approach to incentivizing associates and customers. She also emphasized the importance of personal messaging in clienteling. For instance, marketing for events at a store can be considered retail marketing, and messages should come from the store and be written in a conversational tone. Two-way communication and the ability for customers to reply to messages are also crucial.
Personal Experiences with Being Clientele
Casey shared that he has never been personally clientele by anyone, but he has successfully influenced others to become clientele of certain brands. He mentioned that he is a target shopper and not a big spender on clothes, but he still loves the brands they work with.
The “Great White Buffalo” Brand
Casey shared his “great white buffalo” brand, Farideh, a men’s brand that he admires. He talked about the founders and their cool factor. Madeleine joked about calling it a “white bison” in North Dakota.
Advice for Retailers
As we concluded our discussion, I asked Casey for advice on how retailers can improve their client-telling efforts. Casey emphasized the importance of data and tracking, as well as incentivizing associates and customers.
Upcoming Webinar and YouTube Channel
Casey announced a webinar they will be hosting on Wednesday at 2 pm Eastern Time. The webinar will feature Shopify and Psycho Bunny, discussing Psycho Bunny’s story of getting set up within Shopify. Casey also encouraged listeners to follow and subscribe to his YouTube channel, Casey from Endear, for great content. Madeleine added that the webinar will be available on their website even after Wednesday, October 25th, and Casey mentioned that he will also upload it to his YouTube channel.
Casey asked me about my favorite memory from the podcast’s 200 episodes as we wrapped up the episode. I mentioned that I don’t have one specific favorite memory but enjoy learning something new from each episode. I see the podcast as a learning activity and hope listeners can take away actionable insights from each episode.
Casey congratulated me on reaching 200 episodes, and I mentioned that the episode would be released the next day. I joked about having extra time to edit because I am in Hawaii.
I hope you found this episode as informative and engaging as I did. Stay tuned for more insightful discussions in our upcoming episodes.