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January 30, 2023

What is Clienteling?

Find out what is clienteling experience, how it’s done, and why it’s extremely beneficial to all businesses.

Clienteling is an approach to customer care that uses processes and tools to improve overall satisfaction during the purchasing experience. It is mostly aimed at upselling existing users instead of acquiring new ones, so it’s a continuation of the customer journey someone has already embarked upon.

Rationale behind clienteling lies in the fact that maintaining and selling to existing customers is considered five to six times cheaper than finding a new buyer. Over time, the barriers between a customer and a business start eroding, turning a regular buyer into a brand evangelist.

What is the difference between customer service and clienteling?

Customer service, in large part, is about providing basic consultations and troubleshooting for products and services. These teams usually deal with any customer without providing extensive personalization. Clienteling, on the other hand, is all about personalizing the customer journey.

As a result, Clienteling is not a simple extension of customer service, which mostly deals with resolving challenges and issues. Clienteling, on the other hand, promotes higher customer satisfaction rates in order to make it easier to continue selling to high value buyers.

The end goal of the process is to create a personal shopping experience for every customer, which results in increased customer lifetime value. To enable such a process, clienteling software and data collection is required.

How does clienteling work?

Clienteling can be separated into three distinct parts:

  1. Customer data collection and implementation software
  2. Collecting the necessary customer data
  3. Adapting the experience according to the customer data.

In short, clienteling is about creating customer profiles and interacting with them through them. A simple example of what is clienteling in retail is approaching a returning customer. Some businesses will collect no data and store associates will always act as if every customer is a new one.

Clienteling, on the other hand, would have systems collect data and store associates interact with customers based on profiles. For example, a repeat shopper at a clothing store might have specific preferences, so store associates could instantly recommend specific products.

Clienteling does not have to rely on store associates, though. It’s perfectly possible to do the same thing nowadays with purely online stores. Many ecommerce companies implement various data tracking solutions that recommend products, remind about subscriptions, and welcome people to the website.

Businesses can also implement various other solutions such as chatbots, video calling integrations, and many other software that all make the overall experience better. It’s hard to enumerate all the possibilities as the clienteling industry is constantly changing.

Clienteling benefits

Personalization, in general, is highly beneficial as it improves overall business returns. Clienteling simply transfers the same benefits to customer service and sales.

There are several primary and distinct benefits that arise from clienteling. First, 91% of customers are more likely to shop with a brand that remembers their preferences and provides recommendations. Clienteling is the way to tap into the market that heavily prefers receiving personalized offers.

Second, depending on the industry, anywhere from 10-20% of customers will generate 70-80% of revenue. As these customers continue to shop, selling more will become progressively easier (in most cases). As such, clienteling is the way to both maintain and upsell these customers with new and better products.

Finally, clienteling naturally creates a distinct and overall better user experience. Such improvements in customer experience improves brand recognition and, in turn, brings in more people to the company.

Clienteling best practices

Clienteling relies on data, meaning that companies should always be extra careful and consult with legal professionals before engaging in any such practice. Luckily, most of the current clienteling solutions already collect only the necessary that companies have legitimate claim to, so it’s less tricky nowadays.

Use the customer’s name

It may seem extremely basic, but the starting point of clienteling is finding out a customer’s name, remembering it, and calling them by it. Very few businesses do that, no matter how easy the practice may be. Nowadays, businesses may simply extract the name from an account a user has created or from their payment method.

Outreach customers

As long as you have consent from the customer, your business may reach out to them proactively. A great example of clienteling in work is in technical products that require constant maintenance. Sending out a reminder and recommendations on who to visit for repairs or checkups can be great for clienteling purposes.

Celebrate occasions or special events

Another great approach is to send in small presents for birthdays or other special events. These may be discounts, products, or anything else that is beneficial to the customer. Clienteling revolves around proactively showing care, so nearly anything can work as long as it’s done proactively.

Use mobile apps

Mobile seems to be the future of ecommerce and retail and most people are looking up products through their phone, comparing deals, and doing much more on that single device. Having a mobile app allows your company to harness the power of mobile traffic.

Additionally, it gives another channel to outreach customers. Notifications can be an extremely powerful way to implement clienteling as they may seem extremely personal. With proper implementation, you can combine clienteling with the customer’s preferred method of shopping.


Clienteling is a way of improving upon your customer relationships through the use of software and data. It is a proactive instead of a reactive approach tha mostly focuses on high value customers in order to maximize their lifetime value.

Nowadays, clienteling is definitely the way to go for nearly all businesses as customers have long expressed preferences for personalization. With the numerous pieces of software and solutions available nowadays, implementing clienteling has become easier than ever, so there’s no real reason to avoid using it to improve customer lifetime value.


About SnapCall

SnapCall is revolutionizing the way businesses interact with their customers. Our suite of products offer a seamless and personalized customer experience. With SnapCall Assist, customers and support teams can easily share photo and videos to explain problems and provide solutions. SnapCall Booking allows for scheduling calls with clients and experts without the need for external conference services. And SnapCall Instant offers audio and video calls with integrated CRM platforms for easy access to customer information.


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Lily Berlioz-Latour


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