The Clienteling Podcast

Bryan Amaral

Welcome to the Clienteling Podcast! On our show, we'll discuss a broad spectrum of customer engagement, clienteling and retail technology insights, and we’ll provide plenty of examples and case studies directly from some of the most successful customer-focused luminaries in our industry. We'll discuss why in most cases, innovation and transformation is not a technology issue as much as it's a people, process and methodology problem. Clientricity and in particular this podcast, is focused helping retailers think through those challenges and develop a repeatable process to ensure that their stores are delivering on customer expectations and that the organization can fully benefit from those technologies deployed. In this podcast you'll gain a deep understanding of what’s working, what isn’t and where you should consider making your customer-centric technology investments. We are hoping that after spending 20-30 minutes listening to each episode you will leave energized and ready to apply what you’ve learned in your own business. We look forward to bringing you this podcast several times a month and would welcome your thoughts, ideas and comments. If you are passionate about customer centricity, clienteling and retail and would like to be a guest on the show, please send me a personal message at bryan@theclientelingpodcast.com. If you want get more personalized help or if you are interested in advisory services, contact Clientricity at info@clientricity.net read less
BusinessBusiness

Episodes

An Interview with Whitney Cathcart, Co-Founder of 3DLook's Virtual Try-on and Size Fit Solution
Jun 1 2023
An Interview with Whitney Cathcart, Co-Founder of 3DLook's Virtual Try-on and Size Fit Solution
In this episode, Bryan Amaral interviews Whitney Cathcart, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer 3DLook, a leading AI-based mobile body scanning and virtual fit and try-on startup for the fashion industry. Whitney is a noted fashion and retail tech expert, having worked in apparel manufacturing, retail, and e-commerce,  with three decades of experience in senior leadership roles for leading branded apparel, celebrity licensing, and private-label manufacturing companies. She is also certified by MIT’s Sloan School of Management in Artificial Intelligence, Whitney is among the leading voices on retail innovation. First, Whitney shares her personal story and the motivation to create an AI-based 3D body measurement and sizing solution. Then she shares her perspective on what is happening in today's retail market that is finally making this technology an investment priority for retailers and what she hears from customers and prospects as the Size-Fit category expands.   She shares her perspective on how evolving consumer expectations, sustainability, and demand for greater personalization are necessitating virtual fitting room capabilities.  Whitney and Bryan discussed the cornerstone of 3DLook's underlying body measurement technology and how the Mobile Tailor SaaS app is enabling an array of made-to-measure products ranging 1. Lean into the technology and communicate the value to your customers.2. Knowing your customer - In a clienteling environment, asociates are able to recommend the ideal fit and know who they are.  3. The world is shifting into 3D - Digitize your products. Enjoy the show!Resources:3DLook  Website: 3DLook.meEmail: Whitney@3DLook.meWhitney's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/whitneyjoycathcart/Bryan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanamaral/Bryan’s Website: https://www.clientricity.netBryan’s Email: bryan@clientelingpodcast.com or bryan@retailtechexec.comCall Bryan: 404-348-4849  Tags: retail clienteling clientricity Size-Fit Virtual Try-on 3DLook
An Interview with BSPK's CEO Zornitza Stefanova
Apr 12 2023
An Interview with BSPK's CEO Zornitza Stefanova
In this episode, Zornitza Stefanova joins the show and is interviewed by Bryan Amaral. Zornitza is Founder and CEO at BSPK, a global clienteling platform. She was an early employee of Wired, (acquired by Conde Nast), eGroups (acquired by Yahoo) as well as Six Apart (a division of Say Media), imeem (MySpace), Prosper and other Silicon Valley technology innovators. During her career, Zornitza has led product strategy and business development with a focus on consumer apps, as well as B2B services. She has been a guest speaker at multiple technology events and the entrepreneurship track at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Zornitza was born and raised in Bulgaria. She defected before the fall of the Iron Curtain and was granted political asylum in the United States, where she became a citizen.  She graduated from Stanford University with a BA in International Relations and from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA in Finance. Her passion is the quest for better customer experiences powered by technological innovation and the discovery of better and easier ways to communicate, create and enjoy life and learning in the mobile age.First, Zornitza shares her personal story and the motivation to create a clienteling solution. Then she shares her perspective on what is happening in today's retail market and what she hears from customers and prospects in Europe and the US.  She shares her perspective on how various technological forces and changing customer expectations are necessitating a new way to engage and run retail operations.Next, Bryan and Zornitza discussed the cultural imperative to be customer-focused and how to overcome change management challenges when transforming the store. Zornitza shared what BSPK believes is the key to associate adoption of new selling technologies.Finally, Zornitza shared three principles that retailers should keep in mind as they move forward into the next age of retail:   1. Clienteling practices are essential to building loyalty.   2. Adoption stems from technology being an enabler not an obstacle.   3. Digitally enabled associates shows your customer that you are investing in their satisfaction and shows your employees that you are investing in their success. Enjoy the show!Resources:BSPK Website: BSPK.comZornitza's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zstefanova/Bryan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanamaral/Bryan’s Website: https://www.clientricity.netBryan’s Email: bryan@clientelingpodcast.com or bryan@retailtechexec.comCall Bryan: 404-348-4849  Tags: retail clienteling clientricity BSPK
A Thoughtful Interview with Omnichannel and Clienteling Veteran Alan Berner
Sep 29 2020
A Thoughtful Interview with Omnichannel and Clienteling Veteran Alan Berner
Interview with Alan BernerIn this episode Bryan interviews omnichannel and clienteling executive, Alan Berner. Alan has worked for some of the country’s most respected discount, specialty and department store brands and has been at the forefront many leading customer centric innovations in enterprise retail.    Alan shares some historical context on clienteling, sharing his experiences of how selling culture has benefited as tools evolved from a black book to sharing customer data at POS to more sophisticated mobile solutions that guide an associate through the selling process.  Alan describes that as online became a more significant channel, there was a shift from targeting customers based on what they bought in the past to making new creative recommendations based on what could be learned about their lifestyle such as important people in her life, the significant dates for her and her family, the type of work she did, and the places she traveled to. He describes how they needed to understand how she spread her shopping dollars across the family of business as well as across the store, so that we could introduce her to those items that fit into her lifestyle that she may have overlooked us for in the past or possibly those she chose to buy elsewhere. Bryan and Alan discussed how innovation projects are prioritized and how new technologies were considered, and validated. Alan explained that innovation must address the needs and wants of the customer but too often new ideas are “introduced and sometimes put into motion before the business realizes that they are chasing after a shiny toy rather than fixing a problem”.Alan explains some of the biggest challenges he’s had in gaining adoption and the role of training, accountability, communication and an eye on the metrics. Alan and Bryan then discussed his thoughts on the future of retail and what experiential retail be in a post COVID world. Alan’s final recommendations for retailers included:a.      Focus on the customerb.      Make their lives and experiences better leveraging digital toolsc.      Innovate and try something new – evaluate quickly.d.      Provide clear expectations and accountabilities for seller, vendors, and other constituents.Resources:Alan's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alan-berner-04a9863/Alan's Email: alan6652@gmail.comBryan's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanamaral/Bryan's Email: Bryan@retailtechexec.com
Navigating the Retail Maelstrom - A candid interview with Scott Lux - Adjunct Professor at Columbia and & FIT,  VP Digital Marketing & Commerce at Theory and Helmut Lang
Aug 31 2020
Navigating the Retail Maelstrom - A candid interview with Scott Lux - Adjunct Professor at Columbia and & FIT, VP Digital Marketing & Commerce at Theory and Helmut Lang
Interview with Scott LuxIn this episode, Scott Lux joins the show and is interviewed by Bryan Amaral. Scott is a senior executive with experience in various aspects of ecommerce, digital strategy, marketing and analytics from both the brand side and agency perspective. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Columbia and FIT and is the VP/Head of Digital Marketing and Digital Commerce at Theory and Helmut Lang.  The show starts with Bryan and Scott discussing what it was like to join a new company just as retail shut down due to the pandemic. He discussed the need to lead and manage a team remotely and make a determination of what was the appropriate tone and voice to message their customers given the crisis... especially when ecommerce was the only channel open that "could keep the lights on".  He shared that as the realization that the crisis was not short term, inventory issues needed to be addressed through aggressive promotional strategies. Scott shares how clienteling outreach and associate communication with customers made a positive impact on the business and how customers welcomed hearing from associates. Scott discussed how they were mindful of proven best practices and knew exactly what data measurements were important. The data was used to assess if their strategy was working and if were they meeting objectives and if not, how could they optimize. Scott shares examples of cost of acquisition and what LTV could be anticipated so they could determine if the customer acquisition spend was prudent. He explained how they set records on daily and monthly volume with rapid promotional programs designed to move inventory quickly in the early stages and how those same metrics were leveraged to help move audiences to full price product later. Scott explained how chat was an example of a rapid customer experience design initiative to get customers back to full price selling. He talked about his optimism for the next generation of retail stores, and elevated experience (experience design) and the need to have a tactile experience with product. Bryan asked Scott about how he prioritized activity and made it work remotely.   1. Need to instill trust that they will get their job done.   2. Leadership and mentorship - maintain culture to unify the team Scott talked about how he thought about prioritizing new feature and capability platform enhancements and assessing if current solutions can meet future demand. He shared his perspective on how ISV's should do their homework prior to reaching out to busy leaders. The show wrapped up with three nuggets that retailers should keep in mind for the journey ahead:1. Customer First/Experience Design across all touch points2. Foundational elements - ensure that you have solid practices in place3. Maintain your culture and team   Resources:Scott's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottlux/Scott's Email: scottlux@mac.comBryan's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanamaral/Bryan's Email: Bryan@retailtechexec.com
The State of Retail Today: An interview with David Ressinger & Jim Malafronte of Zenza Consulting
Aug 18 2020
The State of Retail Today: An interview with David Ressinger & Jim Malafronte of Zenza Consulting
In this episode, David Ressinger and Jim Malafronte join the show and are interviewed by Bryan Amaral. David and Jim are founding partners at a new retail consultancy, Zenza Consulting. David is a Strategy and Operations consultant with over 25 years of experience delivering business value for his clients in areas such as retail and brand strategy, store operations, and technology innovation.  David was previously with several boutique consulting firms as well as Andersen Consulting. Jim has over 30 years of experience with a concentration in workforce management, retail strategy, omnichannel retail, customer engagement, technology, merchandising, analytics and process engineering. Jim was previously with Macys as well as KPMG and Deloitte. First, the guests explain why they formed the new consultancy and what makes Zenza relevant in today's challenging retail environment. Next, the duo discussed those issues that are impacting retail operations today. Topics included demand fluctuations and the impact on inventory, spending patterns, traffic, and labor requirements. Jim shared perspectives on workforce management and why existing models and metrics don't make sense in a post-COVID world. The team discussed the changing complexion of stores, the development of new and smaller store formats, new staffing decisions consistent with the changing roles of stores, new technology investments, and improving customer experiences. They more deeply explored key operational areas such as revisiting the labor model, forcasting challenges, operational execution, utilization, and the importance of doing the right thing for a specific time of day, every day, every week. Finally, Jim and David shared a few golden nuggets that retailers should be considering as they move forward into the next age of retail.Enjoy the show!Resources:Zenza Consulting Website: zenzaconsulting.comZenza Consulting Phone: 1-630-240-2034David's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daressinger/Jim's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-malafronte-7015b23/ Bryan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanamaral/Bryan’s Website: https://www.clientricity.netBryan’s Email: bryan@clientelingpodcast.com or bryan@retailtechexec.comCall Bryan: 404-348-4849  Tags: retail clienteling clientricity zenza consulting
The Retail Landscape of 2021... Who Wins and Why?
Mar 8 2020
The Retail Landscape of 2021... Who Wins and Why?
By popular demand! In this episode of The Clienteling Podcast, Bryan Amaral discusses the reasons that many retailers are failing to transform in the face of disruption and he offers an Organizational and Customer Manifesto highlighting what retailers need to do to thrive in 2021 and beyond. Today's podcast is based on a presentation Amaral gave at the Retail Touchpoints Live event at RetailX in Chicago in June of 2019. The original slide content is available here:  http://clientricity.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/The-Retail-Landscape-of-2021-RTP-RetalX-Presentation-June-2019.pdf Highlights of today's podcast: Everybody talking about the digital transformation, but what does it mean? Retail is trying to get its shift together…The first step on the journey…13 Ways Retailers are Failing to Make the TransitionLack of Clarity for What “Good” Looks Like.Culture is not driven by data insights. Fiefdoms and disparate systems. A ROI mandate that doesn't support innovative ideas. Risk Adversity. Lack of internal leadership.Protect the organizational structure. Lack of store-side CX insight or expertise. Failing store level execution. Underinvest in Technology   No single view of what is happening. Lack of capital to acquire systems and personnel.  Hoping technology alone will solve the problem.  A New Organizational Manifesto for RetailersThe truth will set you free! Start with Real World Data…Lead boldly, tear down convention, hire CX skills, create new customer value and execute “top down” flawlessly! Don’t just DO digital…BE digital! A New Customer Manifesto for RetailMake it easy! Fast, efficient, frictionless & flexible. Tell Me What I Want to Know! Don’t Abuse My Data!  Make it Mine! Express my individuality and identity through your brand and products. Engage Me in Fun, Memorable Experiences! Make the exploration fun!Let me Drive! But be there when I need help! Know my “Shopper DNA” and what it takes to make me happy!  I’m social, I’m digital, I’m always on…you should be too!Let me become part a community of wildly passionate advocates! Create experiences and formats that connect people and immerse them in the brand narrative.New Formats & Operating ModelsWhat’s working and why?New Formats and Models Showrooms and Discovery ZonesPersonalized & Customized ProductsStorefront as a Service Immersive “Phygital” StorytellingWhat We Can Expect in 2021?Resources:Bryan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanamaral/Bryan’s Website: https://www.clientricity.netBryan’s Email: bryan@clientelingpodcast.com or bryan@retailtechexec.comCall Bryan: 404-348-4849
10 Clienteling Best Practice - Pre-Implementation - Part 1 of 3
Feb 10 2020
10 Clienteling Best Practice - Pre-Implementation - Part 1 of 3
Clienteling Best Practice Series:    Part 1 - Pre-Implementation    Part 2 - Implementation & Go-Live    Part 3 - Engagement and SellingIn this episode of The Clienteling Podcast, Bryan Amaral highlights those topics that must be considered prior to implementation of a successful Clienteling project. 1. Vision, Alignment and Baseline Metrics:• A thoughtful approach with a disciplined methodology• What is the Vision for your brand? What are your goals?• What types of engagement and journeys?• How and when do you customers want to engage? • What types of engagement are possible for your brand?• What is the role for your associates? • What does clienteling success look like for all stakeholders • Analyze Data. What does it tell us about relationships & behavior? • What winning practices can be replicated at scale • What can be measured and what ROI could be expected?2. Assess Current & Desired Behaviors:Interview store teams and analyze customer engagement at every touchpoint. How are associates engaging? Labor & staff/customer ratio?What are the “hero” outcomes? What are the failure points? Do you monetize store events? Are associates reaching out? Scheduling appointments?  Engaging in specific dialogues? Capturing information and contact preference? Identifying the next best action? Do your associates have adequate product knowledge & customer info? Have you identified archetypes?How do your customers use mobile today? Where is there friction? What’s missing? What are customers unhappy about? 3. Assess Training and Change ManagementDo you currently have a sales methodology? If so, how will clienteling fit into that? What can clienteling do to enhance it?How are sales skills trained, monitored and managed?Will you identify store-level solution champions?  Who will do the solution training? Who trains the trainers? How will your Sales Associates, SM’s, DM’s be incentivized to use the solution? Programs and contests?How will adoption be monitored and managed? 4. Marketing, Ecommerce & BI AlignmentWho owns the customer experience? How does each functional area of the business collaborate to leverage customer data to create the CX?How will Marketing and Ecommerce initiatives be executed at the store level? How will “store to customer” digital transactions be attributed? Will store associates get credit for online sales?What customer and associate data attributes need to be shared across all constituents?  What data insights will be used to drive personalization and communication from clienteling?5. Pre-Implementation ChecklistBaseline Data Analysis and Existing Relationship Practice InsightsDocument Desired Sales and Omni-channel Engagement PracticesDefine Roles and Linkage Between Marketing, Ecomm and Store ExecutionDocument Strategy for Training and Change Management ApproachPro-forma Business Impact Model Yielding ROI/IRR from Desired BehaviorsResources:Bryan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanamaral/Bryan’s Website: https://www.clientricity.netBryan’s Email: bryan@clientelingpodcast.com or bryan@retailtechexec.comCall Bryan: 404-348-4849
Talking Clienteling with John Liebler - Part 2 of 2
Jan 28 2020
Talking Clienteling with John Liebler - Part 2 of 2
John Liebler Interview Pt. 2 of 2In this episode, John Liebler joins the show and is interviewed by Bryan Amaral. John is a senior executive offering 30+ years of visionary leadership in-store operations, multi-unit management, and operations logistics with brands such as Kay Jewelers, Jared, Peoples Jewelers and Shinola. He is a passionate, motivational leader who builds successful, inspired, and customer-focused sales teams that drive results. First, John describes the challenges of implementing clienteling. Nobody wants to spend a substantial sum of money on technology and then have no one use it. John has had both successes and misses; he reveals the top three things that have most impacted clienteling:1.     The most tenured salespeople are resistant. So, John would reach out to this group  and get their feedback on the technology before and after implementation. You need to be willing to make changes. 2.     John did not fully understand the impact that technology would have on the selling process. When do you capture guest information? How will technology impact the sales process? If not careful you could be losing the guest’s engagement. Some issues didn’t come to light until after testing the technology. 3.     Make sure you get the data right. John had a big challenge with duplicate records. Then, John reveals the most effective metrics:·       Sales made after outreach.·       New guest acquisition. Later, John explains the importance of getting your customer’s name. Every customer that comes into your store is an opportunity. In many organizations, they did secret shopping. They find out if their salespeople captured a name and if they did an outreach. From there, his team would create KPIs and create a training around it.John shared his formula regarding transforming with new technology.OP+NT=EOP (Old Process plus New Technology equals Expensive Old Process). There are three things that incredibly important when implementing clienteling:1.     Choosing the right solution. 2.     Putting the steps in place to ensure a successful implementation. Don’t let the business drive the timeline.3.     Drive user-adoption. Enjoy the show!Timestamps: •        [01:00] About John Liebler•        [03:00] The most significant challenges with adopting clienteling•        [09:30] Perfection is the enemy of progress•        [11:00] The most effective metrics•        [16:45] Advice for implementing clienteling Resources:John’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnliebler1/John’s Website: https://retailsuccessconsulting.com/Call John: 330-283-6449 Bryan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanamaral/Bryan’s Website: https://www.clientricity.netBryan’s Email: bryan@clientelingpodcast.com or bryan@retailtechexec.comCall Bryan: 404-348-4849  Quotes:¨      “There is going to be a hesitancy to use a new system.” -John¨      “Getting it right the first time becomes extremely important.” -John¨      “You have to give a reason for the customer to give you their name that’s noninvasive.” -John
Talking Clienteling with John Liebler - Part 1 of 2
Jan 28 2020
Talking Clienteling with John Liebler - Part 1 of 2
John Liebler Interview Pt. 1 of 2In this episode, John Liebler joins the show and is interviewed by Bryan Amaral. John is a senior executive offering 30+ years of visionary leadership in-store operations, multi-unit management, and operations logistics with brands such as Kay Jewelers, Jared, Peoples Jewelers and Shinola. He is a passionate, motivational leader who builds successful, inspired, and customer-focused sales teams that drive results. First, John speaks about his definition of clienteling - a technique used by retail sales associates to establish long-term relationships with key customers based on data about their preferences, behaviors, and purchases. It requires salespeople to build a human connection. John says that creating connection it is a lost art form because of all the technology we consume daily. When you create a relationship with the customer, the sale will come as a result of that relationship. John learned relationship building early in his career and has taken these skills and passed them onto his teams in his various leadership roles. As the technology became available, John built a system to keep track of customer relationships on a whole new level. Working with Clientricity, he developed an internal clienteling system for their business. John discusses how he was able to get organizational buy-in, and a team that was ready for transformation. John looked at his one-time purchasers. He wanted to build a relationship with them so they would come back and buy one more thing. It was amazing what this alone could do for them. Then, John talks about how online shopping is changing clienteling and shares a story to illustrate diminished store value if you know what you want. People will shop in-person if they are looking for an experience or if they are looking for a 1:1 connection with an associate. Customers will come back in just see the associate that they trust. Stay tuned to hear John speak about when a clienteling system can go wrong and the difference between clienteling in larger vs. smaller organizations.Enjoy the show!Timestamps: •        [01:00] About John Liebler•        [04:00] Why clienteling is so important to John•        [08:40] Building a clienteling system•        [14:05] How online shopping is changing clienteling•        [15:45] Translating the manual process into a clienteling systems approach •        [19:40] Retail is the most rewarding yet challenging job you can have •        [21:00] How a clienteling system can go wrong •        [23:15] The difference clienteling has in larger vs. smaller organizationsResources:John’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnliebler1/John’s Website: https://retailsuccessconsulting.com/Call John: 330-283-6449 Bryan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanamaral/Bryan’s Website: https://www.clientricity.netBryan’s Email: bryan@clientelingpodcast.com or bryan@retailtechexec.comCall Bryan: 404-348-4849 Quotes:¨      “Clienteling is becoming more important as technology becomes more robust.” -John¨       “Technology cannot become a distraction.” –John
Welcome to the Clienteling Podcast!
Jan 15 2020
Welcome to the Clienteling Podcast!
Welcome to the first episode of the Clienteling Podcast! (5:25) In this abbreviated episode you'll learn why we decided to start this podcast and what you can expect to hear in future shows. Synopsis: In future shows, we'll discuss a broad spectrum of customer engagement, clienteling and retail technology insights, and we’ll provide plenty of examples and case studies directly from some of the most successful customer-focused luminaries in our industry.  We'll discuss why in most cases, innovation and transformation is not a technology issue as much as it's a people, process and methodology problem. Clientricity and in particular this podcast, is focused helping retailers think through those challenges and develop a repeatable process to ensure that their stores are delivering on customer expectations and that the organization can fully benefit from those technologies deployed. In this podcast you'll gain a deep understanding of what’s working, what isn’t and where you should consider making your customer-centric technology investments. We are hoping that after spending 20-30 minutes listening to each episode you will leave energized and ready to apply what you’ve learned in your own business. We look forward to bringing you this podcast several times a month and would welcome your thoughts, ideas and comments. If you are passionate about customer centricity, clienteling and retail and would like to be a guest on the show, please send me a personal message at bryan@theclientelingpodcast.com. If you want get more personalized help or if you are interested in advisory services, contact Clientricity at info@clientricity.net.