CEO Talking Shop: Intelligent CRM for retail associates
Your old reliable neighborhood grocer knows you by name, your favorite brands, your kids' preferences, the extras you want thrown in into your shopping bag. The virtual age has practically eliminated the warmth of face-to-face interactions with the seller.
Retailers today interact with their customers on multiple channels via mobile, the Web, Internet chat, phone or through an app. Still, the personal approach is considered by many as a big plus factor in courting customer loyalty.
This is what the new in store solution is striving to bring back to the retail storefront - personalized approach to customer service via intelligent CRM.
Capillary InStore, the most recent addition to the suite of customer engagement applications of Capillary Technologies, offers to turns customer data from email, mobile, social media, chat or the Web into insights, and makes it available on mobile devices for retailers to access and use when dealing with customers face-to-face.
"The idea behind the product is that most CRM solutions today don't really offer much for retail associates to enhance the in store experience of customers. Most cashiers would not really know who their best customers are. They wouldn't know what you've bought. The goal of Capillary InStore is to make available relevant information about the customers to the sales staff so they can do a much better job or engaging the customer," Capillary Technologies CEO Aneesh Reddy explained.
As the customer data are made available on mobile devices and can be even embedded on Point of Sale (POS), the sales person would now know who the customer is, what items he has been buying regularly, communications he had with the store. This would make it easy for the sales staff to cross sell, upsell or make recommendations, the goal of which is to increase purchase frequency and help reduce customer dropouts.
"By putting valuable up-to-the-minute intelligence directly into the hands of sales associates, forward-thinking retailers can now dramatically enhance shopping experiences on the showroom floor, driving customer engagement through personalized recommendations and instant offers, with an immediate impact to the bottom line," said Krishna Mehra, Capillary Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer.
Reddy explained that the solution is easy to install on the backend, as it is a small, cloud-based applications. Capillary InStore can integrate with any point of sale (POS) system in real-time and has ready adapters for hundreds of the most popular retail and restaurant POS systems. It also powers Android and iOS mobile and tablet apps so store associates can carry the power of intelligence with them onto retail sales floors.
Moreover, it can also be installed in a store's call center to help agents understand their customers better. "Essentially, wherever you have a customer touch point, the application can be installed," Reddy said.
Today, the solution is live in more than a thousand stores and retail outlets worldwide. One of its biggest clients is Madura Garments, a fashion retailer in India with about 800 stores across South Asia and with over three million shoppers. The stores carry brands including Allen Solly, Esprit, Louis Phillippe and Van Heusen.
"We are encouraged by the early results we've seen across a few of our brands where the InStore module has been deployed, " said Shiv Subramaniam, Director of Consumer Practices for Madura Garments. "What is even more exciting is the potential we see in this product to provide just-in-time customer information and intelligence to the front end, that I believe can be a game-changer.
"Once you walk in to any of their stores, a sales person will take you around. Using a tablet or any mobile device, they can quickly recommend products or you based on your past purchases. They can also tell you if there are coupons you can use or if you can redeem points from the loyalty programs," Reddy said.
Currently, he said the company is working with about 20 retailers in Singapore like KFC, Puma, Optimus, Sloan Clinic. It is looking to add a couple of thousand stores in the next six months from across the region, especially Hong Kong, Malaysia Thailand and the Philippines.
CEO Talking Shop is the Retail in Asia section devoted to interviews with brand CEOs and retail industry leaders.