Proactive Digital Outreach with Veras Black Book
March 10, 2021
Retailers are embedding technology like Veras Black Book to reach shoppers at every step along the purchase path to deliver a whole new level of service. Veras Black Book drives proactive and personalized outreach using customer data, timely alerts and reminders, and convenient templates for store associates.
If there’s anything we’ve learned in retail over the last year, it’s that how consumers shop has forever changed. Consumer behavior will likely continue to evolve and come with greater service-level expectations. Coming out of the pandemic, mall developments came to a standstill and we saw historic store closings for retailers that were unable to respond. But there is a silver lining in this all.
The shift and appetite for digital commerce has made it possible for retailers to reach and personalize shopping experiences like never before. Omnichannel and new digital capabilities are putting customers entirely in control to shop as they desire. And smart and connected technologies open up opportunities for store associates to reach more customers and in more meaningful ways.
Cut Through the Digital Noise
Consumers spent a staggering $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up an incredible 44 percent year over year, according to Digital Commerce 360 estimates. That’s the highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades. It’s also nearly triple the 15.1 percent jump in 2019.
As a result, retailers are bombarding consumers with online ads, digital retargeting, endless email offers, and other mass marketing campaigns. Veras Black Book helps cut through that noise with proactive and highly personalized outreach. Proactive outreach with Black Book enables retail staff to set alerts, send emails and texts using pre-defined templates, and schedule appointments and follow-up calls based on customer insights and events.
While many marketing emails do ultimately reach the consumer’s inbox, most get ignored. In fact, 72 percent of consumers say that they only engage with personalized messaging. Whether it’s email, text or a phone call, people want to be treated like individuals. So, when a customer receives a personalized message, especially from someone they’ve interacted with previously, they are far more likely to respond.
With Black Book, retail staff working in-store or remotely can provide personalized services to better track and engage with the customer on an on-going basis. The system makes it easy for the associate by providing ready-to-use templates and data points reflecting the customer’s preferences.
Furthermore, store associates can add customer-specific notes or create a task. Black Book tasks have their own lifecycle and can be accepted or rejected. Tasks can be set at different priority levels, associated with deadlines, or automatically expire after an event such as a birthday or promotion. Black Book tasks also provide visibility by generating reports on tasks for associates across the retail chain.
Veras Black Book’s dashboard and tools allow retail staff to:
- Review their top customers, latest activities, and helpful notes
- View, create, and act on assigned tasks
- See important store events, campaigns, and activities
- Use customer insights to drive proactive outreach
- Call or send emails and texts using pre-defined templates
- Set alerts and schedule appointments and calls based on the customer’s specific needs or upcoming events
Flexible communication templates provide store associates an easy starting point that can be adjusted to tailor customer follow ups and future scheduling. With 80 percent of customers more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized experiences, Veras Black Book can be an effective tool to build real connections with shoppers.
3 Types of Black Book Tasks
Black Book may not be meant for every customer. Some shoppers know exactly what they want and prefer to explore and purchase items on their own. But for design professionals, personal shoppers, business customers, and your frequent and most loyal customers, Veras Black Book goes beyond transactions. It helps retailers personalize, inform, and connect with the customer through the following task types:
- STORE EVENTS. Local events set by store managers or global events organized by corporate may include author signings, trunk shows, product launches, pop-up events, etc. Once set up, associates can engage with their core clients to send out a special invitation or schedule additional time for them at the store. Additionally, the store associate will know the best mode of communication based on the customer’s preferences.
- QUICK TIPS. System-generated alerts provide a variety of reminders to send personalized outreach to customers regarding birthdays, promotions related to their likes, or just a simple touchpoint. ‘Your wish list item just went on sale and is available in your size. Would you like me to set it aside for you?’ ‘I saw returned your last purchase. I’d love to know what you didn’t like about it so we can improve in the future. Is there anything I can help you find?’ In addition to system-generated alerts, associates can create their own self-generated tasks based on the shopper’s last actions or their interactions with the customer.
- DIRECT COMMUNICATION. When it comes to communicating with customers, each person has different needs and expectations. Two components in Black Book that make its communications so effective is that it provides associates a starting point through well-defined templates while also allowing for personalization. Customized templates can also be saved and used as a base for future outreach.
Expand on Personalized Services
As Veras Black Book is built on our Extend mobile platform, retailers can easily add complementary modules including Veras Affinity Clienteling, Style Builder, and Remote Selling to amplify personalized services in-store or remotely. Veras Affinity helps retailers connect omnichannel data with store initiatives and empower associates with a 360-degree view of the customer. Additionally, Veras Style Builder’s curated collections allow sales associates to build and sell styles through complete looks, complementary collections, and similar products.
When shoppers aren’t physically in the store, Veras Remote Selling combines the immediacy and ease of ecommerce with the high-level service and personal touch of a knowledgeable sales associate. Whether shoppers need help finding specific products, want assurances on product compatibility, or seek new product recommendations, Veras Remote Selling is purpose-built for retail to deliver an immersive experience, anywhere. The sales person can share products live in the store and digitally through the platform where customers may browse, save to their wish list, and complete purchases.
It’s clear that store formats and the roles of associates are evolving. Every aspect of retail operations has the potential to make or break the customer experience. It’s now up to retailers to incorporate flexible technologies to create a new retail model that centers around personalized customer experiences. And with 91 percent of consumers more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them, companies that don’t prioritize creating tailored experiences may run the risk of getting left behind.