5 min read

Enhancing Sales & Service Through Clienteling: The Cos Bar Story

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The last two years have presented the retail landscape with new challenges and opportunities to evolve. For those in the beauty industry—a space built on one-to-one, individualized needs—deep personalization has come to be expected across all channels and touchpoints. Let’s face it: your customers require expert advice for their most pressing skin and hair care questions. And they want that instantly, whether they’re shopping in-store or via digital channels. 

With widespread change, the beauty vertical continues to search for new ways to curate personally relevant experiences. That’s where innovative clienteling solutions come in. In fact, a growing number of leading brands are choosing to upgrade their clienteling programs to deliver more meaningful shopping experiences. For many, this is paying dividends.  

One business that’s successfully maximized the clienteling opportunity is Cos Bar. Founded in Aspen in 1976, Cos Bar is a multi-brand luxury retailer who caters to a beauty-obsessed audience. By working with Salesfloor, they’ve managed to improve their high-touch client experience by finding a delicate balance between URL and IRL shopping. As a result, they’ve avoided having to compromise the human-level connection, critical to retaining the loyalty of their discerning clientele. 

Revolutionizing Clienteling at Cos Bar 

With 19 brick-and-mortar locations across the United States, Cos Bar is an established player in the beauty vertical. With an affluent demographic ranging from Millennials to Baby Boomers, the brand focuses on personalized and direct engagement to make buyers feel comfortable and attended to. According to Cristina Estrada, VP of Operations: “the cornerstone of Cos Bar’s success has always been the deep, personal relationships our Beauty Specialists cultivate with clients.” 

Cos Bar’s high-touch approach has long included a tried-and-true 3x3x3 clienteling method that nurtures client relationships through personalized outreach and upselling. This means getting in touch with a customer three days, three weeks, and three months after initial purchase. Before adopting the Salesfloor app, Cos Bar approached the 3x3x3 method manually, which included handwriting and mailing letters directly to individual customers. More than just labor intensive, this method made it impossible for them to objectively quantify response and conversion rates. Committed to continuous improvement, Cos Bar quickly realized that they needed to find a way to revolutionize their clienteling program to enhance both sales and service. 

Adopting the New Way of Clienteling

The challenge was to gradually incorporate the personal touch that clients craved into a digital strategy, all the while preserving vital brand characteristics and getting staff excited. As with any digital transformation project, gaining the right buy-in and momentum takes time. Which is why management knew that rapid adoption would need to be incentivized. 

Cos Bar started by updating their bonus program and incorporating Salesfloor KPI goals to encourage sales associates to use the app. Then, they implemented weekly compliance reporting to measure clienteling task execution and performance. This reporting helped to identify stores where the digital transition was lagging and additional support was needed. Finally, to further incentivize associates, the team held a month-long contest to reward the top performers on the app. The teams responded well to the thrill of competition and this allowed for a final, seamless switch to clienteling.

Strengthening 1-1 Relationships with Customers 

Keeping in line with their dedication to clients meant adapting. Thankfully, Beauty Specialists quickly began to see the ways in which they could leverage in-store expertise and the high-quality customer service they’re widely known for. Salesfloor made it easy for them to continue to delight, inspire and connect with prospective or repeat customers in the digital realm.  

Clienteling has reduced the operational burden on the team, allowing them to spend more time directly servicing clients. When associates agreed to approach the 3x3x3 method digitally, they could create personalized emails and texts for many clients at once. Naturally, Cos Bar has seen a serious lift in outreach-generated sales, and clients are more engaged with branded content and sales cards. Specifically, attributed clienteling sales increased 554% on a quarter over quarter basis, after Salesfloor was implemented. Beauty Specialists loved seeing the immediate results and appreciated how easy the app made communication with both returning customers and new prospects. 

One of the favorite in-app features is appointment setting, which helps bring the client back in-store. This feature lets associates share their extensive brand knowledge while making personalized recommendations based on specific wants, needs and beauty concerns. Prior to coming in-store, associates communicate directly with customers to reserve their uninterrupted, one-on-one experience. This has also been helpful for Store Managers, who are able to appropriately staff brick-and-mortar locations knowing exactly when client appointments are booked.

Overall, clients are receiving better and more consistent communication from associates—and not least, an unprecedented level of personalization. This is evidence of the benefit of creating a clienteling program that fosters synergistic links between IRL and URL shopping experiences. Importantly, stores are being invigorated following two tumultuous years, with Cos Bar now experiencing greater traffic at the level of brick-and-mortar then before the pandemic. 

Helping Sales Associates Thrive with clienteling

Early on, Cos Bar associates experienced how an omnichannel approach could help them save time and better connect with clients. Daily workflows have been simplified in various ways, producing the following benefits: 

  • Increased Efficiency 

Instead of having to log into multiple, disconnected systems to conduct their outreach activities, sales associates now rely on a single, unified system. As a result, customer engagement has become more efficient and meaningful. Best of all, it has freed up associates’ schedules to dedicate more time to delivering the amazing, high-touch service that Cos Bar is known for. 

  • Stronger Customer Connections 

    • Greater visibility: Prior to adopting the Salesfloor app, associates had limited visibility when accessing client information. Historically, these had to be generated directly from the Cos Bar marketing team and then emailed to the store managerresulting in time lags and more work for all. With the implementation of Salesfloor, client lists can now be automatically generated by the associates themselves. This means that associates can quickly identify which products a client has previously purchased. With this information in hand, they can personally invite their clients back in-store for product launches, promotional events and even master classes, helping them feel considered and cared for. 
    • Deeper personalization: Associates love the Client Tags option, where they can generate a list of clients who have upcoming birthdays. These clients are then invited for an in-store, complimentary makeover. In a similar way, associates can identify clients who haven’t shopped with Cos Bar in 365 days and invite them back in-store. Following the pandemic, this has been an excellent way to reconnect with clients and get them comfortable with shopping in-person again. Those who aren’t quite ready to come back can be easily serviced virtually using the Salesfloor live chat, text, or email features. 
  • Significant Growth Opportunities & Rewards 

Launching Salesfloor has made it possible to monitor performance and opportunities for growth. For instance, it helps managers identify beauty specialists who are stronger at clienteling. This way, those who need a bit more support can be further trained in order to level up! With implementation, Cos Bar has seen associates grow and adapt, leading to an overall task execution rate of 87%.  Lastly, sales tracking and attribution features ensure that employees are incentivized and recognized for their efforts. In Cos Bar’s case, the web isn’t viewed as a competitor, but as a new opportunity to drive sales for their stores. 

Clienteling for the Future 

In the evolving beauty vertical landscape, there is always room to improve one’s clienteling program. No stranger to innovation, Cos Bar saw the possibilities Salesfloor offered and ran with them. By super-charging their clienteling strategy, Cos Bar has reinvigorated their brick-and-mortar shopping experience and deepened their virtual relationships with customers. By unifying many feature sets within one platform, associates can now drive more seamless customer journeys. With multiple communication options to choose from, outreach has become simpler and more personalized, allowing Cos Bar’s clienteling program to shine even brighter. 

Salesfloor’s clienteling solutions can help you achieve success like Cos Bar. Contact us today to learn how you can elevate your customer’s omnichannel experience with cutting-edge technology from Salesfloor.

 

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