Customer appreciation events don’t cut it anymore. Good luck getting people to show up if you’re expressing your appreciation through a deli tray and a slice of cake. Unless you’re willing to roll out the red carpet and give away door prizes in the several hundred dollar range, save yourself the trouble of wondering why the turnout was so low.
These days it’s a constant battle for the time and attention of customers. Not only are we sparring with the traditional business competition, we’re also competing for the mental bandwidth of customers who have their faces glued to a smartphone.
It’s the age old question. How can we find and keep business relationships that result in long-term sustainable revenue? While there is an “app for that”, nothing replaces the impact of live face-to-face interaction.
Yes, investing in an effective product or service that delivers on your client’s expectations is the key to growth and retention. In addition, investing in the customer’s professional growth and development delivered in “an experience” will seal the deal.
What is “an experience?”
An experience is something that’s vivid and memorable. It impacts the participant to think, feel or do something – even slightly different.
It’s hard for even your most talented team member to deliver a memorable and consistent experience to a customer over time.
So that is why businesses are now investing in events to deliver “the experience” in a scalable way. 87% of C-suite executives believe in the power of live events and plan on investing in them more in the future.
Below are four reasons that events are becoming an important part of organization’s growth strategy.
Four Reasons Events Are Critical to Success
- First, events help your customers get smarter, and smart customers are easier to work with. Most customers expect your organization to continue investing in and improving your product/service to keep them happy. However, they’ll be thrilled to know you’re also investing in an event to support their professional development. Many events are headlined by a speaker that provides an outside perspective that can be applied to the attendees day-to-day situation. Tips and best practices from leading experts help your customers improve the way they do their jobs.
- Second, events can also be effective at reframing the way your prospects and customers think of your organization. Delivering an experience at a live event can set the tone for a new dynamic and/or method of operating. Events help you get everyone on the same page at the same time through a shared experience. In addition to the content, lighting and music play a big role in setting the go-forward expectations of an organization.
- Third, events can help you build and strengthen a community around your product or service. Customer groups comprised of active users/members often gel into a community. This community can be your best source of referrals, product roadmap prioritization and growth ideas.
- Lastly, events also become an important part of your retention strategy. Getting people together to design the future of your company or user experience gives you a chance to hear what they have to say and how they say it. You can also sniff out any pending issues or competitive threats on the horizon.
Experience-rich events are a smart, effective and scalable way to improve loyalty and retention and also attract new customers. Hugs and high-fives also help.