The benefits of hosting a client appreciation event are far reaching. If planned and executed well not only will your company credibility jump, but there is also the opportunity for generating greater brand awareness, increased client spend and a host of qualified referrals.
A recent study conducted by Sandler Training Institute found that:
78% of respondents said the real reason they changed suppliers was they didn't feel appreciated.
How much do you spend each year on attempting to acquire new clients?
Client Appreciation Events are the perfect vehicle for building long lasting relationships with your clients.
Here’s 3 reasons why client appreciation events should be incorporated into a holistic marketing strategy for your company, small, medium or large.
Clients really do like to feel appreciated. Ultimately a client will chose to maintain their business relationship with you on the basis of value, performance, trust and service.
The question from a company standpoint is how do you augment and leverage your existing client relationships to demonstrate client appreciation in an impactful, coherent yet budget sensitive way.
As clients we are often flooded with generic impersonal birthday cards, and branded gadgets - calendars, pens, USB’s, coffee cups etc. as an attempt by companies to demonstrate client loyalty throughout the business lifecycle and position brands at front of mind.
Our advice - break away from the norm. Do not seek to demonstrate your client appreciation in this already cluttered, impersonal way. Say thank you through the delivery of a well planned and executed client event experience that will touch, move and inspire your clients, and ultimately generate long term loyalty.
After-all a client who feels genuinely appreciated is 1) more likely to talk about you and the business in a positive light (particularly following a well executed appreciation event that they participated in) and 2) far more likely to stick with you even in a down-market.
Not only is the goal of the event to ensure client retention but also to secure a higher client spend.
Your client appreciation event provides the perfect opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your clients and grasp potential opportunities to increase client spend in an informal setting.
Use the event as a platform to obtain greater insight into the clients future needs and wants. Open up conversation about company products or services that may be complimentary to them and/or make them aware of upcoming product/service initiatives that may be of benefit to them either now in the future.
A well planned and executed client appreciation event offers the opportunity to obtain a stream of qualified referrals.
A study conducted by the Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Pennsylvania, on referral programs and customer value found that referred customers were both more profitable and loyal than normal customers. Referred customers had a higher contribution margin, a higher retention rate and were more valuable in both the short and long run.
By extending the reach of your client appreciation event to not only your top clients but their adult family, advisers, vendors and even prospect clients you are increasing awareness of your company and your brand, and the potential therein for qualified referrals.
However, we do recommend grouping your prospective guests into tiers, and hosting different events depending on their personalities and interests. A blanketed, mass-audience style approach could be perceived as impersonal. Between your firm representatives ensure you have sufficient face time with all of your clients in attendance. Make them feel special.
SnapShot Client Appreciation Event Ideas:
Stylish + Classical
- Wine, champagne or beer tastings + day-tours, high teas, viva las vegas gaming events with roulette tables, poker and croupiers, Vintage circus with acrobatics and performance dancers.
Edgy + Unique
- Masterchef cooking classes - cupcake making, authentic italian pizza making, BBQ grill cook-off, scavenger hunts, mystery and progressive dining experiences, learn from a Mesmerising Street Magician and so much more.
- Dance class lessons, golf simulators, racing simulators, partybus pub hop, race-days.
However, a successful client appreciation event takes meticulous planning, a creative eye and supportive backing from your organisation.
A key factor in the success of client appreciation events, is execution. Doing it, and doing it well.
Stay Tuned for a follow up in this 3-part ‘Client Appreciation Series’ > Next up: 8 key factors in hosting a successful client appreciation event.
Managing Director - OzParty Events