By Stefanie Calello
With our 6th Annual Partner Community Workshop being held this week, the topic of customer conferences is fresh on our minds. It got us thinking about all of the great benefits that service providers can experience when hosting a customer conference of their own. While facilitating a customer conference requires much preparation, on-site work, and expense, the payoffs for your business in the long run can be huge. As you move into become a complete solution provider, more so than just an outsourcer, you may want to consider holding a local customer conference for these reasons:
- Upselling Opportunities – Bringing together your customers provides a great forum for you to promote the additional products and services that your business has to offer. This captive audience can be more easily engaged by seeing and interacting with the products in person. Live demonstrations of your various products and services will also allow you to showcase their in-depth features, and sell them on how purchasing these services can improve operational efficiencies and increase productivity. Utilizing this forum to communicate the value behind your supplementary services can prove to be an opportunity to upsell clients and gain additional revenue.
- Identifying Problem Areas – Another benefit of a customer conference is that you are able to discuss your products and services with clients face-to-face. Customers almost always have feedback on a particular product, but may not always share it with you directly via phone or email. When meeting you in person, clients can tend to feel more open about expressing their various problem areas, both with your products and with their other needs that they’d like to see you to address. Making an effort to speak with all of your clients allows you to collect their feedback, and even potentially remedy some of their issues on the spot. In addition, this type of event enables you to see how clients are utilizing your solutions, allowing you to help them optimize their use for immediate improvements.
- Understanding Your Key Customers – While it’s practically a given that not all of your customers will attend, it is likely that your most active and highest revenue-generating clients will be there. These are the customers most invested in your solutions, and will likely see the greatest benefit in being at the event. This provides a wonderful opportunity for you to build an even closer relationship with these clients by interacting with them directly in person. You’re able to address their questions and concerns on the spot, creating more buy-in from these key customers. In addition, by meeting with these clients face-to-face at your customer conference, you show a stronger commitment to these customers.
As service providers move away from being outsourcers, and transition into roles more akin to solution providers, it is imperative that they become more connected with the clients they serve. Holding a customer conference can be a tremendous way to build stronger relationships with clients and address many of their problem areas in person. It also creates better buy in from key customers who are likely to attend, and provides a fantastic platform to upsell these clients on your additional products and services. It is critical for solution providers to create strong relationship with their clients, and connecting in person at your customer conference can be a great facilitator of that.
About Stefanie Calello:
Stefanie is a Marketing Specialist at SaaShr responsible for executing marketing programs, predominantly associated with tradeshows and conferences along with other Marketing and Public Relations initiatives.