Part of our mission statement is “to be different.” We accomplish this by doing things others don’t and won’t do.
To create customer loyalty in a highly competitive and commodity-based industry, the cardinal rule is to stand out from the crowd. You must make your customers feel special.
Here are 5 events you can host to stand out, create a memorable customer experience and make your customers feel appreciated:
1. Quarterly “Welcome to the Agency” Brunches.
I often refer to the first few months with a customer as “The Honeymoon Phase,” and food is a quick way to people’s hearts.
Your new customers typically love you the most shortly after switching their business to your Agency, so strike while the iron is hot. Partner with a local restaurant to offer a buffet meal for customers who switched their business over to you.
Done quarterly, you’re gathering with customers four times a year to enjoy great food, a few laughs, receive some agency giveaways, and it allows you to thank them for their business personally. This has helped retention and is an AMAZING opportunity to get referrals.
(You can also do this monthly if you write a ton of new business a month).
2. Annual Cookout
Once a year, our Agency team and customers gather in a park for our Agency cookout. Hot dogs, hamburgers, bounce houses for the kids, a DJ, games and giveaways, and other fun activities.
The cookout is a blast; it sets us apart and allows me another opportunity to say THANK YOU to my customers. Retention and referral numbers reflect the event’s success. We call it a major win.
3. Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
We have a wooden bat summer baseball league in our community. Each year we sponsor a night where we invite each of our customers to attend — our treat.
At the game, we set up our Agency tent, and we invite our customers over so they can sign our guestbook, get a hot dog and soft drink voucher, and do some giveaways. Between innings, my customers are invited to the field to participate in competitions. To kick the evening off, I get to throw out the first pitch and publicly thank my customers for their trust and support.
Are there any sporting or music events in your community that you can explore hosting such an evening? It’s helped make a good name for us because it is unique.
4. Coffee, Anyone?
More like: coffee, everyone! A couple of times a year, we cross-promote with a local coffee shop. We set a date and window of time where a staff member from my Agency will sit-in at the local coffee shop to buy everybody a medium coffee of their choice.
No strings attached.
We do this to say ‘hello’ and thank them for supporting a fellow small business (the coffee shop). We give everyone a promo item from our Agency and publicize it on social media.
5. Half-court shot.
You may recognize this one on a national level. We’ve taken to the idea to support the local school and causes.
I partner with a local High School that is raising money for a specific cause. I meet with the students to let them know that the TOP fundraiser will be given the opportunity to win $500 from my Agency. And, they get to have some fun doing it, too.
During half-time at a Varsity basketball game, I go onto the court, say thank you to the school and the community, and recognize the top fundraising student. The student gets ONE shot from half court to win $500 from my Agency. (If they miss, they still receive $100 for their efforts.)
We present the student with a giant check from my Agency and take pics for a fun piece on social media and local newspapers. I mean, who doesn’t love one of those oversized checks!
Did you spot any trends in these 5 events? We can name 5:
- They are unique.
- They are fun.
- They bring people together.
- They support the community.
- They allow us to show our appreciation publicly.
- Get our promo items out into the community.
- Involve social media opportunities for even more reach.
They are all designed to create customer loyalty. Hosting events like these consistently increase our customer retention. When we show appreciation and treat our customers to fun, family-focused events for free, it goes a long way.
What events do you do for your customers? We’d love to hear them. And if you aren’t doing any currently, we urge you to pick up one of these ideas to create customer loyalty and see how it goes.