Consumers have the power, everyone is an influencer, and consistently delivering exceptional customer experience is critical to event success. And as the B2B vs B2C playing field has leveled, buyers expect consumer centric experiences across the board.
I've certainly had some great interactions from brands that are clearly customer obsessed. Amazon has a fantastic turnkey return policy, AMEX overnights cards, Chase Bank fraud protection has zero friction, but I also think back to one of my first jobs as a cashier at the Ace Hardware in Fargo, ND. There are a few things I'll never forget from our training:
- Greet every single person who walks in with eye contact and a smile.
- When customers say thank you, rather than responding with "you're welcome" say "No, thank you. It's truly my pleasure."
- When someone asks what aisle a product is in, walk them to it personally as opposed to just telling them the aisle number.
- If there is a long line at the register, acknowledge what's happening. Make eye contact with all of the people in line and say "We'll get someone up here to help as fast as possible. Thank you so much for being here and for being so patient."
And here’s the thing – as a B2B event marketer, I still apply this advice.
Greet clients: Perhaps this means live chat instead of gated forms enabling a real time information exchange.
Say "Thank you": How are we working with customer success to ensure surprise/delight and retention programs have the right tone?
Walk with clients: Digitally, are you ensuring a smooth customer journey to relevant information? And onsite at events, do walk with clients as that added touch.
Acknowledge customers: Brands don’t always get it right but addressing pain points in earnest ways makes relationships more human and meaningful.
With the amplification of social and more market choices than ever, it’s important to remember that customer experience is most successful when all departments contribute.