The 80s and early 90s marked a time when the extravagance of spending absurd amounts of money were abundantly glaring as clearly depicted in the movies Wall Street and Jordan Belfort’s Wolf of Wall Street. It was not unusual for financiers and other successful companies to embark on a series of whirlwind courtships to secure new clients or maintain their business. To that end, clients became so spoiled that more often than not- they chose loyalty on the basis of how big the penthouse suite was or how many lavish parties could be thrown rather than what truly mattered – the fundamental values and mission of that company.
In today’s economic climate both financiers and corporations are taking a step back and reassessing how to maximize loyalty and client retention without breaking the bank account. Key words such as intimate experiences and engaging clients through immersive reality interactions are the new norm and the new sexy. In recent years intimate experiences and client workshops have replaced extravagant parties and weekly sumptuous dinners.
Today clients can still experience special moments, but in a more financially affordable setting. A dinner set in a vineyard or at a special restaurant with a well-regarded winemaker is more significant because it provides constant interaction in a luxury setting at a minimal price. The same is true of providing a culinary lesson or progressive feast. People tend to become more animated when enjoying good wine and food. A content belly leads to overall happiness.
In another example creating a booze and soothe experience where guests indulge in spa treatments while enjoying cocktails generally creates feelings of euphoria. Consider a boot camp experience relevant to the company’s product or the personal interests of the client – ranging from sports, music, art, fashion and gastronomy. The focus is to create feel good experiences which the individual most likely does not provide for him or herself. Pampering a client reminds them how much you value their business and thereby further cements loyalty to maintain the account.
Look for special access experiences which can include restaurant and museum openings – generally purchased at little to no cost, but still provides a leisurely activity marked by an air of exclusivity.
Companies with a larger budget should offer client trips to their manufacturing headquarters as long as the destination also has relevant sightseeing and local activities to inspire and entice the client to attend. A destination trip to the Caribbean, Florida, New York, and Las Vegas for instance, can be economical when not going in peak season or can be further enticing if the trip is centered around a seasonal event ranging from the South Beach Food Wine Festival to the US Tennis Open to a music festival in the Caribbean. More companies are taking their clients to Europe and the Caribbean where local tourism offices provide incentive programs and discounts and thereby make a trip not only fun and educational, but more cost efficient.
A client still needs to feel that their business is valued and by providing more intimate settings and unique experiences not only will the client feel important, but it deepens your relationship with them and thereby cultures a more robust understanding of solidifying and enhancing business practices.