Hosting a customer appreciation barbecue? Talk about personalized customer experience! No really, let’s talk about it. You’ve heard all about social media marketing, and while it’s a big task, old-fashioned social marketing is worth all the effort. One of the easiest ways to score a face-to-face meeting with your clients is to throw a customer appreciation barbecue. 

Here’s why:

1. Savvy Marketing:

Since this is your party, you get to pick out all of the decorations. We recommend you showcase your products and services. Set up education stations, schedule a live demonstration, or just leave products out for your guests to play with (and assign a staff member to each station to clean up ketchup spills). If your business is service, set up a station where customers can test out your services. For example, if you’re a website design company you could set up a few computers with various website design styles and add-ons for customers to see why price varies, and to test out the usability for themselves. Showcase something new, or an established service/product that’s often overlooked. Think of this as a niche sales funnel; everyone you want to alert is sitting at the top of the slide and you get to provide a cushy place for them to land!

2. Maintain Brand Loyalty and Trust:

BBQAs hosts, your job is ensure that customers continue to trust your company. Let them get to know the people who work behind the scenes by courting loyalty. Put a face to the person who answers the phone and responds to email. Show off your talented, intelligent staff and put the minds of your customers at ease. You don’t have to casually display your college diploma, (which would be really weird in the middle of the lawn in any case – but on second thought might make for a cool t-shirt). You can prep your team beforehand with conversation starters that focus on business – both yours, and your customers – that will get people talking about their hopes, dreams, and challenges. Now is a great time to show off your problem-solving skills. Keep your calendar app open, you’re going to need it!

3. Collect Detailed Feedback:

You can’t fix something you don’t know is broken. Part of courting loyalty is being able to take constructive and honest criticism. Boldly ask clients where they feel your company could better support them. Talk openly about frustration and find out where they would appreciate more communication – or less, as the case of your newsletter may be. You’ll get a lot more information in person than from an online survey.

Pro Tip:

Entrepreneurs are busy people so you’ve got to make a customer appreciation barbeque worth their while. Offer a discount on a current service for the summer months, set up a draw to win something awesome, (not just swag from your own company), or turn it into a fundraiser for a local charity. Provide a golden networking opportunity for everyone by asking attendees to contribute their own swag and create networking loot bags (we recommend you include some candy too, though). Get creative: what would convince YOU to unshackle from your desk for a couple of hours?

Jelly Triangle can offer you customized, creative marketing tactics for your online presence. Book you complimentary consultation by calling us at 519-624-8888 to find out how.

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