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Three easy steps make sure you don’t waste time and money on user meetings

User meetings are expensive. Therefore many company executives are suspicious of what the actual value of a user meeting might be, other than a boondoggle. If not planned appropriately you might create a fun party, but not a revenue-generation event. The only thing you will have to show for your investment is a significant line-item expense in your budget.

Although this scenario paints a bleak picture of user meetings, you do have a better choice. You can create a quality event that generates long term value for you, your company and your customers. The trick is to take strategic and planned approach.

Three key steps will help guide and drive you to create a profitable user meeting instead of a money-sucking boondoggle. This strategic process delivers an excellent customer experience with layers of benefits to reap throughout the entire year!

Three steps for profitable user meetings

Producing an event with these key strategic elements reinforces your commitment to customers and arms them with targeted and valuable information.

Step One: Create value for the attendees

You can plan all you want, but if you do not have anyone at the event – you have failed. Your customers are busy. They need to quickly understand what value they will receive from taking time out of their busy schedule to attend your meeting.

If the event is all about your company, customers will quickly see through the deception and not bother to attend or recommend your meetings to their peers. Most importantly, they will not feel you have their best interest at heart.

User meetings are for the benefit to your customer. The agenda must be thoughtful and speak to their needs and challenges. Pay particular attention to what your attendees get out of the meeting. What are the key take-aways from your educational content? The meeting should deliver significant value from the customers’ point of view. To create a valuable experience, start by answering the following questions:

  1. Who is your audience and what is most important to them?

  2. What are the key challenges that keep them up at night?

  3. What can they take away from the event and immediately put into action to help them be more successful?

If you do not have the answers to these questions at your fingertips, do your research to get them. Start by sending out a survey. Conduct site visits or phone calls. Your goal is to listen and hear what the customer is saying. Find commonalities and points that keep coming forward during these conversations.

Use this information to build your agenda and provide solutions during your event. Make your content and activities speak to their specific needs. Not only will your customers be more inclined to participate, but they will also know you listened to their issues and are offering them help.

Step Two: Identify and incorporate up-sell opportunities

This does not mean you are hawking your wares at the user meeting. Customers will not return if they feel pressured to buy something (i.e. the free ticket timeshare pitch). Your research and diligence must include ways to approach customers and have meaningful conversations to drive interest and follow-up meetings.

Your goal in this step is to identify customers that need help in certain areas, and make sure they are aware of how your company can help them. Create a coding system via their badge, so the sales team knows at a glance what products each customer uses, which they do not already use, and guage their level of interest. Use this information to introduce customers using all your products to those who would benefit from doing the same.