Bridging the Distance: The Power of In-Person Events for Remote-First Customer Success Teams

Remote work environments are nothing new to us anymore, especially in the SaaS space! But fostering strong connections and collaboration within those primarily remote Customer Success (CS) teams can be a challenge. While virtual tools keep us connected, there’s something undeniably special about face-to-face interaction. In-person events, or onsite events, offer a powerful way to bridge the physical gap and supercharge engagement and collaboration within your CS team. And after all, your bottomline results (we are speaking customer retention and expansion) are down to engaged and empowered CSMs!

Why In-Person Events Matter for Customer Success

We’ve just spend 2 days on site with one of our dear customer Shiftmove . Here’s how:
  1. Boosting Engagement and Morale: Let’s face it, video calls can feel monotonous. In-person events provide a refreshing break from the daily routine, injecting a dose of fun and team spirit. Shared experiences, laughter, and a chance to connect outside of work all contribute to a more positive and motivated workforce. Engaged employees are more likely to go the extra mile for your customers, as reported in a recent Forbes article,  “The ROI of In-Person Meetings in a Remote World”.
  2. Supercharged Collaboration:  Virtual meetings can be efficient, but brainstorming sessions and problem-solving often thrive on the energy of in-person interaction. Onsite events allow for real-time collaboration, whiteboard discussions, and spontaneous conversations that spark creativity and innovation. Imagine a CS team strategizing a complex customer challenge together in a room, feeding off each other’s ideas! As highlighted in a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Collaboration in a Hybrid World: Here’s What Really Works”, fostering this kind of in-person interaction is crucial for effective collaboration.
  3. Building Stronger Relationships: In-person events provide invaluable opportunities for CS team members to build stronger relationships with colleagues beyond their immediate team. This fosters a sense of community and belonging, leading to better communication and support networks within the CS organization. Strong relationships translate to smoother workflows and a more cohesive customer experience.
  4. Enhanced Knowledge Sharing:  In-person events aren’t just about fun and games. They can also be a fantastic platform for knowledge sharing. Team members can learn from each other’s experiences, best practices, and success stories. This collective knowledge base empowers your CS team to deliver exceptional service to your customers.

The Science Behind those Benefits:

Beyond our anecdotal evidence, there’s a scientific basis for the positive impact of in-person events.  A Psychology Today article published in February 2024, “The Science of Why In-Person Connection Matters for Well-Being”, explores the link between face-to-face interaction and stress reduction and increased happiness.  The author explores how moments of connection, even those tinged with sadness, can leave us feeling uplifted. The study suggests that face-to-face interactions play a key role in regulating our emotions and fostering a sense of well-being!

Making the Most of In-Person Event

While in-person events offer a wealth of benefits, planning is key. Here are some tips to ensure your event is a success:

  1. Focus on clear goals: Align the event with your team’s objectives. Is it for brainstorming, knowledge sharing, or simply team building?
  2. Plan engaging activities: Don’t just stick to presentations. Interactive workshops, team-building exercises, and guest speakers can keep your team engaged.
  3. Facilitate open communication: Create opportunities for open discussions and feedback sessions. This allows your team to connect and share ideas freely.
  4. Gather feedback and iterate: After the event, get feedback from your team. Use this to improve future events and ensure they continue to meet your team’s needs.