What to really expect from customer hospitality: GCI at World Superbikes Round 7 in Brno

Back in June I was fortunate enough to attend Round 7 of the World Superbike Championships out in Brno in the Czech Republic.

23 July 2018

GCI have been sponsoring the PATA Yamaha team for over 10 years now - continuing the partnership that Blue Chip had in place - and as a company we have benefited from a number of great trips across Europe with them. This year was no exception as, along with a couple of work colleagues and two customers, I ventured out for a long weekend of customer hospitality, bikes and beers! 

This was the first time I was going on one of these WorldSBK trips, so wasn’t too sure what to expect. However, we quickly set ground rules with the customers that there was to be strictly no “talking shop”! I’ve been on a number of hospitality events over the years where pushy sales people have attended and made it their priority to pummel customers with endless new product information, leaving everyone feeling slightly harassed. We knew that the customers that we invited loved bikes so this trip was simply about giving back to some of our key accounts, further strengthening those relationships and having a good time while we did it.

The PATA Yamaha team put on a great experience for us; the hospitality was superb and all the team were really friendly and had time for us, regardless of having to get two bikes ready for both race days. It was very apparent that PATA Yamaha simply view us as an extension of their team which was really nice, and even more pleasing when we win together! As a business we help customers from a variety of sectors achieve more every day, but seeing it come to life in front of your eyes really makes you appreciate the impact we have - the difference between winning and coming second could literally come down to a piece of data or an instant message being sent to someone at HQ. It was also great for our customers to get a sense of how technology that they have in place is being used in a completely different sector.

If you can get the right balance of enjoyment and experience, it presents a great opportunity to get to know who your customers really are and helps build the relationships that go on to enjoy many more years of partnership. Next up for GCI on the Pata Yamaha season tour is the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão, Portugal, where the team will look to win yet another race in an outstanding season…and we look forward to taking another group of customers out to enjoy the experience with us!


Andy Forder

Head of Enterprise Sales - South

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