Which sounds better to you: “Let me tell you about a bunch of really great solutions to make your life easier” or “Want to race?” Yeah, me too. One of our biggest difficulties at HP is educating a potential customer about the services HP can provide. We have so many offerings and solutions that it can be challenging for clients to understand which solution best addresses their business problem. We wanted a better way to connect with clients, and to connect on their terms, about their specific and most pressing issues. And we wanted everyone to have fun doing it. Is that too much to ask?
As it turns out, no, it wasn’t too much to ask. Gamification is a hot topic in tech now, and with good reason. Games are an engaging way to interact with and retain new information, so we decided when it comes to winning over business challenges, we were going to put our customers in the driver’s seat.
The demo we call The Race to the New Style of IT takes advantage of the fact that people love to drive cars – fast – and love to compete. At events, people are drawn in by the big racing screen, the energy, the noise of roaring engines, the real-time Twitter feed, and the laughter. Anyone who wants to participate first has to register, so we capture their email address, name, cell phone number, and company. Then they’re given a list of business and IT challenges (drawn from our market research and specific requests we see from clients) and asked to identify their four biggest challenges. We have mapped our offerings to these challenges, and we provide every racer with a guidebook specific to their problems and our solutions.
Then the fun really starts: racers first take a quiz consisting of three questions. We give them scenarios related to the challenges they’ve identified and ask them how they’d solve the problem. There are three possible answers – a modern/HP solution (indicating our clients recognize our solution), an “old-school IT” answer (indicating we should have a conversation about the new style of IT), and a silly third option. Choosing the modern solution will net a racer a 5-second speed boost. Old-school choices give racers no advantage nor penalty; the silly choice gets a racer a 5-second flat tire. Next, competitors move on to the racing part where excitement and tension build along with the noise of the engines. Racers complete against others who have also taken a quiz specific to the challenges they face. With over 400 scenarios in our database, the same client can race over and over, absorbing new information each time – and they do.
We use The Race primarily at events where the giant racing screen is showcased at its best. The result has been incredible. Our leads from each event have increased exponentially. Plus, with the information we’ve gathered, we can better connect with our clients directly on their needs, so the leads are better qualified than badge scans. The result is HP being able to help our clients solve more of their issues at a much faster pace.
Not every partner can commit to an undertaking like The Race, but the success we’ve seen, I believe, points to the opportunity every partner does have – to offer new, even fun ways to educate our customers about the solutions we’re offering. I think one of the most important things about The Race isn’t the flashy colors of the cars or the thrill of the chase, it’s that customers know we understand the unique challenges they face, and that we can help steer them toward the best solutions. And if we can get that message across in a fun and engaging way, then we can all enjoy the winner’s circle.
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