5 HOT TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR MEMBERSHIP RETENTION RATE WITH ONBOARDING

You might be familiar with onboarding when it comes to new employees, but what about your clients, or members? In the corporate world, they discovered that corporate culture initiatives could encourage employee bonding very early on in the onboarding process by using welcome boxes. Since then, welcome boxes have become a sign of truly amazing experiences in a very tangible way.

One of my favorite onboarding examples is the Dropbox company and their Cupcake Welcome Box Kit, where you build your own cupcake. Clare Pederson, a designer with Dropbox said, “As Dropbox grew, we needed to come up with an efficient way to celebrate new hires with something more thoughtful than a thrown-together bag of leftover swag. The challenge was to think of only one gift that would bring delight to every single one of our diverse new employees. What could be better to celebrate than one of our own values at Dropbox: Cupcake! Inside the box we designed are all the ingredients to make your very own cupcake that’s gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and of course, can be made in the microwave.”
 
 
 
Making better connections:
Welcome boxes have become an excellent way to connect with people. Consider how you could delight every single one of your new members? What would it feel like for them to get something special in the mail from you? How could you help to create a WOW moment in the User Experience of your business, product, or service? Could this single mindset of Client-First Marketing increase your ROI by increasing your customer or member retention rate?
 
According to Joey Coleman, author of Never Lose A Customer Again states that: “Across a wide range of industries, a 5 percent improvement in customer retention rates will yield a 25 to 100 percent increase in profits.”
 
Asking better questions:

What if you established an amazing on-boarding practice, that celebrated your new customers and helped them to acclimate into your membership culture from the beginning?

What if you could create a welcome buzz within the social media world, that would guarantee that people would be referring their friends and business associates to your membership or community?

The increase in profits, accountability, referrals, and loyalty, would be guaranteed from their very first touchpoint with your company. What an amazing experience for everyone…right from the beginning.

 
So how do we do this exactly? Here are five key onboarding practices to ensure an amazing onboarding experience for your tribe or membership.
 

► Focus on Customer Retention.

 

There is such a rush to bring in more new members while not really considering the existing members within a community site. Even in the online space, it costs more to acquire new members than it does to maintain existing ones.

Now, think about that for just a minute…what if you focused more on customer retention, and did it before they were even your customer. You wouldn’t have to work nearly as hard or spend nearly as much money if you just focused on taking care of who you already have in your membership, or as a part of your customer base.

 

► OH & YEAH, Personal Connection Matters.

 

Pete & Andrew From ATOMIC: Marketing Unboringed.

I am a huge fan of Andrew & Pete from ATOMIC. If you don’t know them, well… you totally should check them out. They have an amazing and fun content marketing community-based in the UK with an extraordinary You-Tube channel. And they have been featured on sites such as Inc., Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, Convince and Convert, Entrepreneur on Fire and Kim Garst. These guys are practically famous. And since I am helping them take over the world…. {Oh, it’s totally happening} anyway, I had asked them to share with me a bit about their journey developing their onboarding process for their community. And this is what they said…

 
“We’ve been able to double our retention rates and increase our referrals massively simply by improving the onboarding process. It’s not about a few welcome emails, it’s about having contact and making them truly feel like they are a part of something. People come for the content but stay for the community, the friendships, and connections they make. Personal connection matters, and if you can process/automate/delegate/scale that then you’re onto a winner!” – Andrew & Pete
 
 
 

 

►Make Culture Tangible.

This ain’t SWAG! The harsh reality is people don’t want to wear your logo, they want to be a part of your mission! If your community or company culture resonates with your customers, then they want to spread the message. While it’s true that many Harley Davidson riders, proudly wear the HD logo and even have it tattooed on their bodies. With Harley Davidson, it is the culture of bad-boy HD brand that customers are reflecting, not necessarily the company itself.
 
So how do you make your culture tangible? First, you start by, establishing your company mantra. Now pay attention to how your customers interact with it. Do your clients react with hand-hearts or fist pumps? Do they have community names for referring to your tribe or members?
 
Next, get to know your culture. Know how you want your customers to feel every time they interact with you, your brand, your employees, your products, and your events. Is your culture oozing out every pore of your collective being? Your customers will come to expect this culture from you. And this isn’t something you can fake. Over time, people will know if you are being genuine and authentic. If you can deliver, and give them what they expect every time—you are golden. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you do have to be consistent.
 
These are the types of details that will help you to create things that people will wear or own proudly to show that they are part of a tribe or community. Your mission should be front and center. And onboarding is an amazing time to let your members know that they are a part of something special. Create something tangible to show that they matter, and are an appreciated part of the team. This encourages them to become part of the woven fabric of your membership or community’s mission.
 

►The Membership Experience.

 
While it’s true that your customer journey begins at the on-boarding process, and no doubt that it’s very important to start off with your best foot forward. Determining where you want to take your customer next should be a big part of the on-boarding sequence as well. It’s equally as important to start building good habits from the onset.
 
The on-boarding sequence can help your customers navigate through your processes and procedures. Encouraging them to be accountable and become an integral part of your community. This personal connection helps you to create an investment for the life of your members. If your onboarding is done right, your customers are now fully involved in your process.  And FOMO takes over, oh, yeah…it’s a real thing.
 

►Create Your Wow Moments.

 
I encourage my clients to build good habits from the beginning. This helps everyone to clearly see the next step, and know where the customer journey is taking them. I love using physical products like journals and planners to help communicate the customer journey, and your program to your members.
 
Planners are an excellent way to build accountability into a daily plan that keeps your customers, members, or fans eyeballs on your mission every single day. While digital products can be the latest and greatest technology available, if your customer base is less than professional IT developers, it might be more strategic to keep it low tech and accessible to everyone. Not to say that you can’t have PDF versions of your physical products. That can be a win as well.
 

These types of physical products can be a part of your onboarding procedure. Why not include them in a custom Welcome box? Or a Congratulations You Have Achieved The Next Phase box? Create these WOW moments for your people and they will tell everyone they know, especially on social media.

Making sharing simple:

Why not just ask your tribe to share photos of their welcome boxes on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, or anywhere you like. This is your program, your system, your products, and your members take good care of them. With strategic execution, they will be around to take care of you for the long run.

 
The WOW moments that I have experienced, been involved with, or have helped other entrepreneurs create have ranged from little things like Match Box cars that signify ’staying in your own lane’, to t-shirts for introverts to wear to social events that start conversations for them. It’s really about building connections with your tribe or membership.
 
Simply put…look at it from the perspective of your tribe. What would they want from you? What are the first things they need to know? And how can you make that learning experience an EVENT? Give them WOW moments!
 

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