Community + Engagement + Growth + Retention

How to Create an Onboarding Experience That Gets RESULTS

Without a cohesive onboarding experience, you’re leaving money on the table.

Onboarding experiences are essential for online memberships and communities. But they are a real game changer in courses, DIY programs, group coaching.

An onboarding process has impact on three important things: recurring revenue, customer experience & attrition rates.

An onboarding process can improve course completion rates from 6% into 65-70%.

That makes all the difference in social proof, testimonials and delivering real results.

Listen to this SPARKED Session:

An effective onboarding process makes all the difference in the customer experience and progress. A personalized onboarding experience can triple the lifetime value of a member.

For example, one year memberships can turn into three because they had a positive experience when they first joined.

You can see why it’s so important to take the time to INVEST in a welcoming onboarding experience.

The Hostess Method for a Welcoming Experience

Imagine you’re arriving at a party, and the hostess meets you at the door.

She takes your coat, gives you a quick tour & hands you a drink before introducing you to some of the other guests.

Within minutes your basic needs and questions were answered, basic connections forged; and a high likelihood of enjoying yourself has commenced!

That’s the hostesses job.

Now, think about that same experience when customers are joining your business ecosystem.

How do you make them feel welcome, answer core questions, show them around and create connection?

We use this same concept to create the “hostess experience” for each of your customers.

Bare Minimum Onboarding includes:

First, a personalized welcome. A warm introduction as the host of the course or community, directed to the person who has signed up (video is ideal).

Second, show them around. A quick tour to help them do whatever it is they want to do on the platform; show them how, and show them where.

Third, connect them with someone. It’s gotta be easy for them to find connection with folks they haven’t met yet. Whether it’s a personal introduction or a member mixer, make it easy and essential.

Fourth, get actionable insights. As you’re onboarding, ask them a few questions to figure out where they are in their customer journey.

Finally – and most important – deliver immediate results to meet their purpose. They’re there for a reason, GIVE THEM A WIN. If you’ve created a program or launched a community with me before, you how important your customer success journey is… This is where you go back to that journey and help them self identify where they are on that journey. When they self identify where they are in the process, you can ensure that they find value in the program.

Assessing new members shows you where they are in their journey and tells you more about the people at your party. Assessments are customer research and should be an ongoing learning activity. Find out why they joined, what they expect, what their biggest obstacle is and you’ll find gold.

Build in an early win with Acceleration Sessions

I recommend my clients use Acceleration Sessions inside of their communities during onboarding.

These might be exercises, a challenge, sessions, opportunities to connect, or provide value. The activity is always designed for them to make progress on their reason for being there.

Acceleration Sessions can make all the difference in the engagement of that member in the future. It turns lurkers into COMMUNITY. Are they going to stick around? Are they going to join threads? Are they going to be part of forums? Or, are they going to forget about the program and unsubscribe because they didn’t get results?

Acceleration Sessions reiterates the value of the program by meeting their immediate need. We want our customers to make progress, so we include Acceleration Sessions during onboarding.

Don’t overlook this impactful moment of their experience

They are looking to “get their moneys worth” the minute that they step their foot in the door. While we want to be intellectual about our purchases, it’s usually an emotional & impulsive choice. With a welcoming acceleration process, you soothe the unspoken psychology of the moment. They are looking to make sure that they’ve made a valuable investment, and we’re ready to prove it.

Deliver an early win for your customers, and you triple their lifetime value, create “course complete-rs” and deliver real results worth talking about.

Five things to include in new member onboarding:

  1. A personal welcome video, where you capitalize on their excitement and attention.
  2. A short survey to learn more about who these people are, why they purchased and where they are in their journey.
  3. A platform overview; how to find things, where to find things and…
  4. Introduce them to other members so they feel part of the crowd.
  5. An Acceleration Session where your customer makes fast progress & experiences an early win.

Include these in an onboarding experience, and you will have sustained retention & revenue growth in your community.

How to Create an Onboarding Experience That Gets RESULTS

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