Private Club Radio Show

290: Setting The Standard of New Member Onboarding w/ Sean Bleyl, MembersFirst

October 20, 2023 Denny Corby
Private Club Radio Show
290: Setting The Standard of New Member Onboarding w/ Sean Bleyl, MembersFirst
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how to onboard new members into your private club in a way that ensures they get the most out of their membership? This conversation with Sean Bleyl of MembersFirst. We unravel the intricacies of the new member journey from their initial website visit to the continuous process of engagement and nurturing that goes beyond mere orientation. Sean’s insights are invaluable for any club looking to enhance their new member's experience and engagement.

We touch on crafting personalized messages that avoid the mass-produced feel, and the secret sauce to creating an efficient new member microsite packed with appealing content. The path to properly introducing new members to the club and its members is extremely important.  Sean shares strategies to leverage automation in making this process more effective, personal, and less time-consuming.

We offer practical tips to help members familiarize themselves with the tools they have access to and discuss the role of data in shaping content creation and personalizing messages. Emphasizing the importance of feedback in refining onboarding strategies, we explore how it aids in developing a club's roadmap.

If you want to give your NMO experience a complimentary evaluation.
Head on over to MembersFirst.com/PCR to get started!

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Speaker 1:

Hey everybody, welcome back to Private Club Radio. I'm your host, denny Corby, and in this episode it is all about your new member onboarding. What is your new member onboarding experience? And I don't know if it's from the background in family, business, the entertainment, all the above, but to me it's all about the customer experience. What's it like before, during and after?

Speaker 1:

So me and my friend over at Members First, sean Blyall, talk a lot, and often just about sales, marketing, all things club related, and we both agree the member experience is one of the most important things. So in this episode we talk specifically about what is the best way to have the ultimate new member experience when it comes to your club. So what does the website look like? What does that whole experience look like for them, and are they guided through how everything works and getting reminders and updates, and are you sending them the right process for them to consume all of the information properly? So there's really a lot that breaks down into a really small part of something much bigger. What made this even better is that Sean and I got to do it live in person at Members First HQ, waylon Mass. What's Good, new England. So it makes this interview even more special. So we are going to nerd out me and Sean Blyall all about the new member onboarding experience.

Speaker 1:

Please welcome to Private Club Radio, our friend Sean Blyall. Thank you so much for being here. We are here. Live the Members First mobile studio in Members First in New England, in Wayland. Inside you pay tens of $100,000 to sign up, become a member and then all of a sudden it's radio silent, Like where's the everything? What's the new member experience? You know that's super important. It's real important.

Speaker 1:

I know I got real serious there.

Speaker 2:

I think it goes back to the sale doesn't stop once they've been sold. Once you become a member of a club, you can't just. I mean that new member's probably been there before as a guest. They've heard of the club, they may have gone to an event there, so more than likely that member's had some sort of experience with the club, but they've never actually been a member of it, they've never been behind, you know, behind the gates, and so I think that once you've got to learn to swim I mean, we're in the process of teaching our kids how to swim right now, which is extremely exciting, frustrating and hilarious at the same time. But, as a member, when a member's trying to become a great member at a club, once they walk through the doors, that's a great time to create really good habits and I think that they're a very captive audience at that point in time. They are excited, they want to get the most out of their membership, but also they just need to get engaged with the community as soon as possible.

Speaker 1:

What's the difference between like a member's first new member on board? What's the difference between like a good, like a great a good and like a like Everyone probably does a new member on onboarding in some capacity.

Speaker 2:

I think most time.

Speaker 1:

it's not good, so what's?

Speaker 2:

I Wouldn't say it's not good, I think, I think.

Speaker 1:

I think yeah.

Speaker 2:

I think most clubs. I Think the difference is between there's a difference between orientation and onboarding and I think every, every club, every club out there that I that I've spoken with Always does a new member orientation and there's a variety different ways to do an orientation.

Speaker 2:

Right an orientation could be just a one-on-one meeting with the membership director, the general manager of the membership committee, whoever it may be, and it's usually. Here's the password to your website. Here's your membership card. Here's how you get through the gates. Here's the sticker. Here's, maybe you know, some free appetizers at an event that you go to and you try to meet new friends. So an orientation, I feel is, is something that has to be done Because you need to give them Access to the club. But once they have access, there's a very big difference between orientation and onboarding, because onboarding is continuous.

Speaker 1:

Would you say like nurturing?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think onboarding and nurturing is is is very similar. It is Helping them get the most out of their membership and maybe helping them discover Connections that they may not have known or at the club.

Speaker 1:

So is that like through, so that's through. Like the emails, like that's like so, like slowly dripping out, like hey, welcome here some. You know you know top, you know 30,000 foot view Details of the club. And like two weeks later it's like, oh hey, by the way, you know, in between like little trickles, but say, hey, did you know Specifically the club has, you know this service. And then you slowly like get the man, it's not like overwhelming all this stuff all at once it's. And then, like once you kind of get them to drink the juice of like the club and like get more active, then it's well, yeah, I think it's.

Speaker 2:

I think it's it's highlighting. It's highlighting ever all the questions that come up and in day-to-day member life, whether it's a new member wondering, hey, how do I make a tea time? Or you know something like this, where it's, you know there's a, there's a huge event at the end of the year, but it is always sold out and if you're not aware of when you need to sign up for it, then ultimately you might miss out on that big event that you were really excited for. So I think that the, the nurturing of people, is very similar to onboarding, and and how you deliver that content I think is key. There's a lot of automation that can help out the membership director.

Speaker 2:

I spoke with a club the other day and in Florida, and they they're a full waiting list club. So they are not. You know, they're adding people to the waiting list, which is great. They had a little over a hundred people on the waiting list. Most of the people that are joining the waiting list are people who are Our friends, of members they've had, you know, you are required to have a, you know, a few letters of recommendation so on and so forth, whatever it takes to get onto the waiting list, but they take five people per month off the waiting list, which is pretty incredible.

Speaker 2:

That's 60 people per year. And that's 60 people per year that you are adding to the community. And yes, you might do a quarterly or a monthly orientation where you get all the new members together and they meet existing members. That's wonderful. Hopefully everybody can make it. Hopefully everybody goes to the event and meets everybody.

Speaker 1:

Well, also, sometimes, like I'm not, some clubs have some weird members and if, like we all know, like sometimes, the clubs have like those weird members that show up to like every you know, I mean they're the ones who show up.

Speaker 2:

I want to be friends with those.

Speaker 1:

No, but you know, I'm saying like you show, like you're like oh, welcome to committee.

Speaker 2:

They're like yo and you're like, like oh no, I can just tell you, like all you guys, it feels like sometimes those events are an obligation and You're required to do it, and then, once the open bar is done, everyone trickles out slowly into the yeah so I think that I think that what I really like.

Speaker 2:

When we designed our onboarding program, there was, of course, some software automation that goes into it, because that's what we do. We're a software company but what we really try to do is help membership and marketing directors be extremely efficient with their time, because more often than not, they're answering the same questions, and I look at how, how other companies onboard people. You and I were chatting today about, about YouTube TV, and have I ever told you the story about when I purchased YouTube TV?

Speaker 1:

No.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I cut the cord, danny. I cut the cord in December of 2022 with all like who lose everything. Well, it's an echo. That far, I cut the cord with cable.

Speaker 2:

Okay mainly because I travel a lot. I mean, granted, I saved $50 a month, which is great. However, that wasn't the main motivating factor. I wanted to be able to access content from anywhere and that really fit for my lifestyle.

Speaker 2:

But was what was really interesting was the way that you to TV on boarded me as a customer, and it's the exact same way that we're helping Clubs on board their members and it was very, very simple. To the first day, they sent me an email that just said Welcome to YouTube TV, this is gonna be awesome. Day two, they sent me another email that said hey, you're probably excited that you just joined YouTube, and I was. But they said hey, welcome to your new DVR. I have unlimited recording on DVR with cable. I had a, the package that I had. I had a limitation, so I couldn't record all the the shows that I really wanted to, or I Did delete the ones in order to record new ones. So that was exciting.

Speaker 2:

On day two. Day three, it was how to set up all the devices in your house, what I really liked, and as that first couple weeks went on, they slowly trickled Communications to me and for some reason, they just hit me at the right time. On day five, they just said hey, you've been a customer for five days. Take a quick 30-second survey To help us know how it's going. The coolest part, I think, about their onboarding process, so I purchased it in December of 2022. The Super Bowl is usually at the beginning of February, so mid-January they knew that I cheaped out and I did not buy the 4k package. However, they introduced the 4k package and the sports program to me in the middle of January, hoping that I would upgrade right before the Super Bowl. Little did they know. I didn't care that much about the Super Bowl, so I did not make that purchase.

Speaker 1:

Well, I mean, you have to assume they're good at their marketing if they Said welcome to YouTube TV and you understood and got the reference of a DVR. Like I don't think, like there's definitely a demographic right now who are like what is a DVR?

Speaker 2:

Like they have no idea well, but that also goes to. You have the private club radio show. This is not on the radio.

Speaker 1:

Sean, it's been great. Thanks for being on private club radio. It's been fun. It's been real it's been fun. I can't say it's been real fun.

Speaker 2:

But the email. But if we, if we look back at that example From YouTube, how can we take that onboarding process and apply it to private clubs? Now, with private clubs, I wouldn't send out an email every single day Because it's just not. It's not the right demographic For that. So when we've helped clubs Outline what their automation Like the communication series that goes into it now is it? Even though it's automated, it is still personalized. Like that's the biggest key with automation is that it has to be personalized. It doesn't need to be sent one-to-one, but it Can't be so obvious that somebody's not handy to end, because you can fall Really flat on your face.

Speaker 1:

Well, I always feel like when you get the emails like we know you wall, and it's like now Just say we know you like, like we know it's going out to everybody, but just don't say y'all like just don't say you like or you make word where it's like it's clearly saying this is being sent out to a bunch of people. It's like you know when, when they just do like, like in the like openings opening line, like hi, yeah instead of like hey, I like the person's name.

Speaker 2:

But a lot of times I mean, do you even need to say, hey, denny, yeah, you probably don't right, because if you've had a communication with that person before, you're most likely Getting right into the conversation anyways. So the way that you structure it's how do you get to the open?

Speaker 1:

I was trying to make like a dig at myself because the last email private club radio put out you. You sent me the thing you're like. Have you ever thought about personalization? In the beginning I just did like a hiya and no, like first name, so I thought you were gonna like dog me.

Speaker 2:

No, I like the emails that I get from from private club radio.

Speaker 1:

They're getting better.

Speaker 2:

I Mean there's only one way to go, danny. I.

Speaker 1:

See nothing but opportunity, like you see nothing but growth. You guys sell a new member onboarding program, which is great. But I wanted to talk because there's three, pretty much three foundations, three Kind of concepts, ideas, protocol steps, whatever you want to call them For an effective one. When you work with the club, when you look at a new member Experience, new member onboarding experience, what does that look like like? How can someone do it effectively let's say they don't have the resources, or you know the funds, whatever to you know well, I think.

Speaker 2:

I mean our new member onboarding program. I I do think it's great and I encourage everybody to implement it. However, a lot of the items that we are doing for new member onboarding are actually just very time consuming things that we can do a little bit more efficiently to help the club get to that point quicker. Because when we're creating a, the first part of it is create a new member microsite. You put an area on your website. You end up leveraging the content and the data that you already have on your website to build out that microsite so that you're doing creative and consistent content management. That's something that the team can do on their own if they really wanted to, if they put the time and effort into it.

Speaker 2:

The second part of it is what content goes on that page, and the biggest thing that people are putting in those new member microsites are members who've joined in the last six months, introducing those new members to the community. That data already exists in every single platform that's out there, but how do you get it into the, into the microsite in a way that isn't so time consuming? You know, if you've got to go pull a ton of reports and create that manually. That's a dynamic list that's changing all of the time, so getting the content into the microsite is just time consuming. And what we found is that every time we would launch a new site, a lot of our clients would say hey, we're going to do all the onboarding ourselves, we're going to introduce the members to the new site, we will send them automated communications, we will introduce them to the members on a regular basis, and it sounds great. But then they never do it.

Speaker 1:

Implementation they get 80% of the way there.

Speaker 2:

It totally is. It's the it's. It's, I feel, like our, our member onboarding program. It's the follow through. It's like helping them get from point A to point Z and not have to worry about all the letters in between. And the first thing that we usually, when somebody's asking me about our new member onboarding program, I break it down as to hey, here are the things that are included, here's what we do. But they are always surprised at the end of the project how little they had to do, because we're doing a lot of the heavy lifting and a lot of the heavy lifting is just asking them questions and then taking that, the answers to those questions and putting them in an organized fashion and then automating some communications based off of those answers.

Speaker 2:

So a lot of times we're having conversations with the club to just tell us about your process and then, if you've got 10 steps in the onboarding process, if we can cut it down to, even if we can cut it down to eight, that's awesome.

Speaker 2:

Ideally, you cut it down to a lot more than that.

Speaker 2:

But the number one question that I ask actually I give I give all of the questions, all of my clients' homework assignments.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if they really enjoy that. But I do find that we learn a lot more. We learn a lot more about the client and their process, because we need to know as much as we can about what they do in order to help them find efficiencies. So the homework assignment that I usually give clients in the beginning is at your next department head meeting, ask your department heads to go back to their departments and ask everybody, every single staff member that they have, say what are the top 10 most asked questions that you get asked on a regular basis by members, whether it's existing members, new members, anybody and you take all of those questions from all the different departments and then you narrow them down to the top 10. And then that is the content that goes into your onboarding microsite, because frequently asked questions are the things that take up the most time, because we all know how a quick question can turn into a 30 minute conversation.

Speaker 1:

If you and I have no one doesn't know how Sean and I talk.

Speaker 2:

But ultimately, if it's a member asking that question, you can't just cut them off and say we'll see you later, because they're most likely standing in front of you.

Speaker 1:

So well then, I would assume what's neat with that data is now, once you start answering those questions that some members have, because it's one of those like what do people say when you, when someone gives you a piece of advice or says something, 10 other people are thinking it, I forget, with whatever that, that phrase is, but with this you shoot out some things and you see where people click on links and who opens what, and then on the back end you can track all of that. So then, if, like you're upcoming, if you, you know, with your tags I'm assuming I could be totally wrong you know, if someone keeps opening up the things about wine and clicks links about wine, I would assume there would be some sort of tracker. That now goes okay, we are going to you know any marketing things for wine, we're going to make sure Ethel gets it.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think, as a whole, you can measure that data on your website and try to find out where people are going when they're going to it and then ultimately use that as your your roadmap to the type of content that you want to create.

Speaker 2:

You know, it's another way to spend time on the most important content and less time on things that nobody cares about. But also, it's not all about the website, and I think that that was a big misconception when we launched our new member onboarding program was that it's how to introduce members, how to use the website, and there's a portion of that, because a part of onboarding is getting to know the tools that they have access to and how they can engage with the club, whether it's online or in person. But what we're finding is that the content that people are putting into their onboarding and microsites are you know how to refer a new member, or maybe there are these community groups that members of the club belong to within the community that the club is is located in. So it's introducing them to new things within the community because, let's face it, a lot of new members who are joining a club could have potentially just moved to this area for the first time, and so I think it's also an opportunity.

Speaker 1:

That's a great idea. That's a great thought.

Speaker 2:

It's an opportunity to introduce members. You're introducing members to the club, not introducing members to the tech, and we really saw the shift in our client's mindset when they started seeing the way that members were interacting with content. That wasn't necessarily how to make a tee time, how to make a dining reservation, and I think that the new member onboarding microsite is. It's not only a resource for new members, even though it is geared towards new members, because you have their full attention. Right, you have the opportunity, when you're a new member, to mold them the way that you want them to engage with your club, right, they're learning it for the first time, potentially.

Speaker 2:

But existing members we are finding that existing members are going to the new member onboarding microsite as well, and the things that they're looking for are all the questions that they want to ask, but maybe they don't want to ask somebody because they've been there for five years or 10 years, and so they're actually getting a lot more information out of that microsite as well, in addition to existing members love trying to figure out hey, who are all these new people on the golf course? Who are all these new people that I don't know? And so existing members are going to this content as well, to try to find out and learn a little bit more about these new people who are joining the community. Because, let's face it, new members are the next generation of the club. We have to be excited about introducing these new members to the club, not worried about am I not going to get my eight o'clock tea time anymore?

Speaker 1:

So I remember when we were talking years ago because I love like the business side of things and sales and marketing and even though I'm performer, doing standup, magic, mind reading, comedy shows for clubs all over the country dennycorbycom you got me back into automation. And because we were just talking about I forgot how it came up in conversation, but I tried it once and I hated it because like something like there was like a glitch and I was just so nervous and I think for me it felt like automation is like. I feel like like slimy because I feel like it's not, it's like disengagement. But then you know, you made a really good point.

Speaker 1:

You're like there's a difference between automation and it doesn't replace what was the word I had? It's meant to enhance, not replace. So like there's like there's certain things and touch points that you might have to do consistently or on a basis and it's, you know, there is easy automation to do that and it works well and once it's in place it's fantastic. So you're pretty hip, you're hip. Oh my God, who do I sound like?

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you, I think that's a compliment.

Speaker 1:

You are so hip, but no, you're good with all the technology and I think automation can be scary and you help me make it not scary. So how can automation be used effectively to where it's enhancing the experience and not trying to replace something?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think you made a good point there where automation is scary if you've never done it before, and I just encourage people to start small right, just to make sure that you are, make sure that you're not trying to do everything at once, right, because automation is scary if you've never done it. But it still needs to be personalized. But I think you just need to do it. I think you just need to start somewhere and put a little bit of automation in there, because, let's face it, our inboxes are full with everything and we know that there's not a person on the other end of every single email that's in our inbox. Your members know that there's not a person on the other end of every single email. If you set up an email to go out at 7, 17 on Saturday morning, do you think your members think that the membership director hit send at 7, 17 on?

Speaker 1:

Saturday morning.

Speaker 2:

More than likely they didn't. So they know that there is some automation in what we do on a regular basis. Right, you're getting the newsletter ready on Sunday, you're sending out all your proofs and then you're putting it out on Tuesday. It's not going out immediately. So I think that, getting comfortable with you're already doing automation. Now you're just having those things work for you in the background and people will commonly refer to them in our world as your drip campaigns right.

Speaker 2:

There is a certain trigger point that says send this piece of content to this specific person for this specific reason. And we have found unlike the example with YouTube TV that we talked about before is that the right sequence of communications coming from the right people at the club can be extremely powerful. I mean we're seeing in our email communication touch points sent through the member onboarding program. We're getting like 90% engagement rates.

Speaker 1:

And yeah, that is absolutely wild.

Speaker 2:

Compared to and let's face it a club's engagement rate through email communications is really high. So any business in the world would love to be getting 60% plus engagement rate. But clubs have a captive audience with their members, so have a fun. But even jumping it from 60% to 90%, I think is really incredible. But it's how you stand out in their inbox and how it's personalized.

Speaker 1:

Well and it's it's not going back to well. Of course you know your partners and friends of the show and me, so of course I want to. You know, plug you guys, but you know that's where it boils down to. You know it's, it's, it's those details and knowing, hey, this word in a subject title is probably better than using that word Cause, we see, cause you're around that data so much. You know the better word, so you can. You know help that. You know that might be a. You know a 10% difference between open rates and non open rates and you know the. It's the. Also, I think a lot of people forget the text. Uh, what's what's like? It's like the text that's not part of the email, but it's like underneath the subject.

Speaker 1:

It's like the pre text, the preview text, the preview text, like that's even such a big thing, which in my head I'm like, oh, it's not a big deal.

Speaker 2:

But then I go back in my inbox and I'm like, oh, my goodness, like I do yeah, and how is that going to be viewed on a phone versus on on, you know, through Gmail or through Outlook?

Speaker 1:

And this sorry and cause it's like stuff we also talked about off is. It's not even like about replacing a current, like communications or saying that you know what people are doing is bad. It's just, hey, like times well spent doing other things and it's not like debating what the email subjects should be, and it's like already knowing and having some things in place and how to take their voice and connect at all. It's uh, it's about like enhancing.

Speaker 2:

It's not about like replacing or exactly, and I think that, um, and that's why, when you get into any type of automation, it, it, you're not replacing anybody. Somebody still has to do the work, but you can get creative with how you do the work, but it's a main. Going back to what you said, the the copywriting, whether it's in the subject line or the preview text the actual message in the email like please don't send me an email that's got 20 paragraphs long because, guess what, I'm not reading it.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's in. It's not just the email, it's like the font, the styles, it's. You know you're not just oh, this looks nice. You know it takes a lot. You notice, for my business too, in different things it takes a lot to go. Hey, I liked that, but it's not going to work. I think sometimes like, oh, this email's pretty. Look at this template on Canva, this will look nice and it might be. Some of them are good, but it's if you want to have the best engagement rate from there also. Hey, scrolling and reading it's understanding the right fonts and sizes and bowls and what to italicize when to put a photo and do the aesthetics.

Speaker 2:

The aesthetics are important.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for taking a single word and summing up what it took me for three minutes.

Speaker 2:

I do think, but I think the aesthetics are extremely important. However, they're not the only thing. Correct, and think about when you're scrolling through your inbox and what subject lines come up there. And one of the one of the email communications touch points that we have within, you know, within our onboarding sequences one of them is just celebrated milestones at the club, and one of them could be as simple as hey, you've been a member here for a year, thank you, thank you, just something simple as celebrating that you've been a member here for a year. Give them something to look forward to.

Speaker 2:

Now take that into another context where why are you only celebrating those milestones for the person who has been there for one year?

Speaker 2:

How about that person who's been there for 25 years, for 50 years? You can set up these automation, these automated communications, not just focusing on the new members, but, once you get comfortable with the onboarding for the new members, which that is, the the key people to get engaged, but don't forget about your existing members and make sure that you set up one of those email touch points that celebrate somebody who's been there for 25 years, like that's a major milestone, and think about all of the experiences that you've delivered to that member in their family, celebrate it. Simple things Birthdays, automated emails with birthdays I think are key, but the reason I bring it up creative subject lines and how you use your automation to stand out in the inbox and this is how we're getting so many advanced or so many um, a high engagement rate is that we're trying to be creative with our subject lines and we're celebrating something that is specific to this member at a specific time.

Speaker 1:

And it doesn't have to like necessarily be, quote, unquote, meaningful, like an anniversary. You can have fun with it Like did you know it is your third hundred and thirty third day here, or you know whatever it is like that was like a year, but you can just like you know if you can customize it that early on in the beginning, just like assign a random like digit number, like did you know it is there? Or so, like like imagine, on the date that they got married, so 19, what, what's the member? 1942 is when they got married. No, you know, like 1972, maybe on there, like 1970s. Second day of being a member, they get an email or just something.

Speaker 2:

I don't like that would actually be no, but I think that that's that's getting, that's getting next level, that's it.

Speaker 2:

And I think and I think it's, I think it's, I think it's really great though, because I would open up that email, and you know what I would do. I would be like hold on, has it really been that many days? Even if the number was wrong, I would probably call the membership director and say actually, this isn't right. And if the membership director was Extremely savvy they say I know, but we're now chatting on the phone, let's have a great conversation, like you can yeah?

Speaker 2:

you know I always joke around with. We do have some Communications directors that reach out to us and they're like oh my goodness, I spelled something wrong and they email no one cares no one cares they do care. We understand that they care, but ultimately because you want to make sure that you are in a professional environment and you are spelling everything correctly.

Speaker 1:

But let's face it, we all move very quickly but no one's not gonna open up the next email because, correct, they see the subdeflight, the all the a was before the IOU or was a I before e, except oh, I'm not opening up the next one, no one, I'll be one person and guess what?

Speaker 2:

I always joke around and I tell people that I misspell one word in every email and it's up to you to find it. But you have to read my content in order to find that one word. It doesn't always work.

Speaker 1:

I put a thing at the bottom for my cell phone when I send emails that says please forgive all, all the errors, and I Put like an error in In that, yeah, what? What separates a good new member onboarding experience from a great New member onboarding experience?

Speaker 2:

I think a great new member onboarding experiences Is understanding that the content that you're delivering is not, it's not all about how to use the technology at the club. I think it is a really, really good onboarding experience is Knowing that all of the touch points that you have delivered to your clients, you now see them engaging in the way that you've coached them to do it. I think it's like a. I think it's kind of like a coach. I want it when a coach is trying to help teach a certain skill to their player. When you start to see their players perform well, the coach gets really excited and the player is really excited, and then the player wants to play more, and so I think that a great onboarding experience is when you actually start seeing new members Engaging with other, new members engaging with existing members in my head is to imagined like Two new members meeting.

Speaker 2:

And living happily ever after, and then that is a great onboarding experience.

Speaker 1:

Yes, Never mind, that was dumb but I think there's.

Speaker 2:

There's different ways that you can measure. There's different ways that you can measure the success of an onboarding program, when One of the key touch points that we put within our communication series Typically happens about the six month mark, is making sure that you're asking these new members for feedback, and that's how you can measure the success, not only if you're onboarding program but of your actual club experience. So sometimes companies in general forget to ask how what's going? I'm gonna go back to that YouTube experience. Right? They asked me five days after I had watched a bunch to TV and learned how to add it to all my devices, and they asked me for my feedback and I gave it to them. They, of course, got a glowing review.

Speaker 1:

Well, you know why people don't ask? Because they're afraid of the answers and they don't want to change, because they think what they're doing is good.

Speaker 2:

But you, but you can't be afraid of the answers and I think that you know we usually sprinkle in one of the autumn we we include a new member survey and every single onboarding project that we do, and it usually trickles in around month six, because that's when they've had a, because maybe they purchased the membership, they joined the club. If it's up here in New England, maybe they joined the club in February but they can't golf until, you know, april. Kids don't get out of school until the end of June, so they haven't really experienced the full Season of the club up here in New England. So I think that six month mark is actually a really good time to get some feedback and those new members will give you the feedback. But I, like you said, I don't think I don't think you should be afraid of the feedback, because that helps you develop the roadmap. We recently launched a. We launched a, a website with a with a client of ours.

Speaker 1:

Interest feedback for the feedback. It's really this rabbit hole of feedback and we do.

Speaker 2:

We love feedback.

Speaker 1:

I don't know. I think it's like a survey for the survey, like how good was that survey?

Speaker 2:

Oh it was a little funny with that before.

Speaker 1:

if your club sent you like Survey on the survey, hey, what do you think that last survey was sent you?

Speaker 2:

I don't think that's a bad thing. I think it. I think it depends on the type of club. Could Ben do it at Champions Run?

Speaker 1:

Yes, that'd be so funny.

Speaker 2:

Can somebody else do it at a very, very traditional club? No, Probably not, but so we and this actually happened. This happened a couple of weeks ago, so we launched a new website and unfortunately this doesn't have anything to do with the member on-boarding project, but I think it's. On the topic of feedback, and this client of ours was really strategic in their communications and they encourage members to give feedback to the club, Not just on the how successful was the website launch. It was they're asking for general feedback to get better, but they made it very with their new redesign. They made it very easy for members to deliver that feedback in a very organized and constructive way to the club and I thought that that was very, very important. But a week or two weeks after the launch, they had 70 different submissions and some of them were relevant to the website launch. Some of them were things that they would love to see done better around the club or some of them there was a few like hey, here, I had a great diet experience the other night. So there was a mixture of them. But out of those 70 responses, I think that there was 15 to 20 of them that just said, hey, I can't find where the member directory is because it was relocated. And so that just triggered the membership and communications director to create a short little video to help a certain demographic of the membership find out where the membership directory was. And then we uncovered that the icon for that directory was too small, so we just made it bigger and that seemed to help solve the issue. But if they didn't ask for feedback, how would they have ever known? They would have just thought that they were doing a great job or a poor job.

Speaker 2:

And I think that when you're asking these, when you're asking members for the feedback, especially during the new member onboarding program, you're going to get it, and I think that that's really, really important. And so, whatever your sequence is of email communication touch points, I think it's going to be very specific for your club. But then back to your point. How do you creatively write the subject line? What is the preview text? What is the content in the email? Where is that email supposed to drive you? Is that email supposed to drive you If you're introducing the golf performance center? Is the call to action in that email drive? And you back to the website where they could make a lesson with your director of instruction. So I think that all of the steps of the onboarding communications need to have a goal. Well, and then from there?

Speaker 1:

you can see who opens the email and who clicks from there.

Speaker 2:

And did they make a lesson?

Speaker 1:

And if they didn't, you can then personally reach out like, hey, I'm not sure if you, you know, you don't have to let them know. I saw you open a dinning buy. But you can, like you know, a week later or something, have like a trigger and automation a thing to, because an automation isn't just the emails, it's certain triggers and stuff. Right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's based off of. It can be based off of a variety of different things, at least in our program. So we base it off of the membership demographics, so it could be things that are in their profile. It could be membership types. Right, if you're just a social member and you don't have any golf privileges, you need to make sure that there's no information in your email sequence series about when you can play golf, because, based on the membership type you have, you can't play golf. So it can be based off of your member type or it can be based off of demographics within your email.

Speaker 1:

Or then then a whole other you know email sequences introducing those people with a lower membership, enticing them with a free lesson or two. Hey, you know, find out who's interested through the engagement. Send them down that rabbit hole in that funnel.

Speaker 2:

It's how do you help them, how do you help them grow to the next membership, to the next membership level?

Speaker 1:

But then I think there are I mean, if you can get a member to come back to a club an additional one time a year you know it's so dumb, but you have, you know, 700, however many members. If they just come that one more time because they open that communication, because you know, I don't know, I just feel like it's like that ripple effect.

Speaker 2:

I agree and I think that years ago, years ago, the best members were the members who only went to the club once a year. It's not really the case anymore. The best members are the ones that are engaged in the club, and the more engaged you are with your club, the more likely you're going to refer friends into the club, the more likely you're going to have your daughter's birthday party there, your daughter's wedding.

Speaker 1:

Well, now there's competition. Clubs aren't like they used to be. They can't just be like now, you know, there's not as many waiting lists, people have options. There's you know so many different other ones. So now it's oh, I think clubs have to look. Really any business clubs in particular. It's like okay, things are changing and either we're going to do it in adapt, or or you know they might know and like you know, you know, keep fucking saying that it's those little interactions with members.

Speaker 1:

Hey, I'm thinking about joining. Yeah, I don't know, it's a pain in the I mean it's not life threatening or like deal changing stuff, but it's little, those little details that at least I think when you pay for a membership. Especially some of these are very expensive. So at least I don't know you'd like to feel a little, a little bit appreciated than just here's your stuff.

Speaker 2:

I agree. I agree. Now the the one of the most common yeah, that's not even working anymore the most common thing that I actually, over the over the last two, over the last couple weeks, I've had conversations with a few clubs and the topic of what they're doing currently for onboarding. And then the number one item that's coming up is is when can you refer members? I was actually shocked, because there are some clubs out there that you can't refer a member until you've been a member there for two years.

Speaker 1:

Of course.

Speaker 2:

However, how do you ever remember that if you're an existing member? Because it all of a sudden on the dive. I've been a member here for two years Now. I can now I can introduce Danny Me as the member. I'm probably not going to remember that, and so that's another touch point. If you have a process like that, it's another touch point to just remind them congratulations, you've been here for two years. Here are all the other things that you can do now as a member. You can now introduce them to the committee process, introduce them to other areas of the club.

Speaker 1:

This is where I think you can take that deeper is, you can start that six months out. Hey, just so you know, once you're two, once you're here two years, you're six months out. You have access to all of this. Hey, do you have any friends who might? You know, we have a 50 person waiting list. You don't have to wait until the two years. You can already, you know, submit like a name, maybe like a pre. I know every club has like its own things, but, hey, you can start that process. You know, maybe it help. You know what I mean. Like there's ways you can then start building up the getting the hype. Hey, you know there's different committees. Hey, you can start learning about them. You can, like, hit the ground running.

Speaker 2:

You can keep it a little bit more seamless. I think you committee involvement is key because at most member owned clubs, the way that they're structured, committees have a lot of involvement, sometimes in the operations, sometimes not. But ultimately, do you join a club to be on a committee? Probably not. However, the committees have, so they are so committed to the club, but a lot of times they struggle getting people to join the committees, and you want a really good demographic, you want a good cross of you, want a very diverse membership as a part of your committee structure. Right To get a bunch of different points of view, but if you're not getting any new members to join the committee, then ultimately you're not really getting any new ideas, and so I think that that's also another thing that you need to find. What are all those ways that you can get members engaged and keep them?

Speaker 1:

engaged. Hope you all enjoyed the episode. I know I had a lot of fun doing it live. So here's something cool for all of us listeners. Us listeners it's my show I guess I listened to myself, but for all of the listeners. If you want to evaluate your own new member onboarding experience, head on over to membersfirstcom slash PCR for private club radio and you can get a complimentary new member evaluation. Really simple A couple questions. You'll get in touch with one of the awesome humans over at membersfirst. They are amazing, amazing people, very knowledgeable and, yeah, it's really good humans. So if you're interested in learning more about your own new member onboarding experience, getting a little bit more of an evaluation, head on over there. They're really cool.

Speaker 2:

Help you out, catch y'all on the flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop.

New Member Onboarding Experience
Efficient and Personalized Club Onboarding
Maximizing Onboarding and Member Engagement
Utilizing Automation to Enhance Engagement
Measuring Success in Onboarding Programs
Committee Involvement and Member Engagement