We said loyalty begins with the onboarding process. While onboarding certainly plays a major role, in reality loyalty, or the prospect of it at least, begins when the customer meets the brand for the first time. The relationship begins long before the first transaction takes place.
What are the expectations set from the beginning? What is a brand promising?
As Robbie Kellman Baxter mentions in The Membership Economy, people who go to McDonald’s for their anniversary dinner are going to be pissed when they’re not offered champagne and caviar. McDonald’s goes out of its way to set expectations and model its experience to fit the needs of its most desirable customers.
Yes, they're going to lose out on the fine dining crowd and those dollars. So be it.
Too often brands are built around the top of the acquisition funnel. They’ll say anything they can to get someone to make that first transaction.
Oftentimes, their customers feel betrayed because the brand does nothing to fulfill its promises, or doesn’t match the experience they expected.
It’s an ongoing problem. We’re all living and dying by what happens toward the top of the funnel, while ignoring those who’ve already completed it.
How do we fix it? Start at the bottom.