How Time Travel is Going to Improve Your Member Engagement and Retention

By Brandon Carter | Updated on Jul 26, 2016 9:00:00 AM

back-to-the-future.jpgTechnology is advancing rapidly. As in, “Is the Terminator a possibility?” is an actual conversation occurring in the technology world right now.

Virtual reality is here.

Automated bots are spreading like wildfire.

Self-driving cars are going to be great.

And aren’t we all excited that Silicon Valley billionaires are figuring out how to cheat death?

What we’re most excited about is time travel.

That’s right. The fictional adventures of Michael J. Fox and Doc Brown, Bill and Ted, even Stewie and Brian Griffin are becoming reality.

Or not.

But it’s a possibility, according to smart folks.

Until then, we have only our minds with which to travel through the decades and centuries.

And we should, because it can have a huge impact on the steps we take with our member engagement today.

Let me explain.

Close your eyes and picture your organization ten years from now.

Picture boatloads of members or customers that have been around for years.

They’re sold on your organization. They get your value, love their member benefits, are deeply connected with fellow members and peers.

Ten years from now you’re truly rolling in the doughy goodness of actual lifetime customer value. The thing everyone talks about, but no one really seems to earn. You’ve got it.

Now, use your inner time machine to retrace the steps.

member benefits

Begin with the ending, then work backward

The technique might seem goofy, but it’s a growing practice among successful individuals and companies.

Futurist Kevin Kelly calls it the “Reverse Time Machine.” Tara Mohr talks about channeling your “Inner Mentor,” a future version of yourself that can help guide you to where you want to be.

The point is to start at the goal, then work backward. Think about specific milestones and steps.

  • What made the member refer their friends? Did you ask them to do so?

  • Did the organization deliver on the expectations set before the member signed on? Was that communicated to the member in a tangible way?

  • How did you get them to attend an event or volunteer?

  • What member engagement tactics did you use to earn the first few renewals or purchases?

  • Did your onboarding process validate their purchase by showing initial value? Did it push the new member to engage with your member benefits?

  • What expectations did you set when trying to sign them up initially?

You get the idea. Think about what that lifetime member looks like and the specific experiences they’ll have.

Once you start there, it’ll become easier to create the path that every member is placed on.

Will it work for every person that joins your organization? Nope.

But it’ll capture a lot more of them than simply putting some things in place that may or may not result in 10+ years of successful engagement.

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Topics: customer loyalty

Written by: Brandon Carter

Brandon is a writer and marketer for Access Development. He's a frequent blogger on customer and employee engagement & loyalty, consumer trends, and branding.

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