Loyalty Begins at the Beginning: the Importance of Great Onboarding

Onboarding feels like a buzzword these days. Like “social media,” “content marketing,” and “growth hacking,” it seems inescapable no matter what industry or career you’re in.

There’s a good reason for that. Customers and members who actively engage with a brand in the first few months after a purchase are much more likely to become loyal.

In other words, customers make a purchase because they believe in your promise, that they can receive value from buying your product or joining your organization. Delivering on that promise - plus more that the customer didn’t expect - will earn trust. Your organization proved itself to them when they were most critical, and they’re much more likely to become loyal as a result.

Onboarding for Loyalty

So here’s a spoiler of the webinar, or a portion of it, with the three key steps of onboarding for loyalty:

  1. Remove any friction - If it isn’t critical to getting someone started, save it for later. Whether payment is required upfront, or just an email to join, make it as simple as possible. Then, build out a workflow for new members that paces them through the rest of the onboarding phase.
  2. Present immediate value - The best time to show a return on the customer’s investment is immediately! Push usage of member benefits from the outset, connect new members with existing members, offer a reward for joining, and so on.
  3. Reward desired behaviors - A big part of The Membership Economy is building habits. These habits need to be shaped from the beginning, so things like referring friends, and engaging with the community are important to encourage within the first few weeks of membership. A major benefit of a membership model is collecting data. By paying close attention to the data, you’ll likely see a clear path from new member to loyal member. Once you have an idea about that path, you can replicate it with every new member to build a bigger fan base.

Loyalty Statistics The Ultimate Collection

From Goldfish to Superuser

Grabbing people’s attention is hard. Keeping their attention is even harder, as some studies suggest we have shorter attention spans than goldfish.

To make matters even more difficult, we all make eleven snap judgments within the first seven seconds of coming into contact with someone. That means loyalty begins from the first moment someone makes contact with your brand.

Loyalty programs and rewards play important roles, but the most sure-fire way to secure loyalty is to grab someone when they’re first stepping into a relationship. Make it painfully easy for them to realize the value of your business and exceed their expectations, and there’s a good chance you’ll have a customer/member for a very, very long time.

In fact, there’s a good chance that customer will become a superuser.

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Topics: customer loyalty

Written by: Brandon Carter

Brandon is a former writer and marketer for Access Development. He's a frequent blogger on customer and employee engagement & loyalty, consumer trends, and branding. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter at @bscarter

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