Is It Time to Revisit Your On-Boarding Process?

Apr 22, 2020

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a client on reviewing/redesigning her organization’s on-boarding process.

Making some changes was something that she had been thinking about for a while, but when COVID-19 forced organizations to completely and instantaneously shift from in-person member experiences to online member experiences, a new sense of urgency arose about the issue.

I thought it might be helpful to others if I described the process that this client and I went through, as we worked to create an on-boarding process that would be maximally effective.

Essentially, there were 3 pieces:

1) We made a COMPLETE list of everything that currently happens as soon as a member signs up – every message that is sent, every invitation that requires a response, every system that a member would need to access, every page that a member would need to access, etc.

2) We identified EXACTLY which actions we’d want a new member to do in order to get quick value out of the membership, aiming for just a few VERY CLEAR steps that we could present in a checklist-style.

3) We constructed an on-boarding path that emphasized the steps we had identified (first do this… then do this… then do this… etc.). We designed those steps into a beautifully branded, printable one-pager and are working now on integrating the steps into the “Welcome Email” and a “Start Here” page for the website.

Our aim with on-boarding is to immediately VALIDATE that the new member made exactly the right choice to join and help them immediately understand how to take advantage of the membership benefits.

In their quest to do this, many organizations provide too much information all at once. Instead, I encourage my clients to think about on-boarding in a more strategic manner. Out of EVERYTHING that new members could possibly do, what are the most important first steps?  And how can we make sure that those critical first steps are completed 100% of the time?

When was the last time that you looked at what happens when new members come on board?  If it has been a while, or if things have changed dramatically due to your team working at home, or due to the shift from live interaction to online interaction, it may be well worth investing a little time into this specific area of member experience.

What is your current on-boarding process? Do members seem to value the steps they take upon joining your organization?

I'd love to hear from you. 

Hey there.  I’m Joy Duling, Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.

Clients hire me to help them design and deliver exceptional member experiences. If you lead an association, trade group, or membership-based nonprofit, you can find FREE resources to help you run and grow your membership organization by visiting here: http://joyofmembership.com/help

I look forward to connecting with you there.