Providing a Great Experience for Members
The next thing you need to consider is the overall experience you’re providing for your members. Often times people don’t stop doing business with someone because the product itself is poor. Rather, they stop doing business because they had a poor EXPERIENCE.
You’ve likely seen or experienced this yourself many times. For example, you might really like going to a particular restaurant in your neighborhood. But if you have a poor experience with a rude server and/or extremely slow service, you may stop going to that restaurant altogether.
Same goes for any other place of business. If a car mechanic does a GREAT job fixing cars but provides a poor experience for customers, they’re going to struggle to find customers.
If a clothing boutique has the cutest clothes in town for women but they provide poor customer service, they’re going to struggle to stay afloat.
If a software provider creates awesome software but offers poor customer support, that software company isn’t going to be all that profitable.
And so on. Every business that provides a poor experience for customers is at risk of losing those customers… even if the product or service they provide is awesome. Simply put, awesome products alone aren’t enough to help a business thrive.
And the same is true of your business too. You can have the best membership site in your entire niche. But if your customers are having a poor experience doing business with you, then you’re going to struggle to keep your membership site afloat.
So that leads us to the question: how do you provide a great experience for your members?
Earlier in this module we already touched on one way to provide a good experience for your members. Namely, you need to create a site that’s user-friendly, as well as consistently branded throughout the site. If your members can easily find what they need, plus they can order easily, contact you, and do other common tasks easily, that’s one good step towards providing a good experience.
The second component in providing a good experience is to make sure your customer service is top notch.
One factor when providing good customer service is to answer all inquiries promptly. Inquiries should be answered the same day, and ideally, they should be answered within a couple hours if possible. If you can provide real-time customer service via the phone or live chat, that’s even better.
Many times, membership marketers put in place good customer service, but they don’t take into account when inquiries are likely to surge. For example, if you’re running a big sale or affiliate contest, then traffic and inquiries are going to surge. You need to put in extra customer-service staff to handle surges, otherwise you’ll fall way behind on customer inquiries. This often leads to complaints on social media, and the whole thing can snowball – leaving others with a bad impression of your business, even if they haven’t experienced it personally!
The second component is to provide professional, friendly customer service. This applies whether you’ve got a presale inquiry, an inquiry from an existing member, or even a request for a refund. Even if someone is canceling their membership, you want to leave them with a great impression of your business by providing a fast refund (as your refund policy allows) and friendly service.
If you’re outsourcing your customer service, then be sure to train your customer service staff well. You’ll want to create “copy and paste” snippets for common customer service inquiries. This not only makes it easier for your customer service staff to provide a fast response, it also provides a uniformly good experience for customers.
If you’re getting a lot of customer service inquiries, then look into building up your help documentation. If you’re getting a lot of the same questions, then you’ll want to be sure those specific questions are covered in your help files. You may also provide both text and videos files, since different people prefer different ways of receiving information.
Also, be sure that all your help documentation is well-organized and easily searchable. You may want to run some usability tests by having beta users look for answers to specific questions. If they’re not easily finding what they need, then you’ll need to improve the search terms you include in your content and/or improve your search function.