I want to talk about the importance of onboarding and having a strong process in place for that.
We’ve been in situations before with associations where there really wasn’t an onboarding process in place, which never ends well. We’ve seen members lost before the association ever gained them, simply because the momentum was lost when the company agreed to join. Then months passed before they were reached out to with the needed materials for their new membership.
When a company joins, they are excited and encouraged to get involved and be active – and the worst thing we can do is not provide them with the tools immediately to get started with that membership. The onboarding process should begin within two days of receiving a membership application.
Onboarding refers to a program in place that educates new members about the value of membership, how to best engage, and how to get the most out of their new membership to hit the ground running once they are officially a member. Typically, it is an onboarding call with the new member and the association staff, and sometimes you can even bring in some of your current members or board to participate in a call. An onboarding process also allows the association an opportunity to learn about that company’s needs, goals, and challenges to ensure they give the new member the opportunities to get the most out of that membership.
Membership is a partnership – companies get the value out of being a member, and the association will get the value of having that company at the table and engaged. If an association doesn’t have an onboarding process in place, one of those areas won’t be met to the fullest.
In conclusion, if you have a strong onboarding process in place that you deploy within two days of getting that member application, you are setting yourself up for a good, long-term relationship with that member.