This is the first part in a 2 part series from our Adoption Team Lead Jay about creating programs that will excite participating members and non-members. In this first installment, Jay goes over ways to deliver exceptional experiences through the registration process and when providing reminders during your programs.
When we think about a truly exceptional experience for program participants, there should be four distinct components – registration, a reminder, participation, and follow up. Let’s look at each of these areas sequentially for tweaks we can make to improve the member experience – and deliver that program WOW!
Use your website to your, and to your program participants’ advantage. We live in a world where information is easily accessible from pretty much anywhere. We’ve been conditioned to expect the same from everything else we consume. For this reason, it is important to keep program descriptions and information up-to-date online. Make sure programs are easily searchable by using intuitive naming conventions in your operations software and entering descriptions during set-up that contain certain keywords. For example, using the term “swim lessons” versus “aquatics” during set up can save frustration for registrants.
Your in-house registration can also be influenced by what you provide online. Some of the biggest registration pains that people will have involve paperwork. Why not expedite the program process and make all paperwork available online so parents can get a jump-start on the process before walking in the door. It’s also a good practice to create a landing page on your site with all the necessary program paperwork and reminders that will appear at the end of the online registration process.
Having a coach or instructor reach out just before the start of the program session is a great way to ensure participants are prepared for the first day and it also helps build rapport and ease any nerves the parent or participant may have. Give the key highlights, like the date and time to arrive for the first day, the easiest area to park/enter the facility, appropriate dress, and anything else they need to bring like snacks, a towel, or a change of clothes. A personal touch is a huge win in connecting with participants and it also ensures an easier first day for everyone.
If reminder texts, mobile application messages, or a personal touch is just not an option, reminder emails are also a great way to connect with participants just prior to the start of your program. Email also may work better if you have a lot of detailed information to impart. Whether your email is a professionally designed piece to send to program participants or a personal email message from the instructor to the student, both can have a lot of impact and help create that WOW experience for program participants.
In the next installment of the series, posting later this week, Jay will discuss ideas to improve programs during the participation phase and the followup phase. Stay tuned.