You’re long past it now, but try to harken back to your days as a middle schooler or teenager, full of angst and hungry for friends and meaningful relationships. Maybe you were one of the cool kids who never had trouble making new friends, but for a lot of people – especially for those who moved into a new school district – building new relationships was full of difficulty and anxiety. The same might be said for new members joining a private club. And if your members are paying dues to be a part of a community instead of simply taking advantage of the facilities and amenities, it’s imperative to make them feel welcome and part of the family.
According to 59club data from their proprietary member survey tool, the majority of high-performing private clubs are welcoming new members the right way, but a large percentage of clubs are falling short in key areas of new member integration. Let’s get to the numbers.
The Welcome Call
If your sales staff or marketing team spent a ton of time and a lot of money wining, dining, courting and signing a prospective new lead at your private club, you would assume they would be running – and fast – to call the new member to welcome them to the club. According to 59club data, only 52% of new members at private clubs received a formal “welcome to the club” phone call. Not exactly a great start to a budding new relationship.
The Formal Induction meeting
The practice of hosting formal induction meetings for new members is not for every club, but all but guarantees your members an opportunity to meet, learn about and formally welcome a new member of your private community. On average, 26% of new members at private clubs took part in a formal induction meeting, but among the highest scoring clubs in the world, this number dramatically increases to nearly 90%. It might be worth fleshing out and implementing this program at your club in the future if not already in place.
Staff Introduction and Networking
As your members spend more time at the club, your staff will invariably pick up on some interesting tidbits, facts, likes and dislikes from your various members. And in that regard, your staff is armed with networking abilities well suited to help your new members make new friendships. Less than 50% of new members surveyed said they were introduced to legacy members by staff members, but again, the best clubs in the world make this a regular practice.
Knowing Your Name
One of the quickest and easiest ways make someone feel at home is simply by addressing them by their name. shockingly, less than 60% of members surveyed report private club staff members demonstrating they know the name of the newest members.
Adding it All Up
When you take a look at the numbers above, it’s easy to see why only 65 percent of new members at private clubs report making new friendships within their first few months. And for a model that requires camaraderie and inclusion, leaving it up to your members to make friends on their own without any tips and tricks to get the process started is a recipe for member stagnation.
Learn more about the 59club Member Surveys here: https://www.59clubusa.com/satisfaction-surveys/