Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

A Membership Experience Is a Powerful Customer Service Strategy

Gym MembershipCustomer Experience

One of my favorite strategies in customer service is the membership experience. And, you don’t have to be an exclusive or private club to create that membership experience for your customers. In my book The Amazement Revolution, I used American Express as a role model for this powerful concept. They are hardly a private club, but they create an amazing customer – or should I say member – experience. As they say, “Membership has its privileges.”

Well, I’ve recently become a member of another club, and the experience is worth sharing. Ladies and gentlemen, I am now a proud member of the Dollar Shave Club.

If you know about the Dollar Shave Club, I know what some of you are thinking. It’s not really a club. It’s just an online store that sends you razor blades every month. A valid credit card is pretty much all you need to join the club. Well, at that basic level you may be right. But at a deeper, marketing and customer focused level, there is much more to the Dollar Shave Club than being an online store for razor blades.

First, this company’s marketing is fantastic. It is fun, engaging and makes you want to be a member of their club. Just look at their short videos on YouTube and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Who would think that selling razor blades can be that much fun?

Joining the club was easy. After filling out and submitting a very simple form online, I received their welcome email. This did a couple of things. More than just welcome me, it confirmed that I made a good decision to join their club. Again, they used humor. The letter was funny. More importantly, it validated my decision and actually got me excited to try my new shaving experience. My blades would be coming within the next few days.

Just a few days later the small package came in the mail. The razor handle and blades were exactly what I thought they would be. Great quality and less expensive than the blades I’d been using for years. And, I didn’t have to go to the store anymore. As a member of the club, each month I receive a small box with four blades; one for each week. And of course the package came with my member handbook, which told me more about the blades, when to expect my next box of blades, and additional information about other items I could potentially enjoy if I chose to do so.

Obviously, anyone can join the Dollar Shave Club. So is it really a club? Am I really a member? Or, is this just another online store and I’m just another customer? Technically that may be the case. But here is the reality:

My member experience has great value. It’s inexpensive, the product is very high quality and customer service is outstanding. Plus I get the benefit of a feeling of belonging. There are many names for the people who do business with you… customers, guests, clients, patients, etc. It doesn’t really matter what you call them. They can still receive the member experience.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

(Copyright © MMXV, Shep Hyken)

 
  1. I can see why memberships are becoming a much more common business model. I feel like it would be especially helpful for a private club as well. It seems like it would help to ensure a steady stream of revenue on a monthly basis.

    • A membership model works for a steady stream of income. A membership experience can apply to any business model. It’s how you treat the customer.

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