As part of the Guardian’s ongoing Customer Experience programme, we were asked to evaluate the current Member and Subscriber experiences to help answer a number of crucial questions:
- Does the current model of separate Membership and Subscription programmes still work?
- How do we convert our audience from unknown to known?
- How do we encourage our audience to register?
- How do we encourage registered members to log in?
- How do we cross-sell products & services?
We devised and carried out a detailed review programme, evaluating the purchase, sign-up, and ongoing Subscription & Membership experiences across a variety of channels.
We created a variety of Member and Subscriber profiles at different price points, and each with different activity levels (some included purchases of partner products such as Event and Masterclasses). Some profiles were both Members and Subscribers, as we wanted to find out whether these customers were identified and treated any differently.
We documented the signup and purchase journeys, and then monitored all subsequent online and offline communications received by customers over the course 11 weeks. This would give an accurate illustration of welcome and in-life experiences, as well recording all cross-sell or up-sell communications sent by The Guardian or their partners.
Some of the customer profiles were required to cancel at certain points, as cancellations were highlighted as a major customer issue. The process was reviewed across digital and offline channels.
Following the review, we visualised our findings and held a workshop designed to communicate and discuss the observations and recommendations. This session helped to inform the ongoing Customer Experience Programme and furthered a wider conversation about the suitability of the separate Membership and Subscription model as a whole.
The research also uncovered several day-to-day operational issues and system bugs which would have been invisible to shorter-term, less detailed reviews.
These were investigated as part of a subsequent repair programme.