7/25/18

The Top 5 Growth KPIs for Coworking Spaces | Part 3: Member Churn

Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Ed Blunderfield from Optix coworking software, a digital platform for coworking spaces and smart offices.

In my previous post about the “New Member Signups” KPI, I talked about a handful of tactics to drive growth in terms of the number of members in your community. Of course, this growth is threatened when members leave your community - we call this “churn”. To avoid create a “revolving door” in your coworking community, where you’re constantly looking to replace members who have left your space, let’s take a look at ways to reduce churn by putting a strategic focus on the member experience.

Why ‘Member Churn’ is an important KPI

Successful coworking spaces are those that empower their members with a collaborative and supportive work environment and community. If you cannot communicate and help members experience the value of your community, then your members are more likely to leave your space for the increasing number of alternatives that are becoming available.

It’s crucial to adapt to your members’ changing needs, as well. What you discover to be a unique differentiator or valued aspect of your offering early on may not always last. Therefore, you must constantly invest in your business so that you are exceeding customer expectations.

Thus, ‘member churn’ is a useful KPI because it will not only indicate the impediments to meeting your sales or revenue targets, but it can also open up the door for you to examine and study the shortcomings that led to the departure of members. You will then be able to create a plan to reduce churn and drive positive results for your bottom-line.

Five tactics to help you decrease your ‘Member Churn’ KPI

Here are five tactics to help you manage your churn and reduce the number of members that leave your space:

1. Facilitate introductions between like-minded members

Nowadays, corporations are looking ways to break down silos in order to have more teams and team members working together. As a coworking space, you should pursue the same tactic of breaking down silos amongst your disparate members and encourage them to collaborate and work together.

If you devote time to finding and facilitating introductions between two or more like-minded members, then your members’ network will be more enriched as a result. Following this path, your coworking space will quickly become a more collaborative environment, and a resource for individuals and organizations looking to make meaningful connections. If you can bring together people that have complementary skills or ideas then you will start to play a crucial role in shaping the future of their businesses.

One of our partners, 1880 Bardo of Singapore, built their coworking space with the aim to facilitate the growth of people’s tribes. As like-minded people are prone to band together, the coworking space “hopes to bring together potential disruptors under one roof and get them to join each other’s world-changing tribes, one meaningful conversation at a time.”

2. Hosting events that are aligned with member interests

Planning your events calendar with your members’ interests in mind is a great way to create opportunities for them to continually invest in your coworking community in a mutually rewarding way.

For example, let’s say you find out that some of your members are looking to secure a round of funding. Knowing this, you could create an event focused on “securing funding as a startup” or host a workshop with notable VCs and other pertinent industry stakeholders.

Uncovering these member interests and needs requires you to have your finger on the pulse at all times, actively engaging in conversations and observing your members and their company activity on a regular basis.

3. Conduct member surveys to stay connected to your community

A good way to keep your eyes and ears open to what’s happening at your coworking space is to survey your members. You can design member surveys to pinpoint a specific problem or concern at your coworking space, as well as to get insight into their aspirations and wishes.

You can then publish the takeaways of the survey and follow-up with your members to communicate how you plan to address their identified problems. This will be a great way to show your community that you are ready to take action and adapt to the their wants and needs directly.

4. Invest in one-on-one member interactions

With all of the different moving pieces involved in running your space, it can be hard to find as much time as you would like to interface directly with your members. This is a crucial aspect to cultivating a thriving business, so look to make time instead of hoping you will somehow find that time.

Make sure you have a good coworking software in place that simplifies your operations and core workflows so you can put as much as possible on autopilot. Most importantly, schedule time in your calendar to tour your own space, take your members out for coffee or lunch, and really listen to them.

Asking good questions is an art, but something we can all improve on. Through better questions we stand to get better answers to our questions and true insights into our business and how we can make progress.

5. Enable members to share feedback easily

Create a culture that encourages feedback and then provide a simple process for members to share their thoughts. In our platform, Optix, we have issue reporting and feedback built right into the mobile app. With this approach, coworking managers see more opportunities to jump in and save the day for their members, and avoid letting issues snowball and become a persistent problem.

This will lead to more transparent and open communication with your members, giving them a chance to be involved in your decision-making process.

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Take a look at the tactics you are currently employing to reduce member churn in your space. What’s working and what’s not? What can you do today that might help reduce member churn by making your community feel more involved in the evolution of your brand?

Stay tuned for the next growth KPI article in our series! It will be focused on “Revenue per Member” and will also include five more tactics to help grow your business and community.

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