6/29/18

The Top 5 Growth KPIs for Coworking Spaces | Part 1: 'Tours Completed'

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

Last month I wrote an article for developing impactful KPIs for your coworking space. If you're not familiar with the process of generating meaningful KPIs, this is a great starting point. In this five-part series, I hone in on 5 of the most important growth KPIs and provide 25 actionable marketing and sales tactics you can experiment with to increase them.

In this first article, I will be focusing on the KPI “tours completed”. Now, I know you may not offer tours as part of your member acquisition strategy, or you may have multiple steps in your sales funnel that extend beyond the tour, such as free trial memberships or other experiences not captured in this article – and that’s OK. Many of the tactics I have shared are likely to be valuable for improving other KPIs you may have that are related to growth.

Ultimately, your “customer journey” is unique and it will not necessarily follow what I have presented here.  With that said, let’s dive in!

Why ‘Tours Completed’ is an important growth KPI and why to consider offering them

If you can get a prospective member to view your space in person, they are far more likely to join your community than if you rely on a purely digital promotional experience. Additionally, if you can effectively qualify your leads, you will further increase the likelihood that the people and businesses you host for tours will sign up – they will be a better fit for the experience you offer.

There are a number of potential reasons why you might way to consider offering a trial if you aren’t already doing so. Firstly, no two coworking spaces are alike and so the tour is an opportunity for you to highlight what makes your brand unique.

Secondly, establishing a personal connection is another reason for offering a tour as part of your growth strategy. You know your community best, and meeting prospective members in person is the best way to get a sense for their “fit” with your space’s culture.

As you build out and iterate on your tour strategy, the one element that you cannot forget is to track your prospects. Keep an organized record of who has visited your space, when, and what their feedback was. Using coworking software like Optix allows you to manage all of this in one place. This will ensure that you are following up in a timely manner and responding to each prospects unique needs and desires.

Five tactics to help you increase your ‘Tours Completed’ KPI

Here are five tactics to help you increase the number of qualified tours you lead:

1. Increase traffic to your marketing website

Yes, this is a broad goal and something we could talk about for days, but it’s a critical component of generating new tour bookings as well as something you should be continually investing to improve.

Many of you will have experienced team members or third party resources supporting you in increasing your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts. If that’s not the case, take a look at this SEO 101 guide which will walk you through the basics. The best part about focusing on this tactic is that it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking for your team – you can achieve 80% of the value of SEO with 20% of the effort.

Don’t forget about the value of social proof (i.e., testimonials), reviews on sites such as Yelp, and basic digital business etiquette such as setting up your Google My Business Listing.

2. Optimize the CTAs and user experience (UX) on your marketing website

If you do offer tours, this needs to be clear and accessible for every single prospective member who visits your website. Learn more about how to optimize your CTAs (marketing speak for buttons) so that they stand out and people understand what the next steps are if they are interested in your coworking space.

You want to strike a healthy balance on your site, providing the most relevant information a prospect may be looking for without overloading them with information and making them click through an endless maze of pages before getting to what they’re looking for. A great test is to find people who have never visited your website and ask them to role play being a prospective member. You can learn a lot from user feedback like this.

3. Host an open house or integrate your tour into an event

Some people may prefer a more informal tour experience, and opt for attending an open house or event at your coworking space. I’ve seen many brands succeed by leading group tours in this context, capturing contact information, and then following up to offer a more personalized introduction afterwards. One great example is Kolektif House, who succeeded in building a thriving multi-venue brand by offering free guest visits and access to their event space.

What’s great about this approach is that prospective members get to experience your community come to life in a high-energy context. The one risk to keep in mind is that some people could mistakenly extrapolate this particularly social or uncharacteristically loud event atmosphere to the day-to-day experience of working in your space. Make sure you set expectations and clearly communicate how events operate with respect to the typical day in your coworking space.

4. Create a simple, rewarding referral program for your members

One of the most influential drivers of someone’s decision to join a coworking space is the recommendations they receive from friends, colleagues and peers - according to Deskmag, 34% of coworking members found their space through word of mouth. Leverage this by creating a simple, rewarding referral program that offers “two-sided” value (i.e., it meaningfully rewards both your existing member and the person they refer).

For example Optix allows you to add a button directly in your members’ app so that your members can make a referral in seconds. You can experiment with different offerings, but the key here is putting a simple, accessible and rewarding system in place and reminding your members to take advantage of it.

5. Enhance your guest experience

It’s likely that a large number of your members have colleagues, clients or other peers they would like to have visit the space – be it for business or social reasons. Consider incentivizing your members to bring visitors to the space more often (within reason, of course), and make sure you or someone from your team is there to meet them.

Make guests feel welcomed and ensure that they know their way around your space, but be careful not to get in the way of whatever they came to do. If they feel comfortable and productive during their visit, a simple follow up to offer a personalized tour is that much more likely to catch their attention.

Take a look at the tactics you are currently employing to drive more tours in your space. What’s working and what’s not? Can you borrow from the ideas above to enhance or augment your efforts?

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

Find out the second top growth KPI for coworking here.

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