Designing a business model based on a scalable group program is like running a school!
Think of yourself as the business owner like you are the Superintendent of an entire school system. Now, think of your group program like it is a School. Who runs each school? NOT the Superintendent. A principal does!
Think of the Client Success Manager (aka: Program Director) of your group program like the Principal of a School. Let’s take a look at what a school Principal does: Principals make sure that a school is operating efficiently by overseeing Teachers and students every day.
They’ll hire and train Teachers and other team members who work at the institution. Principals will also develop codes and policies for their Teachers to follow and will consistently enforce these guidelines. They’ll build and maintain budgets for the school and make sure it remains in stable financial standing. Principals also work closely with board members and parents to communicate any important announcements or information regarding the school and its students. They’re also responsible for creating building and guest policies to keep everyone safe at all times. Sounds a lot like the role of Client Success Manger, right?!?
Once your group program gets to a certain level, you want to think about hiring a Client Success Manager to act as the “Principal” of your group program.
That was the role I played for 3 years inside someone else’s multiple-7-figure coaching company. And the description of “Principal” above depicts the role of Client Success Manager for your group program(s). I learned A LOT about running group programs that generated millions of dollars a year for a company. So I’m sharing a few of those nuggets with you today! Check it out…
12 Things I Learned Running Group Programs with 300 Members
1. Community Support Breeds Results and Loyalty
Members are more likely to STAY in your program for more than one round based on the level of community support among peers they are receiving and have the ability to give.
2. Connection and Community Doesn’t Happen By Itself
You must build it into the program and position community support as one of the main three pillars that leads to results in your program. Setting the tone for the culture of community at the beginning of the program is not enough.
3. Members of a Group Program DO NOT Need Direct Access to the Business Owner to Get Results
However, given the CHOICE, members of a group program will CHOOSE more customized access to you. Do not give that choice. What they DO need is a process to follow, context on HOW to implement the process, and community + team support.
4. Members “Drift” When They Feel “Behind”
Feeling behind usually happens because of two main reasons… Clients who didn’t meet the qualifications to be in the program were let into the program (huge problem in our industry) Program content is distributed in overwhelming quantities As soon as a client feels “behind”, unless you catch them before it’s too late, you’ve lost them for the rest of the program and more than likely they will not remain in your ecosystem.
5. The Reason People Join Your Program May Surprise You
During my time at Divine Living I conducted a lot of market research with paying clients. We found out the #1 reason why people joined our business program with a program promise to reach $10K months was for the INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL, not the business content. Women had felt as though they had neglected themselves and their desire to travel and truly live for too many years and this was their chance to put themselves first!
6. Clients Don’t Do Modules Unless They Are Required
No one wants to look through a lengthy module or watch hours of videos in a training portal. However, if you turn your program into a Certification or have a Certification Option, clients will go through every SHRED of the program and complete it with flying colors. In the program I ran, students who opted for the Certification route outperformed and got better results than those who were on the non-Certification route.
7. You Need a Client Success Manager
If you plan on scaling your business, delivering a high touch group experience, and having a life you need a “right hand” to run the show. An Executive Assistant is NOT a Client Success Manager nor do they necessarily have the skill set. A Project Manager is NOT a Client Success Manager. An Operations specialist is NOT a Client Success Manager. Having a Client Success Manager in place to run ANY and ALL of your client programs allows you to show up and be “the talent” delivering only what you can deliver. The Client Success Manager is also your shield. Clients should not be able to directly reach out to you for conversations or to ask you questions through any form of communication unless it’s on a call you are leading for clients. Or unless you’ve explicitly given it to them. Someone else should be able to answer any and all client inquiries.
8. Re-Enroll Clients Before The End of the Program
One of the biggest mistakes we made was waiting until the end of the program to invite members to re-enroll for a 2nd year. They had already been thinking about what they were going to invest in 3 months prior and many had already made their decision. Clients WILL start whispering to each other about what’s next and when you’re going to announce what’s next. And they RARELY bring that question to your attention. Begin having re-enrollment conversations very early and start re-enrolling clients when they are 75% of the way through the program.
Fact: Clients decide within the first 90 days of a program if they are going to stay or go at the end. And it’s very difficult to change their minds once it’s made up.
9. Improve Your Group Program Every 90 Days
Make adjustments and improvements to your program every 90 days. That way it shows clients you’re adding NEW elements to the program to help them get even better results. They’ll be more likely to stay for another round. This is the BEST way to add value! Just be careful….I’m not suggesting you STACK more and more “stuff” into the program without eliminating elements that no longer serve.
10. Track Client Progress and Results
Identify a way to track client progress throughout the program from start to finish. I recommend creating a tool that clients fill out WEEKLY that your Client Success Manager monitors and reports on to you during team meetings. Put your eyeballs on what’s working for them, how they are progressing, and where adjustments need to be made in the program to better serve and support clients. If you don’t have a pulse on how your clients are performing it’s challenging to know how to lead them.
11. Document Everything
Along the way, document everything. If you have team members, make sure they are documenting everything they do. This is what makes your group program scalable. Document every process that is performed MORE THAN ONCE.
12. Reach Out To Clients Who Aren’t Participating
I get it, we’re all adults. But you’d be surprised to find out why certain clients stop showing up to the program they paid good money to be part of. Sometimes what a client shares ends up being incredibly valuable feedback for your program and company. If you let it go a little too long, you’ll lose the client for good.
They won’t refer.
They won’t renew.
They won’t be a Success Story.
And you’ve wasted a lot of time and money on acquiring that client by not paying attention to them once they became a client. As you continue to grow your company at light speed, make sure you have team members in place who are responsible for reaching out to clients within 2-3 weeks of noticing they are not showing up. It’s simply good customer service and shows you care. You might be throwing me a FIST BUMP through the computer screen as you read this list because it sounds like music to your ears. But you may not know the best practices involved to implement this (and there’s WAY MORE where this came from) or perhaps you don’t have all the skills necessary to make it happen as seamlessly as possible. If your existing group program(s) is at scale already and you want to provide a world-class client experience from start to finish, clean up the operational disarray behind the scenes, to replace yourself with A-Player team members where necessary, and enter into a category of one by being a brand that puts client care + results first…
…this is my invitation to you to DM me about my client retention and group program leadership advisory.
What this looks like:
- Auditing Your Entire Group Program(s): giving you an expert viewpoint on what’s going to catapult your group program forward in a scalable, more profitable and sustainable direction while clients get even better results — and then giving you a clear timeline and plan on exactly what to incorporate, innovate, and improve
- Optimizing Your Group Program Operations: identifying opportunities to streamline, improving repeatable systems, and developing processes to support clients in producing better results while elevating the lifetime value of your client
- Creating a Culture of Leadership Among Your Client Success Team: so that the front-facing team members associated with client delivery and program operations can oversee the majority of program logistics + delivery, client care, and day-to-day group program operations leading to higher revenue and profits from existing happy clients
In total this is approximately a 4-6 week process and includes an in-person VIP day with me in Florida.
Send me a DM today and let me know that you’d like the details for the Client Retention and Group Program Leadership Advisory. Due to the nature of this type of work I only accept a small collection of clients at any given time.