Your members expect highly personalized and engaging experiences with your association. Here are some important things to consider in your strategy.
Want to make sure your members stick around? Consider these tips for creating a member experience that rivals that of today’s leading for-profit companies.
The Salesforce State of the Connected Customer report shows that more than 50 percent of consumers have stopped buying from a company altogether because a competitor beat them on customer experience.
Consider what that means for associations.
Associations are different in many ways from for-profit companies. But the truth is that your members are also consumers. They’ve come to expect great experiences from companies like Amazon and Netflix, and they expect a similar engaging experience with your association. Otherwise, they just might cut ties with you.
So how do you create an engaging member experience?
Salesforce suggests these steps for developing new customer experience strategies, which associations can apply to their organizations. In addition to following these steps, consider two key association-specific factors that establish the foundation for a great member experience: the benefits you offer and the technology experience you provide.
Offering the benefits that matter most to members
To provide an engaging member experience, it’s important to deliver the benefits that matter most to members. The Community Brands Member Engagement and Loyalty Study suggests associations have work to do in this area.
One section of the study pulls together multiple data points for a gap analysis around member benefits. It shows where organizations are strong, where they’re weak, what benefits they should maintain, and what areas are less important.
Review the study’s findings and evaluate the benefits you provide your members. And be sure to note the data about how member priorities change throughout the member career journey.
Also, be sure to listen to your members. There’s no better way to know which benefits are most important to your members, and how well you’re delivering them, than to ask them (a bonus, as gathering feedback is an area for improvement for organizations!) Some ideas:
- Regularly read their comments on social media and your online community.
- Send them surveys to ask about their experience.
- Set up a member advisory group and meet with them at least once or twice each year to get their input.
Establish a team that meets regularly to review the member feedback and determine how to fine-tune your benefits to provide a more engaging member experience.
Level up your association’s use of technology
The Community Brands Digital Evolution Study shows that technology plays a critically important role in the lives of today’s members. The study also shows that the most loyal members place more importance on technology in their lives and feel their organization delivers a better technology experience. This data suggests that a lack of emphasis on technology could leave your members questioning the value of membership – which, in turn, could impact retention and the long-term outlook for your organizations’ success.
Your association technology can help you close the gaps between the services members value and the experience you’re delivering around these services. Leveling up your technology will increase member satisfaction and ultimately create more loyal members.
To provide value throughout the lifetime member journey, the technology you rely on for membership management, learning management, event management, and career services should work well together. Integrated solutions centralize your data and give you a more complete view of your members, allowing you to more fully understand their needs and provide value on an ongoing basis.
TIP: Nimble AMS is built on the Salesforce CRM platform and allows associations to manage their entire organization while operating on the same level as large for-profit organizations to provide an engaging member experience. Nimble AMS is part of the Community Brands association software suite, which includes association management software (AMS), learning management system (LMS), event management, and career center solutions. This combination gives you a complete picture of your members to help you deliver a great online member experience.
Don’t let a disappointing member experience drive your members away. Develop a member experience that rivals that of leading for-profit companies, and your members will stick around for the long haul.