Here are five tips to keep your members happy and engaged so they don’t abruptly cut ties with your organization.
In modern social lingo, ghosting isn’t about an unwelcome haunting by a sheet-draped apparition. It refers to when a person cuts off all communication with a friend or person they’re dating – with no warning. They ignore text messages and social media contact, and they may even avoid the person in public.
Are you in danger of being ghosted by your members – getting cut off with no notice whatsoever? If you aren’t keeping members happy and engaged, you might be.
So, how do you break through the noise of your members’ busy lives to keep their attention, while also providing an exceptional experience? The truth is, your members are not much different from you and me. Like all of us, they’ve come to expect value, personalization, and convenience in just about everything they do. Showing them you understand their interests and your association is keeping pace with their ever-changing expectations is a great way to start.
Here are five ideas:
1. Focus on engagement.
The soon-to-be-released Community Brands Member Engagement and Loyalty Study suggests there’s room for organizations to get members more involved. The study looks at member loyalty data by three segments: high (“Super Members”), medium (“Rank and File”), and low (“Value Seekers”). Even among the most loyal member segment (Super Members), who are more likely to have participated in most of the activities tested in the study, less than half say they’ve participated in any one engagement opportunity.
So, how can you get your members more involved? Ask them to participate by volunteering at an event. Invite them to serve as a mentor, or even hold a leadership position. The more invested they are, the less likely they will be to disappear on you.
2. Give them what they want.
Findings from the Member Engagement and Loyalty Study also show the benefits members value when they join an organization change throughout their membership and career. Members who are early in their careers are more likely to feel connected to their organization and be satisfied with membership. However, this group is also less likely to commit to renewing and to promote their association to peers.
To keep members from going silent on you, be sure to continually evaluate your organizational strategy to ensure you’re providing value throughout the member journey, from recent grads to retirees. Consider what your members are doing and what they may be looking for from your organization in each phase of their career. For additional tips and insights, read the paper, Supporting the Lifetime Member Journey.
There is one thing it seems like all ages can agree on, though, and that’s the continuously increasing role that technology plays in our daily lives. For example, our recent Digital Evolution Study found that while 50 percent of members say they are always on their smartphones and 82 percent say technology has made them more efficient, only 30 percent of members describe their organization’s overall tech use as excellent. Providing a seamless experience for your members that boosts engagement and loyalty begins within your organization at the association management system (AMS) level. The experience your members have is likely a reflection of the experience your staff members have with your association technology every day.
3. Get personal.
The Community Brands Digital Evolution Study underscores the importance of personalization. The findings show that members are interested in receiving personalized content from their associations. In fact, 79 percent say it is very or somewhat important that their organization provide targeted, valuable content.
Use your AMS to collect and analyze data about your members’ career stages, interests, and behaviors to provide them with the personalized benefits they’re seeking. For example, based on your members’ interests and preferences, you can recommend new industry reports or new services offered by your organization that will help them in their specific career stage.
Nimble AMS offers multiple ways to personalize the member experience through targeted online community content, recommendations for job opportunities, personalized event registration paths, and more. You can also leverage member data and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to make predictions and deliver recommended content.
4. Communicate your association’s value.
Your members are busy, so be sure to remind them of the benefits and value they receive from your organization. This is a great opportunity to segment your list and send targeted messages. For starters, you could:
- Remind members of the benefits they have not yet taken advantage of, and that there’s still time to do so.
- Reinforce the value of membership by reminding members of the benefits they have taken advantage of, such as event discounts and learning opportunities, in a fun year-end summary.
- Let members know about the upcoming events and opportunities they might miss out on if they don’t stay actively involved. Just make sure it’s relevant at their specific spot within the member journey.
5. Do a tech check.
The Digital Evolution Study shows members value technology. It also confirms the most committed members feel their organization delivers a better technology experience.
Consider conducting a member survey to better understand your members’ digital behavior and how they would like to interact with your association. Let them know you’re collecting the information to help create a better member experience that meets their expectations. They will see you care about and are open to their feedback and you’re able to store that information in your AMS to use for future segmentation. Everyone wins!
As part of this exercise, don’t forget about your members’ mobile experience. Your members expect to easily access your website and content with their mobile devices. Any time members are unable to get what they need when they need it, you’ve lost an opportunity to engage with them. So, no matter how hard you work at keeping their attention, if you aren’t thinking about your members’ mobile experience in everything you do, you could be losing their attention almost as soon as you grab it.
You work hard to attract new members and serve your current members. Don’t let them disappear into thin air!