Improving Member Loyalty for Associations Through Personalization and Data Privacy

Jeff Golembiewski

June 13, 2019

    How associations can take a balanced approach to personalized communications and protecting members’ privacy.

    How do you provide personalized member communications when your members have high demands for privacy and data security? Personalization and trust go hand-in-hand, and the right approach to both will lead to greater member loyalty.

    From experiences with companies like Amazon and Netflix, your members have come to expect a personalized online experience in just about everything they do. Meanwhile, we’re all hearing a lot about data security these days — from data privacy and protection laws like GDPR to consumer demands for privacy.

    It may seem like an impossible position for your association: How do you gather and use the data you need to provide personalized member communications when your members have high demands for privacy and data security? It turns out that personalization and trust go hand-in-hand. And the right approach to both will lead to greater member loyalty.

    Here are some tips and ideas to consider:

    • Personalize the member experience. Salesforce’s second edition of the State of the Connected Customer report found that consumer expectations have hit an all-time high: 76 percent of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, and customers are 2.1 times more likely to view personalized offers as important versus unimportant. Fifty nine percent of customers say tailored engagement based on past interactions is very important to winning their business.
    • As your members’ expectations reach new highs, be sure you’re doing all you can to deliver a great member experience. Leverage your association management system (AMS) and marketing automation tools to collect useful data, and use it to send targeted messages at the right time to deliver a better, more personalized member experience.
    • Remember the trust factor. Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report also found that 86 percent of customers are more likely to trust companies with their relevant information if the companies explain how it provides a better experience. The same report also found that 95 percent of customers say they are more likely to be loyal to a company they trust.

    This is an important principle for associations to adopt: Be transparent and explain how the information you collect will be used for a better and more personalized experience, and your members in turn are more likely to trust you. That trust will then translate into greater member loyalty.

    • Keep your members’ data safe, and let them know about it. Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report found that 62 percent of customers say they’re more afraid of their data being compromised now than they were two years ago. At the same time, 54 percent of customers say a commitment to safeguarding their data strengthens their loyalty.

    As your association grows and collects personal information about your members, you can’t afford not to protect your member data. Be sure that your AMS includes the following functionality to protect your member data and reduce risk, and make sure your members know that you have these precautions in place:

    • Transparency into security and performance status
    • Best practices for data security to prevent unauthorized access
    • Comprehensive user permissions to restrict access to only those who should have it
    • Data recovery to safeguard your data from data storage errors, catastrophic failures and everything in between
    • Compliance certifications to validate security

    Showing your members that your association understands, and is keeping up with, their expectations is a great way to develop loyal members. As your association strives to balance members’ expectations for a personalized experience with their concerns about data security, be sure you have in place a thoughtful approach as well as modern technology that will support your efforts.

    Learn more about how Nimble AMS helps you deliver a personalized, secure member experience.

    Learn more about these critical data security aspects of an AMS system in the guide, Protect Your Member Data and Reduce Risk by Ensuring System Performance: 7 Things Every Modern Association Should Look for in an AMS System

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