Insights into your membership can help you make smarter decisions and provide greater member value. But, how do you get those insights?
To start, it’s important to have an association management software (AMS) solution that’s based on a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. CRM functionality gives you a complete view of your members, allowing you to collect, track, manage, and report on the contacts and relationships in your membership. If your organization has an online member community, you’ll be able to gain even more.
With the right AMS system in place, there are multiple ways to gain greater insights into your membership by listening to your members’ needs.
Three effective approaches to learning more about members
Send a survey.
Send a periodic survey to gather your members’ thoughts and ideas about your organization’s programs and benefits. Consider targeting different surveys to different member groups.
For example, send a survey to new members to gain greater insights into the effectiveness of your onboarding process. Send a different survey to members who have volunteered so you can find out how to improve your volunteer program. Send another survey to lapsed members to learn why they left and what might win them back.
How well do you know your lapsed members?
In this report, you’ll learn insights into why members lapse and how your organization can win back those that got away.
Conduct focus groups.
As you plan various member programs, make changes to your website, or generally do anything that directly impacts your members, make plans to get your members involved.
Select a few members that may be most interested in the project at hand and ask them for feedback. Ask members about their experience so far. Present members with your ideas for improvements and ask them what they think. For each focus group, be sure to include a diverse audience of members (race, career stage, job role, length of time as a member, etc.) to find out more about their needs and how you can continue to deliver value for years to come.
Hear what they’re saying.
Even when you don’t ask, your members are telling you what they need and how you can improve the member experience.
For example, a great way to understand their needs is to watch group discussions on your online member community to see what they’re talking about. You can also participate in the conversation to spark more feedback. As they ask questions and talk about their biggest challenges, you’ll gain insights into how to bring more value to the relationship.
A study on member engagement by Community Brands shows that members place increasing value on having ways to connect and learn year-round. Providing an online community is an ideal way to deliver a great member experience and keep members involved with your association every day – no matter where they’re located.