Think of Members as Consumers and Harness Your Member Data,
says Jenny Parsons, COO, ProTech
– the first in a two-part series of guest blogs.
Increasing member engagement is a continuing challenge for membership organisations and associations It was the number one goal in MemberWise’s 2016 Report and the number two goal, below increasing new member acquisition, in 2015 and 2014.
Interestingly increasing new member acquisition is the number two goal in this year’s Report as it was in 2016.
Happy customers = engaged customers
Perhaps this is because great member engagement and member acquisition are intrinsically linked. Happy members are engaged members. They spread the word around the benefits and value of their association to other professionals within their sphere, driving them to join.
So, what is the key to increasing member engagement? We already recognise that happy members are likely to be engaged members so we can conclude that it’s all about ensuring members are happy and perceiving value from your products and services.
How? Do you understand what your existing (and prospective) members want from your association? Do you understand what really matters to them? If the answer is not really, or maybe, then it is very likely that your members will not be fanatical about your organisation and hence engagement levels will be lower than they could, or should be.
Your members should be regarded as your customers and some membership organisations and associations have lagged behind in terms of delivering exceptional customer experience and product innovation in the way their private sector cousins have.
Your members are consumers
I would even go a step further and say that membership organisations and associations should think of their members as consumers – they ‘consume’ the services and products you deliver.
Outstanding customer service cannot be over stated as a key tool in driving happy and engaged consumers (members). Certainly, the large supermarkets and e-retailers have not been slow in understanding the importance of delivering what their consumers want, when they want it, how they want it.
Large retailers have taken customer service to new levels. All of us ‘consumers’ are enticed to buy services and products that we didn’t realise we wanted!
How have the retailers done this? By successfully using ‘Big Data’ to understand what consumers want and what really matters to them. By analysing our shopping habits retailers give us offers on the items we buy regularly and provide ‘savings’ on, or generate our interest in, complementary products.
For more than 20 years ProTech has been delivering specialist CRM software and change management services to the Not for Profit (NFP) sector. Its Pro-8 CRM software operates in a Microsoft environment and delivers easily configurable specialist NFP modules. ProTech delivers a Government ‘OFFICIAL’ security accredited fully integrated web and CRM platform and its Lean3S, change management methodology based on Lean and Systems Thinking, ensures that NFPs can fully optimise their investment in ProTech’s fully integrated web and CRM technology platform.
ProTech is a MemberWise Recognised Supplier – Find out more…