I recently had the opportunity to attend a webinar hosted by Association Trends, entitled “Strengthening Engagement.” This webinar’s focus was how to create enduring high value relationships with your members, and thereby build your membership through engagement.
Age of the Customer
The Age of the Customer began in 2010, where empowered buyers demand a new level of customer obsession. The quintessential “moment of truth” is where your customer (aka member) interacts with your organization. Their feelings during staff interaction determines the strength of their relationship with the association, and ultimately their loyalty. Loyalty leads to membership renewals, additional purchases, and referrals which is the key to membership growth.
Voice of the Customer
Many companies send surveys to their customers to gather valuable feedback. The ideal survey is 3- 4 questions and to get to the heart of the answers, you need to improve the member experience. The most important factor in the decision to send out a survey to your membership is “Do you know what you will do with the answers you receive?” Essentially, don’t waste your members’ time asking questions you aren’t prepared to address.
Leveraging Data You Already Have
It is recommended to rely on data mining – essentially revealing compelling behavior trends, revenue opportunities and quantifiable outcomes. The key things to consider are:
- Centers of influence – who is referring members to you, and why?
- Purchasing patterns – what patterns indicate long term, highly engaged members?
- Regularity of feedback – more vocal members are often indicative of increased engagement.
Building a Customer-Centric Organization
Management guru Peter Ducker said “Quality in a service product is not what you put into it, it is what the client or customer gets out of it.” Building a customer-centric organization involves collecting customer feedback and connecting it with employee insights. This will enable you to “find the gold.” Engagement of employees is critical to these “moments of truth” and ultimately determine client success. Engaged employees create a better member experience, which will increase profits.
Seeing the Impact
To better engage members, employees need to shift their perspective to that of the member. Employees need to consider ways to increase value and move beyond reacting to situations. Employees then need to integrate these ideas into their interactions.
Ultimately, your member has to realize a connection with your association – feel engaged and be able to quantitate member benefits to maintaining their membership.
What can you do to better engage your membership?