How Important is Member Service?
Why is top-notch member service so vital to member organizations? Some organizations take their members for granted, by failing to provide them with a helpful resources and engagement opportunities. If you don’t rise to the occasion and give your members a reason to stay, there’s a chance they will withdraw their membership and find an organization that better serves their needs.
Consider these facts:
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for just one unresolved negative experience, “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner.
- People are twice as likely to share bad experiences as positive experiences, according to the 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer by American Express.
- According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it’s six to seven times more expensive to attract a new customer/member than it is to retain an existing customer/member,
- A focus on excellent member service can help increased engagement, develop a better reputation for your organization and ensure a professional environment for employees, volunteers and members.
How does your member organization provide great customer service?
- Take the time to listen. Your members may not tell you that they’ve had a bad experience, but their tone of voice and their choice of words can speak volumes. When in doubt, ask! Conducting regular surveys and incorporating feedback shows you’re paying attention to member needs.
- Grand gestures are great, of course, but even consistently and genuinely thanking members is a big deal. Member appreciation goes a long way to making people feel valued.
- Communication is key. Stop unnecessary frustration in its tracks by properly communicating your organization’s policies and systems with members, staff and volunteers.
- If a staff or board member does something wrong, own up to it and apologize to your members. Trying to cover your tracks or shift the blame can hurt your organization’s reputation.
- Go above and beyond. Make it a practice to set the bar high and always strive to exceed your goals. Surprise your members when given the opportunity.
Why does all this matter? Because satisfied members are more engaged members. In turn, more engaged members see a bigger return on their investment in the organization and are more likely to renew their memberships.
It also means that when you need your members to take action, such as when you ask them to vote in an upcoming election, you’ll have their attention much more quickly allowing them to promptly take steps such as casting a ballot.
SBS has worked with hundreds of member organizations and we have lots of examples on top-notch member service. Need more reasons to focus on member service and satisfaction? Contact us, we’re here to help!
Since joining SBS in 2011, Tony has led company communications, branding, and product launches, maintaining SBS as the go-to for governance solutions. He regularly hosts educational webinars and speaks at national trade association events across the United States. Tony’s expertise has earned him media recognition, with features in outlets like Rural Electric Magazine, The Association Adviser podcast, Associations Now, and NBC’s King 5 Mornings in Seattle.