Organizations thrive when members communicate, participate, become advocates and renew their memberships. Unsatisfied members are unengaged members.
In a world where one unhappy member can seemingly bring the whole organization to a standstill, how can an organization provide the best member service possible?
What is “good” membership service?
Good membership service begins by recognizing that your members are a vital part of your organization and they deserve to be informed and treated with respect.
To go the extra mile, learn about your members and how they prefer to communicate with your organization, whether it is promptly returned calls and polite phone conversations with a real person or a monthly email informing members about developments in your organization
How do you show your members some love?
Whether it’s in person or online, getting actual face time with members is important. Hosting or sponsoring events is a fantastic way to increase member satisfaction and engagement.
Some organizations focus on one or two big events for all members, others prefer smaller events segmented by the member’s life cycle within the organization (new members, long-time members, etc.)
Events are particularly important for new members, many of whom are still “trying on” the membership before choosing to renew. Personal contact from the organization, special receptions to meet the organization’s board and executives and educational events are all special ways to engage new members.
Even events only peripherally involved with the organization – such as sponsoring a member volunteer day with a local nonprofit – can help people feel connected and recognize the value you’re providing.
While you don’t want to overload members with communications, you do want to take the opportunity to reach out to them. Use the spaces where they communicate frequently – the “members only” section on your organization’s website, newsletters, social media and email – to ensure the message is getting through and to make communications with your organization convenient for members.
Sharing something with members more frequently than asking something from them. If you have fundraising appeals, keep them to a minimum and balance with at least twice as much informative content. Make sure your communications are purposeful and interesting or your message could be ignored.
Highlighting and recognizing specific members is also a great way to communicate with your member base and build a community.
Personalized outreach based on the preferences and habits of your members can make them feel heard and valued. It also sends the message that your communications are valuable and they should take the time to interact with them.
What are the results?
When your organization focuses on good membership service, keep an eye on the bottom line – higher member satisfaction leads to longer-term members and a high retention rate.
Satisfied members are more likely to speak about your organization positively and recommend you to potential members. And you can see more member engagement as well – more volunteers, more potential board candidates and higher election voting response rates.
Every organization is unique, but all members want to feel valued and see multiple benefits from their association with your organization. Happy members are the result of an organization that puts a premium on great member service.
Looking for more ideas to take your membership service to the next level? Contact us any time, we’re here to help.