I started to notice lately that one of the associations that I manage was losing their membership’s interest. Less people were showing up for events, emails were being opened up less and less, and nobody was volunteering for committees. Because of this, I decided to watch Your Membership’s webinar, “Recharging your Membership.”
The webinar focused around an idea that is often applied in personal relationships, but should be applied to professional ones as well, including associations. That idea is that, “People remember NOT WHAT YOU DO, but how you MAKE THEM FEEL.” Due to society’s shift to a more experience-driven value proposition, it is important to think of how your members feel rather than what you are providing them.
People are more emotional, expect things to exceed their expectations, and want things that are intangible. This can be challenging for associations to deliver. Each member is different and might have a different expectation that they are looking for you to exceed. Your members, however, should fall into a similar audience. They all chose to join the association for a reason. That reason is something you should focus on when delivering their experience.
The webinar also covered the fact that a member’s last great experience is now their new expectation. You want to leave a good impression in their mind at the end of each time you have with them. If you are hosting a conference, end with a motivational speaker, a concert or a bag full of goodies. Make them feel appreciated and excited!
The first step in giving your member’s a positive experience, however, starts much earlier and often with technology. Make sure your association’s website is easy to navigate and does not cause them any trouble. If they do not enjoy their experience on the website, they may be less likely to sign up for events or look for information in the future on the site. Ensure that it is clean, easy to read, and aesthetically pleasing. The same goes for any emails that are sent to that member. These are all contact points in which you can leave a good impression.
Shifting your association to be more experience-driven is a necessity in order to maintain a competitive advantage nowadays. Being non-member centric is the biggest threat to your organization. Pull members in and retain them by involving them in the conversation. Create an idea box for members to reach you at, thank them after every interaction and simply make them feel welcomed. This actions can go a long way in membership retention! I am excited to take what I learned and apply it to my own association to help them grow and maintain their members.