About 50% of membership associations registered a decline in total members. Also, the acquisition of new members is slow and low in the post-pandemic. In short, the pandemic made an impact on membership size and overall bottom line.
It may be challenging to scale and achieve your successful performance in declining membership and limited acquisitions. Therefore, you need to develop ways of preventing or reverting any decline in your member renewals. Also, driving aggressive campaigns to increase the acquisition of new members can come in handy.
If you are stuck on how to do that and achieve the best performance for your association, you’re in the right place. Here are four ways of achieving success through association management.
1. Streamlining Administration Processes
Complex association management processes waste your time, resources, and energy. It can be worse if you’re still stuck to manual processes. For example, an ineffective system can ruin your members’ experience. Imagine your members going through several hurdles to register for a simple event on your website.
It can result in poor event turnout and probably a reduction in annual membership renewals. Management of your association members should be easy and simple. You should ditch the complex or manual processes like spreadsheets and tools that are not interoperable.
Streamlining your processes using an association membership management software can come in handy.
You don’t want to lose more members’ collections due to the manual processing of payments. Let the association staff focus on other vital parts of the organization by automating tedious admin functions. Getting the right tech stack can simplify your workflows and improve your management efficiency for better service delivery.
2. Enhance Membership Experience
Like eCommerce stores, the membership experience you offer will determine whether members stick with you or not. The rule of thumb in any transaction is to provide value for the time and money issued. Loosely put, offer value in your membership subscription.
So, what defines a valuable membership program? Value can take many forms for a community or professional association. For professional association, its value can fall into these categories:
- Professional development. The association should offer members certification or training on current and relevant topics. For example, ISACA, a global organization on IT governance, has over 150,000 members. It provides professional development courses, including CISA (certified information systems auditor).
- Networking. It should offer meetup opportunities with colleagues from other towns, cities, regions, etc. Also, it should extend to meeting government and regulatory people in the sector.
- Advocacy and lobbying. The association should drive lobbying efforts that support professional or community initiatives. So, it should formulate new laws to help its members serve and operate better.
- Resource. It should also offer valuable resources for members. It could be white papers on topics relevant to members. Also, information on funding sources like grants can add value to the membership.
In short, ensure the membership has vital features that make it priceless to your members. It should have excellent and smooth networking opportunities. Also, interactive community discussion that fosters relationships amongst members should be a top priority.
Curating such a valuable membership program needs a relevant tech stack connecting to your website. You should provide a quality membership program worth members’ time and money.
Also, do not forget to offer excellent customer support. You should answer every member’s questions promptly. Besides, you should provide a personalized experience to each member.
For example, professional associations have professionals at different levels of career. It can have students, junior, middle and senior-level professionals. Each category should easily find relevant resources and services that match their interests and level of professionalism.
So, your website should be intuitive and easy to navigate. For example, the Rotary International website’s homepage is simple but intuitive. You can use chatbots for a better and personalized experience for each member visiting your site. AI chatbots can converse with your members and handle pressing questions 24/7. They can also direct them to relevant resources on the website.
3. Be Open to Members’ Feedback to Adjust Accordingly
Customer experience is now a competitive advantage. And customer feedback plays a crucial part in retaining members and getting referrals from their friends and families. Members’ feedback provides insights on your membership service and what they dislike.
It underscores the significance of reviews and ratings. Prospective members will first check out your association reviews before getting onboard. Addressing members’ concerns can improve members’ retention.
Besides, showing that you listen to your members may prompt them to post positive reviews about your association. According to Statista, 70% of customers research reviews before making purchase decisions. It’s safe to say, members looking for an association will also conduct research. Positive reviews can help convince them you’re the best option.
Members will be more satisfied and can refer their colleagues to the association. Thus, customer feedback impacts customer experience, retention, and referrals. In short, paying attention to member feedback can increase membership renewals and new acquisitions. Hence, it will improve your performance and meet your objectives.
So, ensure your members can voice their concerns and provide feedback on the service features. It will show what to improve and what to drop for a better member experience. Use email surveys, mobile surveys etc., to get feedback from your members.
4. Make Decisions Based on Data Insights
Pure metrics without insights are a waste of time. Knowing that 20% of your members have not renewed their membership without showing reasons for non-renewal is not helpful. You cannot effectively address the problem without knowing its root cause.
For example, you can provide membership discounts if non-renewal is due to financial challenges due to a pandemic. Similarly, if only a certain group of people leave due to discrimination, you can develop appropriate solutions.
A data analytics platform can uncover data insights from members for better management. But it needs all your tools, from customer relationship management (CRM) to payment systems, to be interoperable.
Your tech stack will help drive advanced data analytics for informed decision making. A robust association management platform bringing key functions into one central place can be helpful. You can quickly process the central data and uncover insights. AI-powered tools can help drive real-time data insights on the go.
The pandemic has painted a grim economic outlook on every organization, including membership associations. With half of the association facing a decline in members and new acquisitions, it is vital to level up and address the challenge.
You will need the right tech stack to simplify your admin process and efficiency. Also, membership experience and feedback must be exceptional. Bringing data analytics into the operations will uncover data insights for informed decision making.
We recommend an intuitive website, 24/7 chatbot support and a personalized experience. They will add value to your membership experience and drive satisfaction, retention and referrals. These are ingredients of success and scaling.