Regardless of what industry you work in, we’re all in the people business. And for your association or chamber of commerce, the goal is to ensure your members are happy so they’ll renew.
Enter the importance of exceptional customer service. Are you consistently sharpening your skills to better delight your members? Hopefully so! But to really deliver a five-star member experience, we recommend honing in on these five customer service skills:
You’ve heard it before, and it still holds true to this day: “The only constant is change.” Industries change. Your members change. The demographic of your membership changes. So to continuously delight your members, it’s important to change with them.
As you conduct member surveys (which hopefully you do on a regular basis), take that feedback seriously and incorporate some of those suggestions. The more adaptable your association or chamber of commerce can be, the more relevant you’ll remain and the more resilient you’ll become.
Empathy goes a LONG way with people. Think about when you’re going through something - a frustrating experience, a stressful day, or even a stressful time period. Sometimes, you just want someone to empathize with you. It’s comforting (and validating).
Well, your members (and prospects) want that too! If they had a bad online experience (paying for something, for example), sincerely apologize. Let them know that you completely understand where they’re coming from and that you’re willing to do whatever you can to amend the situation.
Your concern and understanding will help them see that you really do have their best interests at heart.
3. Clear communication skills
For true customer satisfaction (and in this case, member satisfaction), clear communication skills are a must. For members to have a five-star experience, they need to know what’s happening and when - well in advance.
Confusion leads to frustration, which then leads to unhappy members - and that you don’t want. So send regular updates via email (an email newsletter, for example) and avoid fluffy language. Don’t leave anything open to interpretation and just be as transparent as possible. (You’ll all benefit from that!)
This is a customer service skill that will set you apart. People - and younger generations, in particular - value authenticity. Think about how many “sales messages” people are exposed to on a day-to-day basis. You can’t even get on Facebook anymore without seeing ad after ad. As a result, people (your members and prospects, included) can easily distinguish between “marketing talk” versus “real talk.”
Opt for authenticity in your communications! Be personable and, again, transparent. Genuine messaging builds relationships, and better yet, loyalty.
5. A willingness to go the extra mile
This is also a customer service skill that will set you apart - in the BEST way possible. Any chance you get to go the extra mile for your members...do it! Even if it’s just a one-off gesture that only one or a few of your members will experience (a handwritten note following one of your events, for example), it’s worth it. It’ll build a lasting impression in your members’ eyes, and not only do experiences like that play a role in renewals, but they play a role in word-of-mouth recommendations as well - a BIG role.
Speaking of renewals, delivering exceptional customer service is really just the start. But there are other factors to consider...AND best practices worth following. For more on that, check out our free guide below!