As most association professionals know, it’s one thing to recruit new members, but another beast entirely to retain them. When it comes to member retention, loyalty plays a huge part. So how do you build that member loyalty within your organization? Well, here are four tips:
1. Create a sense of community
Associations are all about affinity building, and with so many tools now available (online forums, social media sites, email listservs, etc.), there’s no excuse for not fostering a sense of community and care. Remember, people want to feel like they belong, so if your association can master that, you’re golden in the realm of retention.
2. Get personal
Your members are real people, so it’s important that you treat them that way. Make them feel special by personalizing your communications. This includes emails, letters, profile pages, etc. You can even go the extra mile by wishing them a happy birthday or sending them a message on the anniversary of when they first joined your organization. Personalized messages like these can really help to establish emotional bonds - and that’s what’s going to keep your members coming back.
Now don’t panic. Even with 10,000+ members, this is extremely easy to do with the help of an association management system. An AMS can integrate with your organization’s database allowing you to send personalized emails, and even better, automate them based on specified criteria, such as birthdays or anniversary dates.
3. Be open and transparent
There are going to be times when things don’t go as planned - and that’s ok. But instead of denying the problem, be open with your members about what’s going on. Members don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to be honest, so always take the transparency route.
4. Go the extra mile
We talk about this one a lot, but that’s because it’s SO important in terms of member satisfaction. If a member comes to you for more information or a service you can’t provide, don’t just say “Sorry, we don’t have that,” and send them on their way. Instead, provide them with an alternative source or solution. Say something along the lines of “Unfortunately, we don’t have that here, but you can obtain it from XYZ.” This kind of selflessness goes a long way in terms of member loyalty.
Now these are just a few ways to increase member retention, but trust us, there’s plenty more where that came from. See for yourself in our free member retention guide below!