How are your members helping you retain them? Are you collecting member intelligence from them when they join that will help you improve your member retention?
First, remember that gathering data to keep in your member management software is the key to getting good member intelligence. And where is the first place you usually start collecting data from your members? Your membership application.
Alter your membership application to include the information you always wished you could get from your members. Along with the normal contact information also ask for:
· Reason for joining (more on this in a bit)
· Date business established
· Date business established locally (for those who moved from elsewhere)
· Areas of interest
· Number of employees
· Business category
Some of these items may seem personal and they are. For you to deliver personal, relevant service to your members you need to collect such member intelligence (and probably more).
Some sample reasons for joining are:
· Credibility for their business
· Learning opportunities
· Discount programs
· Health insurance program
· Government advocacy
· Community involvement
Set up methods to track these join reasons and other items in your member management software. Then incorporate these reasons in your communications and member retention plans throughout the year.
For example, if a member joined for “Networking,” make sure they receive invitations to events or you follow up with them if they haven’t attended any events in the first few months of membership. Half-way through the year, call the members and restate the reasons why they joined and ask them if they’ve received those benefits. If not, find ways to help them. It can be very powerful to show your members that you listened to why they wanted to join and are working to help them realize those benefits.
Now that you’re collecting good member intelligence from your new members, go back and get the same information from your existing members. Create online or printed surveys that capture this information. Give them incentives for completing it such as a drawing for $25 Starbucks gift cards or free registrations for your next luncheon.
Collect member intelligence. Use that data to show your members you’re listening and want to help. Do this well and you’ll see an impact on your member retention and potentially your new member sales as well. After all, your members do talk to other businesses!