Membership Discussions Now Open
Your membership is the key to achieving success within the chapter, and understanding their needs will help increase efficiency of chapter management. Whether you are concerned about the problems coming from members or enjoying compliments, your membership team should consider all members as they plan for events aimed at retention and growth. The first step is to get the conversation started.
Consider these 5 questions:
1. Who are your members?
This may just be one of the most important questions you can ask as it will not only guide your event planning but also improve how you reach potential members. Multiple aspects can be contemplated: Are they students? Entry-level within the industry? Mid-level managers? CEOs? Are you reaching the right people through your efforts? How do prospects hear about your chapter: conferences, engaging chapter events, website search, or member referrals?
2. Are you listening to members (and non-members)?
Even if you have high turn-out at events, you still need to consider what your members want and need from membership in your chapter. Ask them. Conduct surveys whenever you can: before planning event, after an event takes place, and even randomly without regard to a specific activity to capture the pulse of your chapter. This could be the most important ingredient for converting non-members and retaining current ones.
3. How are you seeking improvement in membership satisfaction?
You know who your members are and what they want. What are you doing with the information? Are you instituting a change? Are you training your board to focus on members and member engagement? Are you providing the expected benefits? Praising members for a job well done? It cannot be stressed enough how important listening to members is. If you haven’t taken that action, then improving satisfaction levels throughout membership may not be possible. Most important here, take action on the information you have.
4. What officer handles what problems?
Your board is the go-to for member problems. Each member on the board has their area of expertise and you should use that. Though your association management software, you can easily set each person up with their own email address so they can be reached. Or set up one email address for all problems. Either way, make it clear on the chapter website who handles what issues so members can reach out. Maybe even create a position on the board just for addressing member concerns. However you choose to address member issues, make sure your board is approachable and well trained in the knowledge they need to take action.
5. How are you measuring success?
The technology to track results is there, you just need to employ it in the best way possible for your chapter’s needs. Are you more concerned with facts and figures, such as membership retention rates, dues paid, prospect conversions? Are you more interested in hearing how your members feel about speakers and activities? Have you set specific goals to reach? Be certain to ask the right questions and implement the use of the appropriate metrics to find the information you need.
Once you have answered these questions, the next step is to keep talking while taking action. Continually measure your success based on whatever criteria you have set forth. Reassess as needed for improvement towards reaching your goal.
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