But are those new services what your members really want? The things they’ll mention to non-members when asking them to join?
One of our Protech Associates teammates recently asked the following:
“Are you able to see where your membership is headed? And is your association willing to follow?”
We covered the modern association’s pivot over at Associations Now — so check that out when you get a chance — but there’s more to this story.
Planning your pivot to improved member services
Pause for a moment. What were your answers to the questions above?
If you feel confident in your association’s foresight, let this blog post be a celebration of all you’ve achieved. Can’t see where your membership is headed? Let your association management software be your crystal ball.
First thing’s first. What’s the state of your membership?
Your association might not be hemorrhaging members, and your growth may even be on the rise. But that doesn’t mean the search for new members will ever end. Neither does your quest to improve member services.
So what’s the first step to improving all aspects of membership? Admitting members know what they want more than you do.
No, you’re not admitting defeat. And no, it’s not arrogant to think you know your membership best. You probably do! That said, if you don’t have your ear to the ground, you could miss out on some really cool opportunities to improve the benefits of membership.
How do you do it? Here’s a brief recap of our suggestions on Associations Now.
1. Harness the power of your member profiles
Do you run membership for a trade association or a professional association? Well, it doesn’t really matter which, you should set up member profiles either way.
This seems obvious, and it’s something any AMS vendor should help you achieve. But are you getting anything from it?
- Review your member profiles regularly
- Learn member behavior, their interests and activity
- Then, at a moment’s notice, you could have your professional development team create content aimed at whatever’s most popular among members.
2. Give members what they want
With your member profiles in effect, now comes the next step: personalized content.
If you’re like any person with an email account in the 21st century, you’re receiving personalized emails with content or items for sale tailored specifically for you.
It’s not creepy like it once was, and everyone expects it. Also, it’s what your members want. Third, it’s what they’ve grown to expect.
Let’s say you’ve invested the time to set up and review member profiles. Then, you created webinars for members based on popular topics.
Would you really waste that new, engaging content by keeping it to yourself?
We don’t think so, but plenty of fantastic content has been known to collect dust now and again. So send it off and give your members what they want.
What else do they want?
- The ability to update their member profile anytime, anywhere
- An exceptional eCommerce experience
- An easy way to track their professional development progress
If your AMS’ member experience doesn’t offer all three, it’s time to find software that can.
3. Please, please, please deploy a mobile-responsive website
This isn’t your standard pitch for improved member services, but it is a service that members demand.
It’s not as cool as exclusive access to your next private reception, but members trying to navigate your non-mobile-responsive website may not be members for long.
Use www.protechassociates.com as an example. It works effortlessly on your desktop computer at work or on your smartphone. If it didn’t, there’s a problem.
Your association’s website should function the same way. It’s often the first thing people see when they learn about your professional association.
How can prospective members expect to gain access to all of your awesome member services if they visit your website through their smartphone and your website looks like it was built in 2005?
Why should you prioritize responsive design?
Think about the last time you paid your electric bill or checked your bank balance on your phone. It probably didn’t take long, and you probably didn’t think twice about the appearance of the web page.
Your members want the same experience when they’re making dues payments or renewing memberships and subscriptions — all of which is made easy through Protech’s AMS.
A shoddy website without responsive design may not feel like it’s a member services priority, but mobile-friendliness is critical in this day and age. And Protech’s team can help you make sure you’re staying on the mobile-responsive path.
Give your members what they want, and membership growth is sure to follow.
Your association’s younger members want to do everything from their smartphone or tablet. Other members will expect you to know which services they want without every expressly telling you. So be sure to make strong use of your member profiles.
It’s hard to admit you don’t have all the answers, but once you do, it’ll pay dividends.
Having trouble delivering personalized content or setting up cool, responsive web parts with your AMS vendor? Try Alliance by Protech on for size.