Customer Service & Relationship Building

The More Engaged Your Members Are, The More Likely They’ll Stay

Engaging members, donors, and customers in your organization and building a thriving community ensures strong relationships that go the distance. The more engaged and involved your members are, the higher your retention rate is likely to be. While this is the lifeblood of associations and  nonprofits, it is also true of many businesses. Building a thriving, engaged community can be key to any organization's success. Engaged, caring customers are more likely to be loyal to your organization - highly satisfied customers have less reason to look elsewhere. Price differentials (unless they are drastic) are less likely to matter if your customers or clients feel connected and valued, get the results and quality they expect, and have a superlative customer experience with your company. Ladder going up an arrowAssociation experts often use a pyramid or ladder as a useful representation of levels of engagement, from the most common activities at the bottom (e.g. reading your newsletter, liking your Facebook page) to moderate level (buying a publication, attending your conference or a webinar) to  the highest value involvement at the top (Board member, corporate sponsor, or member champion who recruits many new members). It is critical to thoughtfully draw a ladder or pyramid of engagement that is unique to your organization. Member engagement can take so many different forms. What does engagement look like for your organization, from the most casual to most intense levels? What are your goals for engagement and what do the different levels really mean to you - from generating revenue to relationships to service to the organization? What does it mean for your customer or member - what value are they getting, what needs are being fulfilled? (more…)

By Lisa Danielpour, ago
Change Management

What Would Make Membership in Your Organization Recession-Proof?

Membership organizations have faced unprecedented challenges  in the last few years between the impact of the economy, massive changes to so many industry sectors and professions, and constantly evolving technology and ways of doing business. New  entrepreneurial membership web sites may enter your niche that offer online services that meet many of your members' needs at a lower cost. There is a sea change in people's attitudes toward associations and other membership organizations. It is no longer a given for people to belong to a professional or trade association. The bottom line - it is not about your organization, it is about your member or customer. What is in it for them? What are the compelling reasons that people should belong - not because they are in this profession or business but because your organization gives them benefits that they cannot live without. Do you know what is important to your members and prospective members? What they need and want? What problems keep them up at night? How can you help solve them? If your answers to these questions are based on historical answers, it is important to revisit them  through market research, listening to your constituents through social media and what they say when they contact your organization, and having regular conversations with members and prospective members in key segments. Take every opportunity you can to chat with people and listen carefully to what they care about. Ask questions about  how can we help you, how can we make a difference in your life and to your business? (more…)

By Lisa Danielpour, ago
Career Advice

Resilience: The Most Important Ingredient for Success

What is the most critical factor that individuals and organizations need to succeed in any personal or professional challenge? Reflecting on my conversations with hundreds of people from California to Cleveland to Washington, DC and New York who have shared how the economy has impacted their businesses and personal lives, I believe the answer is resilience. Seedling growing A strong, resilient spirit sparks the optimism, ingenuity, and foresight to explore new opportunities, adapt to a constantly changing marketplace, and see opportunity in the possibilities ahead.   Adversity happens. There are situations you cannot control, it's how you react to them that counts. It's how you try to foresee what might happen in the future and proactively plan that will see you through. (more…)

By Lisa Danielpour, ago