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Digital Strategies to engage modern member expectations


Imagine we could step into a time machine and go back 20 years into a room full of our friends and family. Then imagine telling them that, in the very near future, they will be able to buy pretty much anything at almost any time of day with a tap on their mobile device.

They probably wouldn’t believe you back in 2000. But now we take it for granted. Modern technology has taken some of the ‘thinking’ out of tasks to save us time, e.g. Self-service tools and automation. Amazon allows us to order products with one click, Gmail recommends email replies and Netflix makes suggestions based on what we like watching. 

We feel that these services ‘know’ us, they understand that we lead busy lives and make it as easy as possible to make decisions. These forward-thinking methods are what consumers expect- simple, easy, quick, no-fuss purchasing and personalised recommendations. 

Your members’ expectations are no different, with 78% (Digital Excellence Report, 2019) expecting a personalised experience. But how many organisations are proactively working on providing one?

According to MemberWise’s Digital Excellence report, 42% of members find online self-service falls short of expectations. Members don’t have the time or patience to navigate a complex interface, non-mobile friendly website or experience a lack of engagement. As a membership organisation, you should be making it as simple as possible for members to renew, purchase event tickets and network with peers.

The key to a successful membership organisation is in providing experiences and offer member value. If members don’t believe they’re getting the best out of their membership they are less likely to renew. Members may then look around for resources, perhaps free services, and reconsider whether they are getting value out of their membership. If organisations fail to provide value, they ultimately risk losing members.

When it comes to keeping your members engaged, personalisation is key. Given the technology that is available to us now, what was considered best practice 5 years ago is now judged to be a poor experience. Your members are asking your organisation to show them you know them. 

How can you rise to the challenge? 

Show your members that you understand and value them. A good starting point for any organisation is to consult the industry standards and see how you compare. This links to researching what peers and fellow associations are working on. Find out what tools, resources, and schemes are working for other associations and apply them to your own. 

It can be easy to see that your members aren’t engaged but much more difficult to understand why. Don’t be afraid to target those members to find out why they are no longer engaging and what they want to see from your organisation. You can then put actions in place to amend your internal processes so you do not lose those unengaged members. And with technology like Salesforce Einstein, you could even set up notifications to tell you when members are becoming disengaged, and likely to leave, to trigger a retention strategy.

You will need the right technology to help you meet your members’ expectations. Without innovative technology, you will not have a 360-degree view of your members to see their preferences, history or create an engagement score with reports generated in real-time. Technology that automates processes for your members, makes suggestions based on previous activity and makes self-servicing simple. Legacy technology that may help you today, but won’t innovate with the changing expectations of your members. 

Show your members you know them, by placing them at the heart of your organisation’s strategy; base your processes and then your technology on finding the best ways to engage them. Provide your members with the personalised journey they deserve and expect. 

Find out how Fonteva’s customers have and continue to meet modern member expectations, take a look at the customer case studies.

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