How can you be sure your members are really getting the most from your club? People join clubs for different reasons, and not all will value the same things. This means there is no one solution for increasing member growth or retention that will resonate with each individual member.
There is however, a way you can determine those benefits and experiences that your members value the most. By knowing what your members value, and giving them more of it, you will not only improve your club management but potentially increase member retention and attract new people to join.
In this post we will look at what it means to give your members value and how you can measure their satisfaction at what you offer. Don’t just accept a cycle of losing members and picking up new one’s to replace them. Learn how you can create value for everyone and grow your membership.
How Much Do You Know About Your Members?
We’re not talking about what books they like to read, or what they put on their toast in the morning. What we mean is the reasons why they chose to join your club e.g. what it is that makes them value being a member. For instance, a person may choose to join a golf club for a variety of reasons – they enjoy playing golf, they want to improve their game, their friends are members, it is good for their health, you offer something other clubs don’t. Some may have joined for just one of these reasons, others for a combination of them.
A common mistake many clubs make is to look at their club offerings from their own perspective and not their members. Creating value is not about what they get for their membership fee or how much it costs, but more about meeting the needs of each individual member.
Why Value Matters
Do you know why your members chose to join your club and not the one down the road? What was it that attracted them to you? When deciding to join or rejoin your club, people often undertake a mental appraisal of the expected value of your club’s membership by comparing what you offer for the membership fee. To understand what is behind this perception of value, you need to look at all the cues that people use in their appraisal. Once you realise members join for reasons beyond just the membership fee, you will see how you can build, improve and expand.
You might ask why it matters? The reasons behind the decision to join will primarily lie with your club meeting their needs at the time. But if you are locked into a static membership cycle, where some leave and an equivalent number join, and your membership never grows, then you need to look at what is driving that decision to leave or join. If you don’t look into this then how can you ever hope to escape that membership stalemate?
The Benefits of Value Analysis
Discovering what your members value about your club will require some legwork on your part. However, a simple members survey will help you gather some vital information about how you as a club are performing in your members eyes. Moreover, it will help you discover what your members value and allow you to move to the next step of segmentation.
The best choice of survey format is Value Analysis. This is where members apply a rating, usually on a scale of 1-10, to different aspects of the club and their membership. Using value analysis surveys will give you a far simpler overview of what areas your members value the most.
Aswell as your choice of survey format, you also need to select the best form of delivery. One which will help ensure your members know about the survey and which will bring about a healthy response rate. PaySubsOnline.com can help with this. By using our membership database software to create and deliver member surveys you can be assured it will land in front of them. Whilst it cannot guarantee they will all respond, electronic delivery of surveys is far more effective and reliable than popping it in the post or leaving it in the clubhouse for completion.
There are numerous other benefits to using your membership software for collecting survey data and these are perhaps best left for another post, on another day. Be aware though that your choice of delivery method is as important as the questions you ask.
The Power of Segmentation for Retaining & Recruiting Members
Now you have your survey results it is time to discover just what your members are telling you and how to use that information. Undertaking member segmentation will enable you to learn more about your members by what they value. Member segmentation is, put simply, a process of dividing up your membership into different groups (or segments) according to common needs and priorities. You may have already done something similar according to the different types of members you have i.e. junior members, senior members, youth team etc. But when it comes to your survey information you will be dividing these people up into different groups based on their answers. This information can then help you identify the values they share so you can continue giving them what they value and target others like them who are not yet members.
Once you have your ‘segments’ you will be able to prioritise your member needs according to the percentage of respondents in each, or put another way, the largest segments will indicate those needs which are the most important to your members. The final step is to look at each segment and create a profile for each. Once you understand the demographics of those members in each segment you will be better placed to develop a targeted marketing strategy aimed at them. Again your membership software can help you identify behavioural characteristics for each of these segments, such as when people joined, did they leave and then come back, how engaged are they with the club?
This post has only really scratched the surface of how clubs can measure their value to their members. But we hope it has gone someway to helping you understand the importance of discovering just what it is that motivates members to join and renew their membership.
If you would like to learn more on how PaySubsOnline.com can help you segment your members and improve club management, download our free Buyers Guide today or if you’re already evaluating club membership software, watch our demo now.