In a previous post we discussed the importance of understanding member acquisition and retention. Some of that discussion revolved around the idea that it’s easier (and potentially less costly) to retain a satisfied member than it is to retain a dis-satisfied member. That being understood, we’re sure you’ll also see why it’s vital to satisfy a member over the entire course of their membership and not just make an attempt at satisfying them at the point of renewal (which can often appear as a cynical attempt to continue taking their money rather than to provide them with the service they’re looking for).
So how do we define satisfaction? In essence this is a simple idea, ie. You’ve satisfied your member when their expectations have been met by your club provisions. You could ask yourself the question; Have I met my member’s expectations? And if you were looking to ‘delight’ your members, you might even consider how you provide additional value beyond your member’s expectations.
Whether you are aiming for satisfaction or delight, you won’t be able to do either unless you are clear on what it takes to achieve this, so we recommend you have a very clear list of what it is you expect to provide for your members and clearly communicate this at every opportunity. A misunderstanding of expectation by the member can lead to considerable frustration on both sides, so make sure you are clear!
Monitor Member Satisfaction
You’ll also need to understand what a member is looking for from your club. If you’ve been clear and honest with your marketing messages then it’s reasonable to assume that new members are signing up to get what you offer but once they have done so you’ll need to assess whether they are satisfied with what you give them.
Here’s a few ways to find out this information
1. Ask them!
Asking questions of your members is vital to understanding them, their needs and whether you have met their expectations.
Via an online survey
With our software you can create surveys that members can login to their online account and complete. It doesn’t have to be one survey fits all – you can target different sections of your membership with different surveys. Be sure to ask questions designed to help you improve your service and understand the satisfaction levels of your existing members.
Creating a member forum is an excellent way to create a private space for members to share ideas and talk. Often members will be more willing to talk within a closed group and it’s another great place for you to ask questions. You’ll be able to engage with members and monitor conversation.
Via Social Media
Similar to a forum but often in the public arena, make sure you have your own social media channels and encourage members to engage non-members as well as with each other. This will make it easier for you to talk with members and potential new members. You’ll also be able to track and monitor activity and gain a sense of where member satisfaction levels are at.
2. Monitor activity
Look at engagement across your different channels and choose performance indicators that you think may indicate satisfaction levels.
Here are some example indicators you can track through club software:
- Member account activity.
- Registration and attendance at supplementary events.
- Responses to email communication.
- Additional purchases.
Finally, be clear on what your new and continuing members should expect in return for their membership fee. Convey the benefits and value of membership at every relevant opportunity and never leave it until last minute to remind members who are coming up for renewal. Ask questions and track their activity and engagement so that you can learn if you are meeting, exceeding or falling short of their expectations. Don’t forget, satisfied members always cost less to maintain than the cost of finding new members. And a happy member will almost always tell others about you!
To discover more about the survey features with PaySubsOnline.com contact us or sign up for a free trial.