3 New Year’s resolutions to improve your association members’ experience.

If you’re anything like me, coming up with New Year’s resolutions can be overwhelming and anxiety-ridden, not to mention their failure is often accompanied by evidence. I only have to look over my shoulder at the elliptical in my office to spot a failed resolution of 2016.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. The best way to ensure New Year’s resolutions are kept is to make sure they’re reasonable, specific and actionable. And there’s no better place for us to start than with improvements to the member experience.

Here are three resolutions to get you on the right path to a successful 2018.

1. Map out current member experiences.

According to the Community Brands Member Loyalty Study (2017), many benefits and services association members rank the lowest in terms of their experience are the most valued when it comes to retaining members.

Make it a priority to address this disconnect by learning as much as you can about members during the new year. Consider creating a journey map to lay out the full picture of membership, illustrating the member experience from the first interaction to lifelong engagement. Members take different pathways throughout their membership lifecycle, and it’s critical to fully understand each one, while identifying gaps for improvement.

Not sure where to start? How about with the most common gaps in their experience—online training, certifications and job opportunities.

2. Build a technology strategy.

This may seem like a no-brainer, and if so, great! You’ve done your homework. However, if your association does not yet have a technology strategy in place, it’s time to get to work.

Associations that use the right technology give members a more seamless user experience, increasing member satisfaction. But, getting it right the first time requires detailed planning with a focus on leveraging technology to improve the digital experiences most valued by members.

Begin with a high-level plan to answer the following:

  • Why are you doing it?
  • What features/components are needed to deliver key user experiences?
  • How will you measure success?
  • What is the timeline?
  • Who is doing the work?

And, for additional resources to help you along the way, check out the YourMembership Resource Center, with everything from how to create an engaging learning experience to finding out the health of your online learning program.

3. Identify opportunities for personalization.

According to the Community Brands Digital Member Study (2017), nearly 70 percent of surveyed members expressed interest in receiving personalized content, such as recommended courses, events, jobs opportunities, discounts, etc., based on their past activity. This is especially true for Millennials and Gen Xers.

Yet, only a third of members believe their professional membership organization is using member-provided information and search data to personalize their experience. Personalization presents a keen opportunity to close the gap between member expectations and dissatisfaction with their current experiences.

In the coming year, look beyond member acknowledgement and seek out opportunities to further personalize content. For some ideas and best practices, read this to learn how Rackspace Cloud University launched its elearning program and served more than 70,000 learners during its first two years.


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