Member Success is equal in importance to sales and marketing and engineering and product. But why? Technically, it didn’t exist 10 years ago, so why do we need it?
We need it because competition in the association world is harsh and we need Member Success in place to reduce churn and keep members around for the long haul. Look, the World now has a ‘new’ normal, thanks to the COVID19 crisis, and – quite frankly – so does your association or organization, and so do your members and clients. Some of them have closed their business permanently. They’ve lost everything.
Others will slowly re-open, but at what cost? With what differences? Many more people may work from home now because that’s how they got through the epidemic, and so fewer people will be back on the roads for commutes, insurance premiums will fall, gas prices will go down, and while that’s good for consumers – well, not so much for the retailers. Commissions and profit margins will be lowered, so as a business owner or operator, your members will have to change how they do business to make up for the losses. Fewer workers, lower wages, and maybe cutbacks on expenditures – like association memberships.
Ouch! That hurt didn’t it?
So, what are you going to do to make sure you retain those important members to your organization? Are you relevant to them? Can you solve their problems, provide resources to help them be better at what they do, help them reach their Desired Outcome? Can you help them be successful at what they do, so they will remain beholden to you as their Trusted Advisor?
Let’s take a closer look at these points.
Member Success connects promise to reality
Here’s a theoretical situation to explain.
Imagine I just signed up for an analytics product because I know I need to start tracking user activity in my mobile app. The landing page copy told me that’s what I can do with the app, so I bought it.
I go in, and within two minutes I’m confused and wondering exactly how I can load it up with my app’s data or set conversion goals.
In an ideal world, the Association’s Member Success Concierge should be on the phone to me the same day of my purchase, guiding me through the steps to get it set up and teaching me everything I need to know.
You don’t want your members to have to work harder to get what was promised by the membership coordinator because your product should be easy to implement for all members and deliver value from day one.
Your resource’s initial setup, or even basic use, won’t be obvious to Everyone – we know that members span the age range gamut from baby boomers to Gen X-ers to Millennials, and so on. Not to mention how businesses grow and their needs change over time — every time the annual dues bill for their membership comes through, the member is questioning whether they really need to stay with you.
With every member renewal being an opportunity to cancel, it’s obvious that the member success process doesn’t stop after the initial set up. Member Success teams need to be constantly available to keep members from falling out of love with their membership, no matter what.
Member Success should be ‘uncomfortably close’. While an exaggeration, it’s a good way of imagining how easily reachable and responsive your service should be.
Your competitors will steal your unhappy members
Disgruntled members who didn’t get the support (or even explanations) they wanted will seek out your competitors.
If your competitor is smart, they’ll have a great Member Success team who will get them set up with the product the same day the enrolment goes through. They’ll make certain that the member is happy and set up to get the most value they can out of the product.
Since 2009, the popularity of Member Success has increased 800%. It’s not becoming something which differentiates a great company from a good one — it’s becoming a requirement.
It doesn’t matter how good your marketing is or how many deals you close, if members experience the disconnect between promise and reality and it isn’t patched up by a Member Success team, you’re going to get a high rate of churn.
Member Success is a method of making members happy and keeping them that way.
If a member is happy with their membership, there’s no need for them to stop using it — what’s known as ‘churning out’. The amount of members you lose each month is known as your monthly churn rate, something we’ll explain fully later.
For now, it’s enough to know that Member Success isn’t just about the unscientific art of making people feel warm and fuzzy. Like all business processes, it’s about making money.
A watertight member success process reduces churn and increases your revenue. Even a churn reduction of 4% can double your Annual Revenue Return (ARR).
Member Success is where 90% of association revenue is. It doesn’t just mean that members keep paying their annual dues, it also means that they will be inclined to promote the member product to others in their industry and become advocates for your association.
With association memberships, successful members compound your revenue massively because they are the ones who encourage their peers to join your association, give you member prospect referrals and are promoters of your products and services.
Once your association becomes the go-to solution for a large company, that one member could be paying your entire Member Success team’s salaries every month!
Once again: Why is Member Success important?
Let’s look over the key points again and wrap up this article.
Member Success teams help connect your member’s expectations with the promises made by your Membership Coordinator or your website.
By offering a go-between for your resources and members, your members always have someone to turn to who will be willing to work closely with them to solve any issues.
If you offer a product or resource to your members you need someone to work with them and get it set up for them right from Day 1.
Your competition is doing it! They’re holding onto the members you lost and killing you with kindness.
A watertight member success process reduces churn and increases your revenue. Even a churn reduction of 4% can double your ARR.
Keep watching this page for more articles about Member Success for your organization. We’re Association Project Management, LLC – experienced especially in Membership matters for organizations like yours.
Here at Association Project Management, LLC we’ve developed a 10-statement survey that will assess how well your association is positioned to stop the membership erosion and start adding more new agencies to your ranks than you are losing through decline. If you’re interested in this self-evaluation tool, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to get your feedback, and help you make some positive growth changes for your membership goals!
APM helps member-based organizations & professional trade associations achieve Member Success, stabilize their member retention and guarantee membership growth through Prospect Development and Member Recruitment, as well as Member Engagement and Concierge Onboarding.
Organizations implement our programs to sustain their current revenue, reduce losses due to churn (member non-renewal) and generate new revenue by creating Raving Fans® who evangelize new members that over time becomes automatic, organic growth. “Members begetting Members”.
Association Project Management, LLC also provides a list of other project management and project completion services through a virtual staff member – a committed, trusted expert who helps to reduce costs, lower risks, improve efficiencies, meet deadlines, solve challenging problems, support strategic initiatives and produce better outcomes for your association staff.
Contact us today to see how we can help your organization excel in 2020!
- Andrew McElhannon, CEO – Association Project Management associationprojectmanagement.com ©2019-2020