In fact, some organizations find this sort of verbal attack so demoralizing that they consider changing their membership management software just to have better control over their communities or disable comments. This might seem like a great idea, but the best way to deal with negative feedback is to confront it.
Today, there are many outlets for people to share their thoughts and most of them will express their negative opinion regardless of whether you like it or not. If they can’t make a post directly to your online community, they typically use some other platform.
Look at negative feedback within your online community as a chance to control the conversation and prove to members that you care. First, try to respond to reasonable complaints in a timely manner. Engage each person directly so they know that you value their opinions. Secondly, be transparent. Don’t be afraid to reveal mistakes that resulted in your client giving negative feedback.
Rather than just listening or reading what your customer base has to say, set aside some time to react to it. Note all of the weaknesses presented by your clients and take steps to address them. Customers usually want tangible proof that you have taken their feedback seriously and that means taking concrete steps to bring about change.
You should frequently evaluate your membership management software to ensure it meets the needs of your organization. When clients make their disappointments known in a professional manner, try to resolve the complaint so fewer people have negative feedback!
They fail to realize that they can cut customer support costs drastically by relying on their online community. Customers have an extensive source of knowledge that membership websites appreciate but many companies tend to ignore. Often, they just don’t realize that customers can provide valuable support to one another.
When you tap into the knowledge of customers in your community, you significantly reduce the number of tickets your customer support staff receives. If a customer has a question, create an option on your platform that points them to similar topics that were resolved by other customers. Membership websites do this all the time; they connect customers with similar concerns which eliminates the need for support tickets.
In order for this approach to be effective, activity must be monitored in the community. If the same questions keep surfacing, encourage your staff to provide definitive answers. When customers post their questions on the community page, that isn’t an excuse for your customer support team to disconnect. Instead, it gives your team the time they need to find answers at their own pace. It also allows them to remain aware of customer concerns before they are raised officially through the ticketing system.
An online community can lower your customer support costs but it can’t replace your customer support team. Customers may know a lot but they usually don’t know as much as your experts. To get the best results, you should combine the two and integrate the ticketing system with your online community.
But, how can you identify those type of customers in the first place? Believe it or not, there are signs of trouble and they aren’t that difficult to recognize once you start actively looking for them.
When a customer isn’t pleased, they often speak out. Some of them prefer to post their complaints on social media. If you have club websites, negative feedback might be directed to such platforms since they want their dissatisfaction to be noticed. Any kind of straightforward negativity is a clear sign that customers are unhappy. Once you take note of these complaints, immediate action should be taken to provide solutions.
Other organizations don’t have club websites to browse for negative feedback. In such cases, you can always rely on the NPS survey results. Most competent organizations make an effort to regularly survey their customers. Detractors or even neutral scores are a sign that there could be issues.
What happens when you don’t have access to easily detectable signs? In these cases, you need to explore your online community. Risky customers tend to leave sarcastic or questionable comments. If there are no heated exchanges, look for customers that are not active as the absence of interaction is also a warning sign.
To be clear, none of these signs on their own prove that a customer is thinking about abandoning an organization. But two or three of these at the same time is a good indication that you need to act quickly before you lose a valuable member.
To some extent, customer experience determines the loyalty your company generates in clients, both old and new, and whether they are more or less likely to buy from your company again. In turn, this directly impacts revenue retention. Software companies tend to benefit the most in this arena as they earn over $300 million a year from their existing customers alone.
Even if you only offer membership management software and your growth seems to have stalled out, your membership may still prosper. A positive customer experience will encourage those customers you already have to stick with you long-term.
Though many organizations have thrived with membership management software alone, there is always room for growth. Try to think of ways to expand your reach by providing excellent customer experiences. If your customers are happy, they’ll do more than just come back. They will tell others they know about your software and where they can go to learn more about it. Excellent customer experiences can turn your clients into your biggest promoters, which typically elevates sales.
According to one study, 88% of customers that are happy with their experience are more likely to refer a company to their colleagues. More importantly, software firms that offer an exceptional customer experience can add up to $185 million to their revenue. Those numbers should be enough to encourage you to alter the way you treat your customers!
Yet, most membership websites will note that high performing teams are difficult to build. If your team is struggling to meet your expectations, you have probably failed to put one of the following three critical elements in place.
Nearly every team needs to have a shared goal. The only way to get people from different backgrounds on the same page is to give them a shared goal. As a result, they will have a purpose in which they can collaborate with other members. Teams tend to fall apart in the absence of shared dreams. In some cases, the goals are present but they haven’t been properly articulated.
In order for a team to work seamlessly towards a shared goal, they must be given a simple and effective means of communicating. Discussion forums are typically adequate in filling this role as they provide a platform that all members can access. Though, you could probably get your message across with email, especially when sharing documents.
High-performing teams have deadlines and they almost always meet them. A deadline puts the kind of pressure on a team that requires members to come together. Deadlines also help teams hold their members accountable. This is because most team activities can only succeed if every member is doing their part.
Well-performing teams don’t happen by accident. You need to take proactive steps to ensure there’s cooperation between your members. That means providing collaborative tools, systems of record, and documents that are easy to share.
Of course, while all associations go through such slumps, many of them eventually reverse their fortunes at some point by perfecting their membership acquisition strategies. Two tactics, in particular, produce the best results which are email campaigns and recommendations.
The easiest way to grow the number of members in an association is to encourage current members to recommend it to other people. Most people don’t believe the boasts that associations make about their own offerings but they trust the reviews of others.
It’s also good to encourage members to reach out and make sure you offer them rewards for bringing new people on board. If that doesn’t work, add online communities to your club websites so potential members are able to participate in discussions. Obviously, you should limit their access and assign special privileges to members as it will peak the interest of non-members.
This tactic is even easier to implement because it doesn’t rely on the participation of your members. It isn’t enough to send out a general email, you need to find what a potential member likes and gather some data. Once you know what they like, craft email campaigns that target their specific interests.
New members are more likely to be attracted to your membership if they believe you have something to offer that benefits them. Don’t rely on just one tactic to produce results. Instead, combine them with your existing strategy and use them individually or together based on the interests of your target audience.
Most people think they can find the answer in strategies that other organizations have crafted to solve their own online participation issues. However, that doesn’t always work because every organization is unique. As a result, the problems they face usually require an equally unique plan of action.
Before you can solve your participation problems, you must first identify what is causing the problem. Start by using membership management software to collect data on behavior and transactions. You should also include demographic data in your study. Once you know where your members are from and see a pattern in their decisions, you can start using that information to identify participation problems.
Obviously, some participation problems are general and they don’t have a specific source or inciting factor. You simply have a situation where a majority of members have yet to complete a significant number of activities in the community. Other participation issues are individual as members fail to fill out their profiles or take part in surveys.
Membership management software will help you identify participation problems but that’s just the first step. Once you have that data, you can identify the causes of why participation is low and craft various engagement strategies. For instance, notice which areas have the highest engagement then find out what draws people to those places and replicate it in other sectors that are less active.
If you really want members to complete their profiles, send out frequent reminders or give some kind of incentive for members that do. When your content isn’t attracting the interest you envisioned, create better content. Get creative with your solutions as there are no easy answers. In addition to that, solutions that have delivered great results for other organizations may not work for you so remember that when dealing with participation problems.
One reason for joining could be due to gaining some insight about a specific topic. The second reason people join a website is based on what they perceive will happen after joining or it will be a positive change in their life. The last reason is usually related to being a part of a community as it offers an opportunity to interact with others that are on the same journey as them. Though, many people join for a combination of these reasons.
There are some website owners who think that others will automatically want to join their website as they assume people have the same interests as them. Website owners should take a long look at who visits their website. Then, ask themselves if what they offer is truly something of value that they would recommend to their friends and family.
The final part of this transformation is to be clearer in explaining what the benefits are to a potential member who is visiting the website. This could be done by sharing reviews from existing members that explain the benefits they received. Also, try to list all the ways in which members gain and make sure this matches why people come to the website.
Finally, lower the barriers associated with accessing membership websites so it’s easier to join. Furthermore, only ask information that is absolutely necessary when someone is registering. By making these changes and asking for less in return, you reduce most of the resistance from potential members which increases engagement!
With the proper automation tools, this association kept track of their members, especially when monitoring the payment of membership dues as that’s a key indicator of how interested members are in the association. They sent out a message to members who failed to pay their dues that said, “We don’t want to lose you”. That simple message resulted in a 32% conversion rate.
They also segmented their non-members into two groups; those that were new and other ones that had a previous history with the association. For new members, the campaign was a simple ‘we want you’ message and it included a few reasons why the recipient would enjoy being a part of the association.
Those with a previous history were mainly visitors that had once logged into the association’s website but never signed up for a membership. For these, the campaign was meant to persuade the recipients to admit that they were enjoying the community and signing up for the membership would only add to that enjoyment. It also contained a list of perks that the recipients would get to enjoy as part of becoming members.
These rules haven’t only been helpful to one association; membership websites all over the world are applying them and seeing great results. If you want to utilize them to boost your association, the first step is to collect accurate data on your website. Then, segment your audience and send the appropriate message to each group.
The first step is likely the most obvious as you should study the habits of your customers and know their preferences. Do they prefer communicating with your brand on social media, live chats on the website, or through text messaging? You may not be able to invest in all the platforms but it helps to be on the ones that are most commonly used.
Club websites not only attract new members but they offer support around the clock without needing someone to monitor it. With club websites, customers are able to help each other and they can look up issues that are similar to theirs, thereby reducing the workload of customer support.
Do you ever wonder what your association should do differently when it comes to marketing? Some associations offer a potential customer what they’re most likely to buy and that’s one of the reasons for their success. In order to offer your customers the right products, you need to understand first what they’re looking for. Once you know what a majority of customers are interested in, create a personalized campaign that offers them relevant products.
When it comes to new businesses, chances are that they don’t have adequate finances to invest in every form of technology. Therefore, research the tools that would be best for your business and invest in those.
Nonetheless, it’s vital to have an online community and association software. If you implement the ideas discussed above, you’ll give customers a better experience and improve your chances of having more members in the future.
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