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Posted on May 14, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Are you struggling with customer retention?  Perhaps you have tried personal outreach, loyalty programs, and other tactics but customers still leave.  In order to reverse this disheartening situation, try keeping your current customers engaged, satisfied, and driven to buy more by utilizing the user group.  A user group is a network of people that use the same products or services and it helps retain customers in a variety of ways.
 
Information At Any Moment

An effective user group has a high level of involvement from company experts, who address frequently asked questions and upload helpful documents such as how-to videos and product specifications.  A customer can log in at any time, type their queries in the search box, and they will be more inclined to stay if they get precise answers.

Some companies also link webinars and free courses to their user group.  These are huge opportunities for customers to understand the products better and feel more comfortable using them.  When that happens, customers tend to be pleased and that directly affects retention.
 
Recommendations

Maybe a customer is disappointed because the product they purchased didn’t solve their problem.  If you have a user group and they post about the issue on there first, it’s highly likely they will get recommendations for another product from your brand.  Often, this solves the problem and there will be no need for them to search for alternatives from other sources.
 
Monitor Dissatisfaction

Membership management software may be used in a way to determine why a customer is dissatisfied with any of your products.  That way, you know what areas should be improved upon or totally changed to increase customer retention.
The key to getting the most from user groups is to be actively involved.  Observe what is being posted in the discussions and answer any questions in a timely manner.  The best membership management software helps you manage your user group with regard to functions like acquisition, auto-replies, and more!
Posted on April 30, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Nonprofit organizations and other associations have risen into some of the most innovative and efficient clubs, especially due to the way they are able to make an impact with limited resources.  One way in which they continue to be productive is by using software to automate tasks.

Nonetheless, one form of software your association might be failing to utilize optimally is volunteer management tools.  Some associations only use it for posting volunteer opportunities, approving applications, and other common tasks such as those.  But, do you know there are creative ways in which it can be used?
 
Awarding Submissions

Does your association issue awards to the best performing advocate?  Why not use volunteer management tools to approve nominees?  Consider posting an opportunity for members to nominate a distinguished member for an annual award.  After reviewing the applications, the winner could be announced on membership websites or through email.
 
Run Advocacy Programs

Rather than publishing volunteer opportunities, post advocacy opportunities so new members feel inspired to publicize the association on social channels or post positive reviews.  For instance, if a member applies for an opportunity to write a review on membership websites, ask them to send a screenshot of the review first.  Once you’re satisfied with a review, try awarding points to encourage them to keep promoting the association.
 
Planning & Hosting Events

Naturally, most associations are already using volunteer management software in search of volunteers for the annual conference.  Aside from that, consider using the tool to look for speakers and event managers.  First, post opportunities related to this and use the software to accept applications.

In many associations, the bottom line is to be more creative with regard to using volunteer management tools.  There are a variety of ways in which you can use the tools to not only make work easier but to also spare time and finances.
Posted on April 18, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Metrics such as acquisition and retention help businesses in evaluating their performance.  As an online community manager, you can use the same to gauge the impact your community has on your business.  The first step you need to take is to identify the most vital performance indicators for your business and how they contribute to building the business.

Firms have specific goals in mind when creating club websites and these goals are often similar to the vision of their business.  Perhaps you created the online community to reduce customer support costs or to bring awareness to your products.  Have you met those targets?  Aside from that, the following two comparisons will help you identify the changes that are initiated by the community.
 
Before & After Metrics

Metrics are an easy way to show the business impact of your community.  All you need to do is compare your firm’s performance indicators (such as sales and customer support costs) prior to creating the community with those after the community.  For example, if you would normally gain ten new members per month but now you’re gaining fifteen; that would be a 50% increase.
 
Active vs. Inactive

Joining club websites is usually optional so there are some people that may stay inactive even after they join the community.  These types of customers never ask or answer questions and they never engage with the platform in any manner.  Such customers are not affected by the community and should not be counted as having an impact on the business.

Utilize these metrics to illustrate how the online community is changing business by gathering company data that shows retention, support costs, sales, and other performance indicators.  When engagement and metrics are compared, this data can be used to demonstrate to management how the business has improved since the online community was implemented.
Posted on April 9, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Inadequate time is one of the biggest issues facing association professionals.  It’s not uncommon to find association staff exchanging roles in an attempt to accomplish their goals.  The same person might be in charge of planning events and using membership management software to improve the online community.

Although this leads to the staff getting actively involved in the association, it can be counter-productive.  Even if tasks are completed, there’s a strong possibility the quality may not be very good.  That’s due to the time aspect, and of course, the fact that employees might not have the expertise to accomplish all tasks.  The following services will lessen the burden while helping you save time and money.
 
Web Design

One study from a reliable source has shown that over 90% of web browsers judge the trustworthiness of a website based on the design.  Rather than taking the risk of having your association website designed by inexperienced people, hire a professional web designer.  That way you can be sure your website design is responsive so visitors are more drawn to your association.
 
Community Management

Take a look around and notice how many successful companies have an online community in some form.  While membership management software helps run a community effectively, it won’t be very helpful if it’s operated by individuals that lack experience.  A professional community manager will employ beta testing, content management, and strategize to boost retention and effectiveness.
 
Event Planning

You already know how important chapter events and annual conferences are in order to increase participation and bring in revenue.  The problem is that planning these events consume a lot of time which members may not have.  One other service you should consider is that of a professional photographer.  Remember, images and videos are significantly more engaging than content that just has plain text.  When choosing services, opt for the ones that compliment your staff and best suit your association!
Posted on March 27, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
According to the 2017 State of Community Management Report by Community Roundtable, the best membership websites have active participation of their top executives.  These communities draw their success from having everyone on board, from low ranking members to top managers.  Even so, most organizations don’t have their executives participate frequently in the online community.  This is a major reason why a majority of online communities fail to be effective so this post seeks to unfold possible reasons and offer solutions.
 
Inadequate Time

In most organizations, managers are normally busy but there are ways you can have them participate without consuming much of their time.  After they create a profile on the website, use it to post major announcements or blogs in order for members to take them seriously.  Another option worth considering is to sign welcome emails using your managers’ profile.

Aside from that, hold meetings from time to time where managers directly answer questions from members in a span of 30 minutes to 1 hour.  The questions may be about anything since these meetings only happen 3 or 4 times a year.  That adds up to just 3 or 4 hours per year but it could be highly effective towards increasing the participation of members on the online community.
 
Lack The Know-How

Some managers fail to participate because they’re not sure what they should be doing.  Therefore, help them by creating a list of tasks they can accomplish such as answering questions and welcoming new members.  Take it a step further and show them specific questions they should answer and where to find new members.

A number of managers view membership websites as a fancy addition instead of being a vital part of the organization.  Show them the engagement rates of the online community and help them realize that high engagement leads to a higher retention of members.
Posted on March 13, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
With club websites, it can be a challenge to choose one technique that interprets data in a useful way and apply it to your association.  Nonprofit associations normally work with two types of data: individual and organization-wide.  That allows them to gauge the interaction of individuals while observing the performance of the association as a whole.
As a result, numerous groups within the association may miss out on performance evaluations, as well as valuable information.  This is due to the fact that aside from individuals, there are other groups in the association such as committees, professionals, and students.  What advantage does useful data give your association?
 
Importance Of Association Data

Useful association data gives you a better idea of the activities and performance of different groups within the organization. Not only does it help you identify the most active members but it also shows which groups are growing and which ones are diminishing.  Once you know that, allocate more time towards improving the activity of members and groups so the organization always maintains a high level of engagement.
 
Segmenting Method

The first step is to break the association down into small segments such as volunteers and trainers.  Of course, segmenting will depend on the sort of data you want to collect but most people want to assess the effectiveness of various segments.  In that case, the next step would be to collect useful data to help you determine what may have caused the loss or retention of members.

If you rely on events to raise funds, check which segments are organizing the most events and how much they collect in donations.  After choosing the type of data you want to gather on segments, utilize membership software to collect information from club websites and display it in graphs and reports.  Not only does this make data more useful but it can be used for decision-making regarding the entire association.
Posted on February 28, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Before you buy into new technology, there are a few questions you should ask in order to gauge how suitable it is for your needs.  For example, you will want to know if a vendor plans on being a long-term, helpful partner.  But, there are so many options on the market that it can be a challenge to find what best suits your association.  Consider the questions below to help you evaluate your options and make the right choice.
 
What Purpose Will It Serve?

As an association, it is likely that you use more than just one tech solution.  Perhaps you integrate membership management software, accounting solutions, and other software into one harmonious system.  Prior to purchasing a new platform, consider what it brings to the table and if you really need it.

Make a list of the platforms you currently use and what they offer.  If the existing solutions already cover the purpose of the new solution, then you know it’s an unnecessary purchase.
 
How Many People Will Be Using The Technology?

In most cases, particularly regarding membership management software, the greater the number of people using the platform means a higher cost.  However, a significant number of vendors don’t base their pricing on how many people will be accessing the technology.  If you have a limited budget, these are the vendors you need to work with so factor this into your decision.
 
How Tech Savvy Is Your Team?

If members are not informed in the technology you are purchasing, you have two options.  Either look for an alternative or find out if the customer support of the platform is helpful.  If the support team is always ready to help and your team members are willing to learn, it may be beneficial to choose new technology.

A great platform is one that maintains a fine balance between aspects like ease of use, functionality, and the needs of your team.  Any tech solution worth investing in should provide remarkable value for your money while immensely improving the member experience!
Posted on February 15, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Based on reliable data from reputable sources and researchers, enhancing the satisfaction of customers is the main purpose that drives organizations to set up online communities.  More often than not, firms are investing a great deal of money in software and managers for membership websites.

Even so, some business people are a little skeptical to the extent of online communities improving customer satisfaction.  Indeed, there are numerous organizations that have benefited from building flourishing communities where members network with others and get valuable information.  The following are vital statistics illustrating precisely how online communities impact customer satisfaction.
 
2 Out Of 3 Purchases Based On Emotion

Many people think they exercise sound judgment, but studies show that purchasing decisions are often driven by feelings.  This has been reported by various sources and research institutions tend to agree.  In most cases, how a consumer feels about a brand is directly connected to the manner in which they engage with it.

If they are highly engaged, they are more likely to make a purchase and seldom engagement typically results in fewer purchases.  With regard to engagement, nearly nothing eclipses the effectiveness of a good online community as it’s a great opportunity to show customers how much you value them.  Membership websites also allow your customers to publish posts about your products and these will be identified by prospective clients as being more authentic.
 
80% Receive Unique Queries

According to one source, more than 80% of community managers and brand advocates usually receive queries that customers would normally hesitate to ask directly.  If your clients have questions but there’s nobody to address them to, it could lead to a looming dissatisfaction that causes many individuals to join a different membership.  An online community provides them a convenient outlet to post trivial or sensitive queries and receive answers through email or a discussion forum.
Posted on February 1, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Today, technology is advancing at a rate so fast that many entrepreneurs are finding it hard to keep up.  Unfortunately, when this happens, numerous memberships feel most of the effects as they’re at a disadvantage if they don’t adapt.  When you have insight into what changes might take place in the future, you put yourself in a better position to adjust and set your membership up for success.
 
Artificial Intelligence

The artificial intelligence you need to concern yourself with the most is the one Google adopts to organize search results.  Club websites, as well as ecommerce websites, could potentially apply methods of content development to help them get favored by Google.  The key takeaway here is that you should create relevant, engaging content in an ethical way or your organization may not see the growth you are anticipating for 2018.
 
Data Protection

Hackers should always be taken seriously as they are devising new ways of stealing information every day.  In times where personal data is increasingly being stored on the web, especially with ecommerce websites, the risks are incredibly high.  The European Union takes these matters seriously as they have created a set of regulations to protect their residents.
 
Voice-Controlled Devices

One of the trending tech topics today is Amazon’s artificially-intelligent personal assistant, Alexa.  The software integrates into your devices and automates functions, thus creating more time for you to attend to other business.  It can also generate to-do lists, set alarms, and provide weather updates which helps get you more organized.
The last tip to remember this year involves augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).  Although the world is not there yet, organizations might see more benefit from AR and VR sooner than first imagined.  If you normally hold meetings with members of club websites, keep your eyes open to AR and VR opportunities or competitors could gain an advantage over you in the future.
Posted on January 22, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Your online community is in constant competition with social media networks and other online communities.  It’s highly likely that most of your members are on Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social channels.  Unfortunately, they might be drawn more to these social media platforms than to your community.  But, there’s a way you can turn the tables and benefit from the situation.

The secret is to use membership management software that keeps track of the features that members use the most.  Display the best part of your community where your members can see their favorite social networks.  With relevant content, you’ll not only be able to draw existing members back but also attract new people to your community and keep them.
 
Discussions

Is there an engaging discussion in your community that is popular among members?  If so, there’s a good chance that the topic will be popular on social media as well.  Employ the discussion to attract the attention of others and get them to visit your community so they can participate in the conversation.
 
Blog Posts

Another idea worth trying is to turn popular topics into blog posts.  This is an easy way of ensuring the content you’re sharing remains relevant and functions as an incentive for members to take part in discussions.  Consider tagging your members when sharing these posts on social media.  That encourages them to share the post which increases the possibility of getting noticed.  Aside from that, what other form of content should you use?
 
Videos

Videos happen to be the most engaging type of content.  Therefore, upload videos periodically to your community and display them on your social media channel.  Make sure you include links to your community with a promise that there are more videos there.  Ultimately, you want to create content with the aim of drawing attention to your community on social media.  With membership management software, you increase the effectiveness of your efforts and see long-term results!
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