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Akron Area YMCA Motivates Employees to Engage More Members

By | Daxko Engage, Engagement, Industry, Mission Delivery, Tips & Resources | No Comments

The Akron Area YMCA launched Daxko Engage in mid-2015. Like other Daxko Engage customers, they are excited to have data that predicts how likely a member is to terminate their membership as well as the ability to segment their membership based on interest or activity and communicate to those groups appropriately. But it doesn’t stop there. The Akron Y is also using Daxko Engage to motivate their staff to create good engagement habits.

I recently caught up with Ken Hoyt, the Technology Director at the Akron Y, to talk about how his Y is motivating staff to keep member engagement top of mind. Ken shared with me that the front-line staff had always done a good job of communicating with and engaging members, but there was no process to record notes and follow-up tasks. He knew that this was a missed opportunity, and set out to bridge the gap.

Months after launching Daxko Engage, notes recorded averaged 75 per month across 6 branches. The Akron Y set up an internal competition and offered prizes to the individual and the branch with the largest quantity of quality notes. Hoyt shares, “The quality of notes is just as important, if not more important, than the quantity. We want to create a habit of entering notes, but not at the expense of notes that include short, generic comments.”

The results of the competition were greater than anyone could have expected. Hoyt shared that during the one-month competition, staff entered 2,300+ notes in Daxko Engage. Hoyt explains, “We have great front-line support that have a competitive spirit. We’re still auditing the notes to review the quality, and will ensure that the branch membership directors are prepared to coach anyone that may need help in that area. All-in-all, we think that the competition was the nudge they needed to try something new.”

When asked how they will continue to motivate staff now that the competition is over, Hoyt said that is yet to be finalized, but he does envision a recognition system at each branch. Next steps also include training staff to be deliberate when choosing which conversations to have; to choose critical members that are at highest risk of terminating their memberships and need to feel that connection.

We look forward to seeing what 2016 brings for the Akron Y. Keep up the great work!

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Metrics for Success

By | Engagement | No Comments

We know that most executives measure success by looking at fiscal health and membership growth*, but surprisingly, member retention (on it’s own) is often overlooked. The Whitehouse Office of Consumer Affairs estimates that it is seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. Do you have a plan in place to engage and retain members at the outset?**

A systematic, intentional engagement plan targeting current members moves retention in the right direction.
Engagement is a cultural shift. You need the right staff and an actionable plan, including goals and measures of success. Consider focusing on one or two areas to begin with. This gives staff the chance to learn, adjust, and see results—which will motivate them as you expand your engagement plan. Below are some suggested first steps. We’d love to hear what you think in the comments—where do you think you and your staff can have the greatest impact?

  • NEW MEMBERS Being the new kid on the block is tough. Often times new members don’t know how to navigate the facility, use the machines, or find group exercise class offerings. This group needs a lot of attention for the first 90+ days if you want to keep them around. Come up with a systematic plan for at least the first 90 days that includes face-to-face conversations, phone calls to check-in, and automated emails at pre-designated milestones.
  • MISSING IN ACTION MEMBERS If members aren’t coming into your facility—for a class, program, or just a workout—they’re likely to terminate their memberships. You need to identify these missing members and get ahead of these terminations by reaching out with a personalized phone call or email to see what’s keeping them away.
  • EXPIRING PAYMENT METHODS Are your memberships set to auto-terminate if a payment method expires? How sure are you that those members will come running back to rejoin? Offering online tools empowers your members to update their personal information on their own time, but reminder emails and phone calls are important to head off expiring payment methods and to identify any dissatisfaction that might dissuade someone from continuing their membership.
*2015 Daxko T&O Survey
** Whitehouse Office of Consumer Affairs
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Daxko Engage: Telling Stories and Engaging Members

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry, Marketing | No Comments

I recently had the chance to catch up with Kaylan Sisco, Associate Executive Director at the Wood River Community YMCA in Ketchum Idaho, a newly launched Daxko Engage customer. While the Wood River Community YMCA is just getting started with Daxko Engage, engagement has been a focus for them for quite some time. From sharing member stories, to attending classes with nervous first-timers, they definitely know how to make their members feel like an important part of the Y.

If you have questions for Kaylan, leave them in the comments section. I hope you enjoy my interview with him!

Tell us about yourself and your role at the Wood River Community YMCA.
I am the Associate Executive Director and am typically the main driver behind the member engagement programs and member retention efforts. A majority of the thoughts and ideas, however, come from our front line staff.

How do you define “Engagement” at your association?
Engagement is any opportunity to connect with a member or non-member on any level, no matter how big or small.

What are some techniques that you’re currently using with your staff to further engage members?
We are big on story telling so we encourage our staff to learn the stories of our community members and share them at staff meetings. We even go so far as to have “Blitz’s” Where we jump from our meetings and go out in the facility and meet someone we don’t already know. Many of our staff even offer to go to classes with members if they are nervous or intimidated. (Check out some Y-Stories on the Wood River YMCA website!)

How will Daxko Engage take your engagement to the next level?
We are using the typical initiatives: new members, volunteers, etc. We also utilize the donor side to make sure that our CEO connects with all donors within the week that they make a pledge. Our main focus right now is to use tasks to get each other information in place of email—this way all of our “to-dos” are in one place instead of using inboxes. This has proven to be helpful and fewer items are missed by staff during the shuffle of every day business.

Additionally, the development team for Daxko Engage is working on task tracking that will help measure member engagement. Once that is complete we will have a tool to measure staff engagement ratios, which will be amazing.

Anything else you’d like to share about your Y’s efforts or Daxko Engage?
Our Y’s efforts are only possible with the flexibility of our leadership staff and the thoughtfulness of our entire team. They have an amazing capacity for change and are willing to try or do anything if it creates a better member experience or improves efficiency. We as the Leadership Team are not “married” to any one policy, procedure or method; we have empowered our staff to look at all aspect of what we do and ask “is there a better way?” When someone has an idea they know they will be acknowledged and the idea will be evaluated.

So far we’re really enjoying the efforts of the development team to make Daxko Engage what we want it to be. The team has really embraced our thoughts and ideas and even included us on some demos on potential product changes. While I know that currently Daxko Engage is not a perfect product, it is on its way and is definitely one of the best products I have seen and used.

This post originally appeared on our product blog. For more product-specific information please view more posts from the product blog.

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Top 3 Areas of Board Responsibility

By | Board, Industry | No Comments

This is a guest post from our friends at BoardEffect.

You know that a board can be integral to the success of your organization, but you may be wondering how. Boards have many responsibilities to uphold and this is our list of the top 3 which is compiled from a book we like called Governance as Leadership.

  1. Monitor organization performance and hold management accountable: According to The Bridgespan Group in an article written from BoardSource material, “Fiduciary duty requires board members to stay objective, unselfish, responsible, honest, trustworthy, and efficient.” Board members are not required to be CFOs of organizations but they need to have a general understanding of financial documents. The board should be able to set up and monitor financial indicators, enact control mechanisms to prevent fraud and conflicts of interest and hold management responsible if these procedures are not upheld.
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  3. Develop and conserve the organization’s resources – both funds and facilities: While management is responsible for fundraising to an extent, it is also a major board responsibility. According to an article by NAMI, the board can influence large donors, monitor and guide fundraising activity and open doors to new funding opportunity. Once board members have brought the funding resources into the organization, they also have to conserve them and manage them effectively. Board members are entrusted with public trust so to uphold this, they are held to higher standards than an average organization. This goes beyond just the dollars and cents. This expands to facilities the organization uses as well.
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  5. Set the organization’s mission and overall strategy and modify both as needed: Helping to set an organization’s mission and ensuring that the organization is working toward mission fulfillment is one of the most essential roles of a board member. Expressing an organization’s mission using concise and clear terms can prove to be a challenging process that involves various stakeholders including the board, staff, volunteers and even additional parties to conceive a statement about their collective vision for the organization. While this process can be challenging and requires time and effort, this well-crafted mission statement will provide both direction and purpose for the organization as well as motivating and encouraging staff members and volunteers to give their time and donors to give to the organization. It also provides a way of evaluating organizational achievement.

While the board is charged with many responsibilities, we think these three areas are good areas to focus your nonprofit board efforts to set yourself up for success.