Since I’ve visited tons of associations, and even worked at a YMCA myself, over the years I’ve recognized that everyone is looking for one big idea that will drastically enhance the member experience. Here’s what’s taken me seven years to learn: everyone already knows what to do. The problem isn’t that we don’t know what to do, it’s that we just aren’t doing it.
Here’s a worst-case scenario for you to chew on:
First, staff stop saying hello to members when they come in. Then, no one is signing the checkout sheet for a basketball. Pretty soon after that, members whose credit cards are about to expire aren’t getting called and their membership drafts are being rejected. After a while, the member experience has become seriously tarnished.
Why is this happening? For starters, these things take dedication and consistency and can easily fall by the wayside. Here are three “syndromes” that inhibit your staff from completing everyday necessities:
- Too many other things to do. “I have a list of members I need to call but I don’t have time to call every one of them.”
- It’s difficult or uncomfortable. “I don’t want to get an earful when I talk to someone who terminated his membership.”
- It’s really not that important. “If I don’t scan their cards every once in a while, it won’t make that much of a difference.”
When every single interaction you have with your members contributes to (what is supposed to be a fantastic) member experience, these seemingly insignificant tasks go a long way.
So how can you get back on track? Start by doing all that stuff you know you should be doing but aren’t doing anymore. Your membership retention could go up by at least 4% if you focus on this for 13 months. You know what to do. Now, get going.