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!

Engage Success Story: New Britain-Berlin YMCA

By | Daxko Engage, Engage, Engagement, Industry, Membership, Mission Delivery, Online, Organizational Health | One Comment

We periodically speak with our customers to get a gauge on how they use our products and what they like about Daxko. For this post we spoke with Eric Hutchinson, who is now the Director of Membership with the Wilson-Gray YMCA (a part of the YMCA of Greater Hartford). We wanted to speak with him about his work at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA where he worked closely with his staff to adopt Daxko Engage:

As a Membership professional at the YMCA, how do you define engagement?
I define “engagement” as an organization’s ability to connect with members on both a personal and professional level, creating deeper relationships and solidifying longevity.

Why do you think YMCAs struggle with systematic engagement?
I find that YMCAs often struggle with systematic engagement because, as their membership base grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to develop personal relationships with those members. It’s easy to learn a few facts about 10 people. When the number jumps to 10,000 people, something as simple as learning a member’s name becomes a challenge. This is further compounded by the fact that members with habitually low engagement present our staff with even fewer opportunities to connect.

You recently moved from a YMCA that had just rolled out Daxko Engage to a YMCA that doesn’t have Daxko Engage. Can you tell us what changes or new opportunities you observed while using Engage?
Our recent Engage launch first came with some basic and very surface-level observations. Engage is a great tool. But, much like our membership staff, it is only as good as the information we give it. For example, a large part of the platform is the ability to view a member’s photo on their individual tile, match the face in front of you to that photo, and identify the member so a conversation can begin. This simple task forced us to reevaluate the quality of the photos we were taking during the member registration process; providing us with clearer, closer, and sharper member images (something we should have been doing to begin with). Additionally, it became a fun game for my staff to see how much new data they could collect. We spent days trying to acquire the latest contact information, personal goals, email addresses, and other information so that the first post-engage conversations would be meaningful and well-educated. In doing so, we became better Engage users, and more importantly, better managers.

As someone in charge of membership, what did you like most about Daxko Engage?
Engage isn’t reinventing the wheel. Most of the features that Engage presents are things that most YMCAs already do to improve their retention. However, most YMCAs are spending hundreds of employee hours accomplishing these tasks. With Engage, the software does most of the work for you, reminding the user when it is time to step in and holding them accountable for the completion of those assignments. It also provides your organization with continuity of voice and policy by providing each user with a full documentation of each interaction between staff and a member. It’s almost as good as having your member engage with the same staff member during every single interaction.

What kind of reaction did you get from your staff? Did they embrace Daxko Engage?
I think that initially my staff didn’t quite understand what Engage was. We got a lot of, “So we’re using this INSTEAD of Operations now?” It took a few meetings to really outline the benefits of Engage. Engage is a very hands-on tool. Until you actually put an iPad in front of your staff and say, “try it!”, they won’t fully understand. As soon as they began to see how user-friendly it is, it became a game. By the time I left, the staff members were beginning to have a lot of fun gathering quality data and using it to make connections.

Do you have a specific story you could share, either about how Engage has changed a specific staff member in their approach, or something compelling someone discovered about a member as a result of a conversation sparked by Engage?
We used Engage to identify a woman who was using our facility almost every day. Because of this, we approached her and asked if we could have a conversation with her about her involvement in the Y. We learned that she began coming to the Y simply to lose weight after the birth of her children. She preferred the Y over other gyms because of our Childwatch program and our programs that encourage family participation. She began to come more and more frequently, often teaming up with other members to work on her skills. Through this conversation we discovered that the Y had made such an impact on her that she is now enrolled in school and studying to be a personal trainer. That was a special feeling.

What are some ways you envisioned using Engage beyond membership (like to get more members involved in programs or giving to the annual campaign)?
One feature that we found very helpful was the ability to “follow” members. We used it several times to receive alerts when certain members would enter the facility. It allowed us to approach one of the young ladies that works out quite often and ask her if she would be willing to be one of our monthly Spotlight Members. We have also been able to start conversations with donor prospects by being aware of their presence in our facility.

Engaging Donors Made Easier

By | Campaigns, Customer Experience, Daxko Engage, Engage, Engagement, Events & Happenings, Financial Development, Fundraising, Industry, Mission Delivery, Online | No Comments

The Member Engagement Index provides quick visibility into an unit’s current level of engagement. With the index we are able to predict how likely someone is to terminate their membership in the next 90 days. It has become an integral part of our Daxko Engage software and a defining feature of targeted engagement campaigns.

Since the release of the Member Engagement Index, we’ve had the intention of creating something similar for donors. After all, engagement is the key to contributions. Engaged members make better donors, and engaging people in communities provides great opportunities for new members, donors, participants, and volunteers. A majority of donors report they have received information about their favorite charity at least once and 40% report receiving information from email/newsletters more than a few times per year (“Nonprofit Donor Engagement Benchmark Study,” www.nonprofitdonorengagement.com/CD_Nten_BenchmarkReport_Final.pdf, Fall 2012).

We are excited to be nearing the completion of a Donor Engagement Index. While the Donor Index uses similar attributes as the Engagement Index, the algorithm has reworked those factors to determine who is likeliest to donate in the next 6 months. However, the Donor Index will be visible on both current members, past members, and basically anyone created in Daxko Operations. You can now reach deeper into our database with more insight and highly targeted fundraising campaigns.

In May, we will be piloting our algorithm with a select group of organizations to refine it to the point that it stands the test of the diverse member data that we encounter across our customer base. As we refine the algorithm we will notice patterns that you would never be able to see unless you look at the data in such large quantities. One pattern we’ve noticed already is that the lowest givers tend to be member units aged 30-50 without kids on the account. We can speculate that these families either have children that don’t belong to their organization so they have not seen the value for their children, or they don’t have children at all and marketing materials aimed at families with children don’t resonate with them. Daxko Engage users can utilize Engage to find out exactly what these member units are interested in and send them a targeted message that can really connect them to the mission of the organization.

Five Ways to Increase Email and Text Opt-ins

By | Customer Experience, Daxko Engage, Daxko Operations, Engage, Engagement, Featured, Marketing, Membership | No Comments

Timely, quality communication with your members and prospects can get you closer to engagement nirvana. Start with these five tips and watch the positive impact on both retention and new memberships.

  1. Ask at the front desk. What a great way to say “hello” and build immediate rapport at the same time. Try something like, Hi [name], how are you today? While I have your information in front of me, could I go ahead and get/confirm your email address and a number that we can send text messages to? We want to make sure you receive information like facility updates, discount coupons, special events and other promotions we have from time to time.
  2. Create signage and flyers. Let people know about your email and text opt-in campaign. Post signs and flyers near the front desk and in other high traffic areas.
  3. Add a sign up form to your website. Your website should be more than just a pretty face. Use the homepage to encourage people to join your email and mobile communities. Keep the form simple and consider adding an incentive to boost interest.
  4. Raffle. Raffle. Raffle. Run periodic branch or association-wide raffles with great incentives. Instead of collecting names, collect pre-printed cards with spaces for email addresses and/or cell phone numbers and opt-in permission boxes that can be easily checked. You are more likely to get the most updated, accurate information with a prize on the line. Just tell members that all prize notifications will be sent via email and/or text only and watch the raffle cards roll in!
  5. Why not start at the beginning? Consider asking for email addresses and text opt-ins during ALL new membership enrollments, membership renewals and program registrations. You can easily make it a part of your information gathering processes.  Did you know Daxko Operations can be configured to collect and track text opt-ins. Just contact our Customer Success team to get started.