This time it’s personal

DateJuly 2021

Author: Jeremy Jalie, Business Development Director, Silverbear

Microsoft’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, Neha Bajwa, hit the nail on the head during the recent two-day Microsoft Inspire event. She stated that customers expect personalization in a presentation focused on the importance of data.  

As Microsoft’s leading partner to work exclusively with the membership sector, and one that has created online membership software to help associations, professional bodies, and museums deliver effective membership management, the team at Silverbear knows this all too well. 

After all, we’ve developed a membership management system built on personalisation capabilities and one that’s focussed on the intrinsic relationship between personalisation and engagement. And, in our experience of having 4.2 million members under management via Silverbear’s member management platform, when membership organisations have these two elements in place, they tend to achieve their holy grail: retention and renewal by delivering excellent value. 

Neha’s address did ram home some of the numbers. According to the latest Microsoft research, 55 per cent of consumers have higher expectations of customer service than they did only a year ago. Not only that but:

  • 38 per cent of brands risk losing customers because of poor personalisation efforts
  • 54 per cent of US consumers say customer experience needs improvement
  • 32 per cent of customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after a bad experience

Less isn’t more

These numbers are particularly relevant to membership organisations where members expect a high-quality, personalised relationship. Whether you’re a member, a consumer, or a commercial partner, data suggests that you expect more. I know I do.

So, what’s the issue?

Perhaps the most notable points Neha made during her presentation related to the barriers to personalisation, which included how:

  • 43 per cent of respondents cited an inability to extract and unify data from source systems as key challenges
  • 74 per cent of organisations do not have a single view of their customer data that can be used for actionable insights

Whilst the jump in customer service expectations from only a year ago took us by surprise, the barriers to personalisation didn’t. Personalisation is hard - but only in the absence of data and where there is no single member view. We took steps to address this years ago as part of our drive to create the best management membership software available. We’re pleased to say that our commitment has paid off. 

Effective membership management requires effective data management, both of which are possible through member management software built on Dynamics 365, and that leverages the power of Microsoft’s Customer Data Platform – a centralised database that unifies customer data from all sources and is accessible to other systems.

There is no shortage of debate on the importance of data, but it’s the personalisation that data affords that is, from our perspective, the most important bit. And for membership organisations looking to improve engagement, retain existing members and gain new ones, it should be the most important bit for them, too.

If you’re searching for the best CRM for membership organisations, or would like to find out how Silverbear’s membership management software can help your organisation improve its personalisation capabilities, get in touch with Silverbear’s team of membership management specialists on 01483 409409 or email

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