How Do You Monitor Member Satisfaction?
Ensuring your members are satisfied is an extremely important part of members management. Satisfied members are more likely to:
- Recommend your organisation to a friend or colleague, thus giving you a stream of new members without having to spend any marketing budget on acquisition
- More likely to renew year on year
- More likely to become a champion of your association – they’ll talk positively about you to other members, to prospective members and on social sites and forums
It’s a well known fact that it costs far, far more to aquire new members than it is to retain existing ones. So making sure your current members are happy is a priority that should be on the top of all associations lists.
The key to making sure you have satisfied members is to find out how satisfied they are In the first place. You can’t put in place actions to improve satisfaction if you’re unsure of the current levels – throughout the membership base as a whole, and at an individual member level.
So how can you find out what the satisfaction levels of your members are?
Contact your members on a regular basis and ask them how satisfied they are. Don’t contact them too much – maybe twice a year, certainly no more than once a quarter. Make sure you contact them in a way they prefer. If you’re using a membership solution with an integrated membership self-service portal, then it’s likely there’ll be a communication preferences area, where members can say how they like to be contacted. This could be via email, telephone or post.
To make the most of these surveys, you should be asking questions like:
- Does your membership live up to expectation?
- How likely are you to recommend us to a colleague or friend?
- How does your membership compare to your ‘ideal’ membership?
- Overall, how satisfied are you with your membership?
- Do you intend to renew your membership when it expires?
If you have an active member forum, make sure you monitor it closely. You can find out a lot about what members are thinking by reading the kind of posts they write. See what questions they’re asking, what responses are given, and you’ll soon be able to gauge the level of sentiment.
If you don’t have your own forum (and even If you do), you should also be monitoring other online forums where you know your members may congregate. You don’t need to contribute, but being able to log in and view the posts will help you understand membership satisfaction better.
3. Social Media
In the same way that you should be monitoring forums, you should also be able to track and monitor what your members are doing, saying and sharing on social media. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can yield an awful lot of useful member information.
It can help to ask members for links to their social profiles. Members can manage and update these in their membership profile section of your self-service portal. This makes monitoring and tracking individual members much easier.
4. Monitoring General Engagement levels
The more engaged a member is with your organisation, the more likely they are to be satisfied. Engagement can include things like:
- How often they log into their membership account
- If they engage with other members in forums and social media
- If they register and attend events you host
- If they’re actively undertaking training and exams
- If they open, read and click on the links in the email newsletters you may send out
- If they make online purchases, such as merchandise, books, training or other items
R.L. Oliver’s Expectations Confirmation Theory held that customer satisfaction could be defined by measuring the gap between the customer’s expectations and his or her perception of whether those expectations had been met.
So you must make sure you accurately communicate the real benefits and value of membership with your organisation. You must then work hard to ensure you deliver that value. Members can track the value they receive via their online Benefits Statement (if your membership solution offers such a thing). This alone can remind them of the value they’ve received, which can help ensure their satisfaction levels remain high.
But it’s important to track satisfaction levels – things can change quickly, and it could be very costly if satisfaction dropped and you weren’t aware of it. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is vitally important, yet doesn’t need to take a lot of time or effort. Membership Management solutions, like Silverbear’s, make it easy to track and manage members, both at a very high level, and at a very detailed member level. If you’d like to see how Silverbear can make this possible, please get in touch for a chat or to schedule a demo.