What’s The Secret To Keeping Membership Contact Details Current And Correct?
This is a question that we hear being asked over and over again at various membership conferences, seminars and at the meetings we have with organisations looking for a new membership solution.
There’s no simple answer to this. If it was easy to ensure membership contact details remained current and correct, then it wouldn’t be such a popular question!
There are however, three key things we’ve identified which, used in combination, should ensure that you always have up-to-date membership records:
1. A Self-Service Membership Web Portal
Having a web portal where members can log in and manage their own membership is the most important thing you can implement to ensure keep membership details up to date.
Having a portal that adds value to your membership offering will mean that members should be logging in on a regular basis. Whether they’re using it to register for an event or purchase something from your online shop, they can also access their details page and update any of their details themselves.
If a detail of a member’s information changes (such as name change or new address), the chances are they’ll want to notify all their key contacts (be it personal or business related) with these new updates. Make sure you make it as easy as possible for them to change their details. Logging into a familiar environment and changing contact information themselves is much easier and quicker (and more accurate) than picking up the phone and speaking to someone directly.
Make sure you make it as obvious and easy as possible for members to manage their own details and you’ll not only save yourself time but this job of keeping details correct can almost look after itself.
2. Seamless Integration Between Business Systems
By making sure all your software applications talk to each other, you can ensure that any time a member adds new details about themselves, the central membership system or CRM will automatically be updated.
We often talk about the importance of having a ‘single view of all of your members’ and this is part of that. Making sure that all the information you gather from your members, from various sources, is all integrated into one single system, so anyone at any time can view the latest, up-to-date information.
This integration can also help to prompt members to maintain their own data. For example, if you’re hosting an event, the registration forms can be automatically pre-populated with the member’s details (achieved either from the member either clicking on an email, or logging into the self-service portal). If the member then overrides any of these details, the new data can be automatically fed back into the CRM or membership system, without any intervention from staff at all.
The final thing you can do to ensure your membership data is accurate, is to make sure you have effective, frequent communication with your members. Keeping in touch with them on a regular basis means they’re much more likely to be proactive in terms of keeping you up to date with any changes.
You could decide to have twice yearly communications asking members to make sure their details are up to date. This could be during the renewal process, then once again at six months. Or you could make sure that you put reminders at the bottom of newsletters or magazine articles.
By prompting members and reminding them how important it is to keep their data up to date you will increase the chances that they will be proactive and maintain this information for you.