At a special "Ted Talk" like session, Scott Douglas, Director, Membership and Business Development, National Strength and Conditioning Association, talked about strategies to connect with your loyal members.
He started with a question. How do you think of your members? Are they a commodity or are you building a community?
I hope you’re in the building community at your chamber. While your members are joining to get something specific (i.e., networking contacts, new business, etc.) it’s important that they feel part of a bigger thing, that thing being community and not just being a transactional member or as stated above, a commodity.
Another point he made was are you listening vs connecting with your members. He went on to talk about how successful top companies have leadership touching their customers. Is the CEO of your chamber reaching out and making contact with your members on a regular basis?
I think we all listen, in some form, with our members and most of us use the common ways we listen to gain feedback from our members – annual survey, membership growth/decline trends, informal feedback at meetings using focus groups.
A better question he posed was are you listening to the people who never call you? In addition, anytime you do a survey, you should survey your members and non-members alike.
There was a brief discussion on the term net promoter score – and a lot has been written about that subject over the years. I see this more in the association world with groups who have tens of thousands of members and not so much at the local chamber. If interested in more information on the net promoter score go HERE.
He ended the talk with a brief discussion on the normal ways we connect with our members - newsletter, social media, and meetings and the less common ways - schedule feedback calls, handwritten appreciation notes, onsite visits.
With social media as it is today, are you taking pictures of the volunteers working at your events and then posting on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, which ever platform your members are on with a note of appreciation? They may just repost on social media for you.
Just a thought!