Our team tuned into a webinar highlighting the best organization-wide practices for achieving better customer (or member) engagement. Here is what you need to know:

Today’s members are increasingly tapped into and involved with your organization thanks to easy communication with both other members and the organization itself. What does this mean for your organization? Well, members expect and demand more when it comes to customer service. Members engage with your organization through multiple channels and touch different departments, but they desire the same level of communication and customer service across the board.  Put another way, while you may view your organization as a collection of nine distinct departments, your member sees you as one entity. For example, have you heard these comments before?

“Why don’t you know this about me?”

“But your website says…”

“I need answers now!”

So, what are best practices to meet these demands and achieve better member engagement? It all comes down to consistent and personalized customer service.

First, customer service must be consistent organization-wide.  Teams throughout your organization must join forces to provide consistent customer service. To illustrate, think about this example:

A member company is late paying its annual membership fee and the membership team is about to send their monthly automated email warning all late companies that their member status is at risk of being terminated. Before hitting “send”, the team should look across the organization for more information. For instance, the exhibit sales team knows that two weeks ago, this same member wrote a significant check for exhibit space at the organization’s annual event, is very much engaged, and likely merely forgot to make this much smaller membership payment.

Understanding the full scope of the member’s continued engagement and value allows the membership team to provide customer service that aligns with the goals of both the membership and sales team by granting a friendly extension to the member.  This level of customer service shows organizational cohesion, while sending an auto-generated “dues” collection email shows that the organization is disorganized, siloed, and impersonal.

No matter which team provides the customer service, it must be personalized. Personalization is achieved when an organization utilizes information about the member to make service efficient and to make the member feel valued. How do you do this? Get to know your member by using data. For example, understand how often Mr. Member attends your events and his level of involvement with your organization across the board—maybe he does not reliably attend your annual event, but he always participates in your advocacy day.   If you understand his attendance patterns, tendencies, and how he prefers to engage with the organization, you can tailor your communications and value proposition to align with his desired outcomes and preferences. The result is member satisfaction.

Customer service is the difference between retaining and losing a member. By creating consistent and personalized customer service, your organization will retain satisfied members.

For more on this topic, check out American Marketing Association’s (@AMA_Marketing) webinar “Connecting Silos Across the Organization for Better Customer Engagement” with Neal Keene (@nealkeene) – VP Indirect Sales, Customer Engagement Management at Pitney Bowes and Lars WIlhelsman – IT Director of Bring Dialog.



Photo By: Thier Aquino