<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=238977&amp;fmt=gif">

Posted by Gary Toyn on Jul 24, 2018 7:54:00 AM

Let’s face it.  Many membership professionals have struggled with low engagement for so long, some may wonder if their program has been damned to membership purgatory.

It’s not easy to build a successful membership organization. And it’s even harder to maintain sustainable membership levels, especially when so many other competing groups vie for your member’s attention.

As experts in member benefits, engagement and loyalty, we wanted to look further into these ongoing issues. We recently conducted a nationwide survey of leaders and members from trade and professional associations, non-profit membership groups, alumni organizations and unions. Our research identified a significant gap between what members want, and what leaders are willing to offer. (You can see the full study here.)

The study also revealed many new insights into the mind and spirit of today’s members. Consequently, we’ve identified a few uninspired practices that are downright blasphemous when it comes to member engagement. The result is that many organizations are unnecessarily being removed from the good graces of their members.

So, forgive me for my sinfully frequent references to heaven and hell, but I’m sure you’ll be blessed if you avoid these 7 Deadly Sins of Member Engagement:

Research professional Gary Toyn has long investigated the challenges faced by organizations across the membership spectrum. In today's post, Gary turns his attention to the central question of member expectations - and how recent data suggests a growing perception gap among the membership organizations that serve them.

At Access, we frequently consult with clients and prospective clients who are seeking to boost member engagement and retention. In the course of those interactions we see a surprising gap between organizational leaders and their members. Frequently, the misalignment that exists is due to a lack of understanding of what today’s members really want from their affiliation.

In many cases, leaders of organizations have never asked members what they need or want, nor have they asked what types of services and benefits members expect. Some leaders rely on guesswork or assumptions in identifying their member’s needs, and others simply ignore member feedback altogether.  We see this happen far too often.