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6 Ways You're Frustrating Your Association Members

From slow response times to incorrect invoices, we’ll cover common member frustrations and how your association software can help address these challenges.

Membership is the lifeblood of any association or association or non-profit organization.

However, there are several common frustrations that members often experience when interacting with their associations. These frustrations can lead to decreased member satisfaction, attrition, and missed opportunities for growth.

In this article, we’ll explore six key issues that can frustrate association members and discuss how association software can help address these challenges.


6 Things That Might Be Frustrating Your Association Members

1. Slow Response Times to Member Inquiries

Customizations and an outdated system can slow down response times to member inquiries, causing frustration among members. 

Solution: Find ways to streamline processes and automate those mundane and repetitive tasks. This will enable your staff to quickly and accurately respond to member inquiries. With a strong core platform that includes automation functionality, associations can provide prompt and efficient support, ensuring that members receive the answers they need in a timely manner. 

Related articles: 6 Ways to Use ChatGPT Like a Pro for Increased Efficiency and AI, Automation & More: 6 Essential Steps to Enhance Your Non-Profit’s Impact 

Person frustrated while using a laptop 


2. Members Can’t Update Their Own Profiles

Members often encounter difficulties when trying to correct their profile information across multiple organizational systems. This can be time-consuming and frustrating for members who expect their information to be accurately reflected across all platforms.

Solution: Provide an easy-to-use member portal with convenient self-service options and Single Sign-On (SSO) access. Make this easier for your members and staff by using association software that integrates with other applications and provides a centralized database, ensuring that member profiles are up-to-date and consistent throughout the organization. This enables members to easily update their information, leading to a more seamless and personalized experience.


3. Lack of Personalized Content on Your Association’s Website

If your website and database can’t talk to each other, you can’t offer truly personalized content. You’re missing out – personalized content makes your members feel seen and valued, and shows them content that they’re most interested in.

On the flip side, a static website can lead to decreased engagement and potential attrition, particularly among younger members who expect tailored experiences. 

Solution: Tailor content based on rules or member personas and even offer predictive content that guides members to the next step. Your association software should enable the integration of the website and database, allowing associations to deliver personalized content that resonates with members, strengthens their connection to the organization, and increases member satisfaction.

Related article: 6 Tips to Create an Engaging Web Experience [Examples]

A person using a laptop and mobile phone 


4. You’re Slow to Respond to Changing Needs

Member needs and expectations are constantly evolving, and associations must be agile in responding to these changes. When requests for new resources or information arise, are you able to pivot and provide these? 

Solution: Don’t miss out on emerging trends. Stay ahead of the curve with these three tips: 

  1. See what resources and webpages your members are accessing the most. This tells you what they find the most valuable, which should guide your membership strategy. If you see a ton of logins to your educational courses, consider creating additional courses to raise the member value proposition. If members aren’t utilizing a certain resource, consider transferring the staff time and budget for that into something that members are engaging actively with.
  2. Listen to your members by regularly asking for feedback and using it to enhance the member experience.
  3. Use a flexible association software platform that allows you to quickly respond to changing needs, allowing your association to provide new resources and information to support members effectively. 

Related articles: Enhancing the Member Experience Through Feedback and AI, Automation & More: 6 Essential Steps to Enhance Your Non-Profit’s Impact

Person taking a survey on their mobile phone


5. Member Invoices Are Sometimes Wrong

Billing can become a significant challenge when your accounting systems and membership software don’t integrate. If you make changes to your dues billing logic or expand member billing categories, it can be hard to match up data from different systems, which can result in errors and complex month-end closings. 

Solution: When there are mistakes, act swiftly to rectify them and communicate with the affected members. This is important for maintaining trust with your member base. To reduce the likelihood of errors in the first place, ensure a smooth integration between your accounting system and your membership software. This will streamline your financial operations, benefiting both your association and its members. 


6. Your Staff Relies Too Much on IT

Some associations rely heavily on their already overburdened IT staff for critical operations such as creating webpages, building online forms, launching microsites, and delivering personalized content. This dependence can lead to delays and frustrations for members who expect immediate access to essential resources.  

Solution: Don’t make your staff jump through the hoops of a hard-to-use system. Save staff time (and frustration) by using association software with user-friendly interfaces and tools that allow non-technical staff to manage and the association's digital presence. This reduces the burden on IT staff and ensures that members can access the resources they need without unnecessary delays. 


The Bottom Line

Listen to your members, listen to your staff, and use association software that keeps all member data in one place. With these tips, you’re ready to create a seamless and personalized member journey, leading to increased member satisfaction, higher engagement, and stronger retention rates.

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