To maximize member engagement, membership organizations often emphasize tracking various member interactions, or touchpoints, with the goal to learn from and improve membership offerings based on engagement levels.
However, just tracking interactions or touch points can divert attention from the more important issue: the member’s journey from beginning to end (not just at one point in time) and the organizational goals of increasing membership renewal and engagement with the organization.
The Problem with Transactional Touch Points
Emphasizing touch points can be distracting because the easiest touch points to identify, use, and measure are those related to a sale: when the member buys something. Leadership can become distracted by an increase in sales or event registrations, but beyond the sale, there is a need to understand how these sales-related touch points translate into member renewal and engagement.
A Better Approach to Tracking Touch Points
Let’s go beyond simple transactions. How about tracking touch points from each phase of a member's involvement with the organization, not just during transactions or sales?
We must recognize that the goal of a membership organization is not just to sell more products and services, but to increase the perceived value to the member, so they continue to renew.
Finally, use touch points to smooth out the “rough edges” of dealing with the member organization. Take a walk in your members' shoes and assess each touch point to buy products, sign up to volunteer, apply to become part of leadership, and to volunteer to speak at a conference. By examining each phase of your member’s experience with you, you will uncover insights to refine the overall process, from reducing the number of clicks to removing barriers to increased engagement.
7 Critical Member Touch Points to Track
Sure, transactional touch points are just a snapshot of a single moment, but we shouldn’t ignore these transactional touch points. Let’s consider all aspects of the transaction.
Two key member touch points related to transactions include:
1. During Purchase:
- Conversations with organization staff
- Product catalogs
- Product reviews
- Points of sale.
- Thank you notes
- Product feedback
- Upselling or cross-selling emails
- Dues or fundraising notifications/invoices
- Subscription renewals.
Additionally, it is just as important (if not more) to track the following five touch points that go beyond simple transactions:
3. Customer Service Opportunities:
- Requests for support or help through a help desk
- Customer onboarding
- Customer loyalty programs
- Self-service resources
Scripting and practicing remarkable recoveries when a member complains is crucial.
4. Member Interaction with Digital Marketing Content, Conference Leads, and Referrals:
These touch points reflect a member’s desire to find something or engage in a certain way. It would be valuable for the organization if members found what they were looking for through its resources or direct personal help.
5. Volunteer Opportunities in Leadership Positions, Committees, and Boards:
These members represent a large part of the organization's "core" group. Maintaining and growing this core group increases the likelihood that the organization can withstand hard times and has the leadership necessary to grow the organization each year.
6. Participation in Government Relations, Industry Outreach, Industry Research, and Thought Leadership:
Focusing on these touch points and taking steps to increase this type of engagement will lead to the usual benefits of increased sales and registrations. However, it also provides members with something they cannot do alone as individuals. Highlighting and encouraging this type of engagement strengthens the organization's presence in the news media.
Information culled from these touch points provides members with information that is beneficial to them as they do their jobs.
7. Social Media Engagement:
Your organization’s social presence can be used to broaden reach, not just to market products and services or accomplish branding initiatives, but an active presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn is beneficial to help the organization thrive, connect, and engage with new and existing members.
The Bottom Line
Tracking member engagement touch points improves a membership organization's overall performance by providing insights into how members experience and interact with the organization and identifying areas for improvement. By understanding what touch points are most important to members and ensuring they are satisfied with them, organizations can increase member engagement and renewals, leading to growth in membership and overall revenue.