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Should I stay or should I go? Proven strategies to improve member retention


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Presented by Simon Forrester, British Pest Control Association (BPCA) …

Presented by Simon Forrester, British Pest Control Association (BPCA)
Presented at Association Congress 2011

Published in: Business
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  • My background:Currently CEO of BPCA, which has a wholly owned subsidiary, TAS.16 years with a variety of Associations, Prof institutions and trade bodies, most recently Interior Fit out.Prior to that, NHS managementMy roleStrategic deliveryRepresentation of the sectorGovernance, including Company SecretaryMarketijng, New benefitsLeadershipResponsibility for the teammy experience in developing my membership.set the scene The member journeymy experience of the process of improving retentiontelling you how we overcame some of the common issues.Not a membership ‘expert’may not be perfectwe learnt a lot along the waythat’s what I’m here to tell you about.
  • My background:Currently CEO of BPCA, which has a wholly owned subsidiary, TAS.16 years with a variety of Associations, Prof institutions and trade bodies, most recently Interior Fit out.Prior to that, NHS managementSome examples from prof assoc sector, but many from TAs, my area of expertiseMy roleStrategic deliveryRepresentation of the sectorGovernance, including Company SecretaryMarketing, New benefitsLeadershipResponsibility for the teamBrought in at BPCA to do what I did at experience in developing my membership.set the scene The member journey – as an individual or company
  • Having a good retention policy can save you lots of money, time and effort. Always easier to keep a customer than get a new oneMost associations lose about 10% of members each yearThose who give a reason say no clear benefit for the decision-maker
  • Research is the defining hallmark of successful membership organisationsIf you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.Who is our audience?What do they want?When to deliver?Carry out a detailed Membership Survey – focus groups, face-to-face, paper, webAsk current members reasons for joining were, what services they valued, What else they would likeand their perception of the service actually received. Identified Difference between need and deliveryComplacencyPerceived strengthsWith a 50% response rate, we had an excellent basis for the next stage,
  • And potential/lapsed members - Focus groups. What do and don’t you offer?Benchmark. Follow the money. Who is taking cash that should be yours?Develop new benefits to suit your membership – one size does NOT fit all.Check what you’ve done is right – set up a panel (not your Board)Keep telling them why they joined, and why you’re different
  • a series of facilitated Board and staff team meetings to produce a Strategic Plan for the next 5 years. This Strategic Plan led into a detailed Operational/Business Plan, and in particular our Recruitment and Retention Strategies.
  • Key issue = stickiness.Data is the keyVisit waverersDifferent needs of different subsectorsProduce reports before the invoice is sent‘what you used this year’ letter
  • Member journey
  • Evolving over time if you assume you know the membership, you’ll be proved wrong. Research is key.
  • Jesuit maxim: "Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man”Get your members young and they’ll stay loyal
  • Just an aside about loyalty. One school of thoughtBought is central, but earned is crucialBought = promotional discounts, random benefits that could be found elsewhereBought give you instant top-line sales. Looks good.Bought cheapens your brand
  • Which of these do you have as member types?And the list on the left?
  • Henry FordOne-size-fits-allStarbucksHuge amount of choice
  • What have the Romans ever done for us?
  • Are your networking opportunities available elsewhere?Think like a business -
  • Carry out an exit interviewdon’t take no for an answerDo an online or paper survey, call them - Go and see them if necessaryThis is vital to understanding why people leave, and solving the problem
  • PROVEN TO WORKSurvey: 50%Contacted other AssociationsStaff drew up a draft strategyBoard signed off 5 year PlanAnnual Business PlanImproved CRM, Offering (Benefits) and MarketingStatement of intentRepeat message five times
  • Many members say ‘please give me discounts on stuff’ARE YOU A BUYING GROUP?Don’t overstep the mark by taking too much – weakens offer or can harm your brand
  • Use email sig to tell people your messageUse rolling ppt at meetings to show your messageFind out what the web says about you, and respond to stories quickly (Downing St Cat)Swap info among the teamTrack when the leaving decision is made. Subs time? Year end? Busiest time? Quietest?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Sample presentation title here
    • 2. 2
      Should I stay or should I go?Proven strategies to improve member retention
      Simon Forrester MBA
      Chief Executive
      British Pest Control Association
    • 3. 3
      • Who I am
      • 4. Retention: Setting the Scene
      • 5. My Experiences
      • 6. The Member Journey
      • 7. Future Developments in Retention
      • 8. Questions (?and answers?)
    • 4
      • Membership2007: 509 members2010: 563
      • 9. Retention rate2007: 92%2010: 87%
      Membership2007: 388 members2010: >500
      Retention rate 2007: 84% 2010: 96%
    • 10. 5
      Retention: Setting the Scene
      Impact of losses:
      Cost to recruit = 7 months’ subscription *
      Drain on resources
      Retention c. 90% across Associations **
      #1 reason for leaving = no clear benefit ***
      * Institute of Association Management, 2008
      ** Sue Froggatt, 2007
      *** Own data, 2005-2011
      * data from Institute of Association Management
    • 11. 6
      Membership Research: Gap Analysis
    • 12. 7
      Retention: 5 Steps to cement loyalty
      Impact of losses:
      Understand what members want
      Understand your competition – and who they are
      Expand what you offer, and communicate this
      Ensure Members are happy with what you offer
      Adapted from MemberWise Advice Sheet
    • 13. 8
      Membership Research
    • 14. Retention Strategy
    • 15. 10
      Key issue: “Stickiness”
    • 16. 11
      Members are:
      Rarely what you expect
    • 17. 12
    • 18. 13
      Give me the child…
    • 19. 14
      • Increases sales 
      • 20. Cheapens brand 
      • 21. Reduces Margins 
      We must:
      • Meet Wants & Needs
      • 22. Offer Convenience
      • 23. Exceed Expectation
    • 15
      Member Journey
      Students (undergraduate)
      ‘Full’ Members
    • 27. 16
      Which are you?
    • 28. 17
      Retention: The Next Stage
      Segment your membership
      Strong core of active members vital for stability
      Typical Member
      ‘People like you do x, y, z’
      Measure what’s been used
      What’s of interest to each group
      Formalise the Value-For-Money proposition
      Who are your advocates?
    • 29. 18
    • 30. 19
      Think like a Business
      Benefits must be:
      excellent quality
      easily reached
      Who should you target for sales?
      Focus should be reach, influence and involvement
    • 31. 20
      Still leaving? THE FOUR Ps
      Plan Subscriptions (quarterly, 10 instalments)
      Payment Holidays (‘freezes’)
      Pester Power
      Pre-exit interview: crucial
    • 32.
    • 33. 22
    • 34. Member Benefits
    • 35.
    • 36. 25
      Affinity Schemes
      Support retention
      Align with needs of both members and the association
      Build loyalty
      Create added value
      Deliver commercial advantage
      Probably give financial advantage – WARNING
    • 37. Update your Offering
      WHAT’S YOUR “U.S.P.”?
      AIS = Ongoing Vetting
      BPCA = Client Demand
    • 38.
      • Mark of Quality
    • Update your Marketing
    • 39. Update Marketing
    • 40. Retention
      • Introduced CRM
      • 41. Identified multiple contacts
      • 42. Regular conversations
      • 43. Engage at theirlevel
      Led to:
      • Mutual familiarity
      • 44. Improved attendance at events
      • 45. Reduced membership churn
    • Results
    • 46. What I learned first time around
      • Recruit earlier, then focus on retention
      • 47. Trickle benefits
      • 48. Repetition
      • 49. Gordon Ramsay Approach: Simplify!
      • 50. Personalise / segment
      • 51. Avoid Survey Fatigue
      • 52. Lots of other things!
    • 33
      Five Quick Retention Tips
      Email signatures & out-of-office
      Rolling PowerPoint at meetings
      Web Reputation: Google Alerts, Wikipedia, YouTube, FaceBook, LinkedIn Groups
      Use the team: what have you learned about members?
      Understand WHEN people decide to leave & pre-empt them
    • 53. THE FUTURE
      • Profit-making groups moving into our market
      • 54. Potentially easy pickings!
      • 55. Inevitable association mergers
      • 56. Formalise value-for-money proposition
      • 57. Fail-to-join research
      • 58. Mystery shopping
      • 59. Less reliance on member subscriptions
    • Summary
      • RESEARCH
      • 60. STRATEGY
      • 64. STAY IN FRONT
    • Thank You
    • 65. How to stop people leaving
    • 66. Further Information
      • BPCA website
      • 67. AIS website
      • 68. Inst. of Association Management
      • 69. Trade Association
      • 70. ASAE Centre
      • 71. Sue Froggatt
      • 72. MemberWise
      • 73. PARN
      • 74. For my Membership Survey contact me via
    • Sample presentation title here