Engaged members are the lifeblood of any membership organisation and the most successful organisations have quality and progressive interactions with members who want to be part of their network. Learning and professional development can be a key part of developing an engaged membership base. For organisations with education programmes an effective customer relationship management (CRM) system offers significant benefits for strengthening member relationships.
Clear the ballast, mind the zombies
Many organisations still feel that they must cling to ‘members’ they have no engagement with. Membership ballast and other vanity metrics are a comfort blanket, to justify budgets and inflate worth. By indulging the ballast, membership organisations become a zombie company – not able to develop their sector presence, coupled with a diminishing voice in their sector.
Moving from passive to active
A wider variety of contributing members makes for a stronger, more representative membership and enhances the relevance and quality of the organisation’s marketing offer. The right CRM can provide you with the solid base to transform members from passive to active, measure their satisfaction and refine your membership offering.
Creating active learners
Continued professional development is a key engagement and revenue channel for many organisations. A single view of all member or cohort activity, including education and CPD pathways, is now possible. Active learners can demonstrate their performance through the CPD/exam history in their account, helping them to maintain motivation and you to identify commercial opportunities for your organisation. You can perform event management with booking, payment and benchmarking tools. The information and insight, underpinned by web analytics and data, supports learner progression and gives board members and other stakeholders a snapshot on the organisation’s progress.
Have a handshake
System ‘handshakes’ (or APIs, to use the jargon) mean that you can integrate your CRM with existing systems such as content management, finance and web publishing. Swift, simple and efficient deployment can bring the membership closer to the heart of your organisation and use more of the in-situ systems functionality, such as the ability for members to self-serve and automate financial processing. You can also connect more apps and automate workflows through data bridges such as Zapier and IFTTT. Cloud hosting means that extra functionality modules are available when the customer is ready and not subjected to enforced updates. A good CRM empowers even the smallest organisation to offer members timely, relevant communications which reflects their job role and interests, as well making cost saving by eliminating paper trails and postage.
The advocacy mission
An effective CRM helps to manage effective relationships, interactions, knowledge, financial transactions, data and information relating to stakeholders. In return, you’ll gain deeper relationships, moving your members up the loyalty ladder until they become advocates – selling on your behalf. Acquiring new members will become easier (reducing the cost of acquisition), retention/churn rates improve and the valued, active members will receive the attention they deserve.
eCom’s eNetCRM helps organisations strengthen relationships with their members and learners. When education and CPD programmes are commercially imperative, eNetCRM supports deeper learner engagement, moving the organisation’s membership from passive learners to active advocates.