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What's your Member Care IQ?

Thursday, January 28, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Elaine Miller
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What is Member Care?
Member Care is the philosophy of customer service that says it is easier to keep the customer you have than to recruit the customer who doesn't know you. For a non-profit association, our customers are our members. When the Data Processing Management Association was one of the few games in town, the competition for member dollars was not as intense or as complex.

Member Care is the process of looking at the contacts that we make with our members and what we do to add value.

Why do it?
It is a well known fact that a satisfied member will tell 3 other people, while a dissatisfied member will tell 10.

Member Care 2006-2008
In 2006, AITP began a program of Member Care using an outsourced vendor based on a "Retention Continuum" series of touch points or contact points over the lifetime of a member. Nine touch points were identified during each year:
  • New Member Welcome Packet/Renewing Member Packet
  • New Member Welcome Calls during first 3 months
  • Follow up Calls/Ongoing communications
  • Yearly Calls to every member
  • Follow up calls/Ongoing communications
  • Renewal Notices
  • Renewals Calls during grace period
  • Lapsed Member/Exit Poll Calls
  • Once a Year Former Member Contact
In addition to the Member Care contacts, many chapters also contacted new members and expiring members in the month prior to expiration as well as during the 30-day grace period after expiration. Each of the touch points uses a variety of contact media in recognition that individuals vary in their preferred method of contact. Snail mail (Welcome packet), phone calls (Exit polls), email (Renewal notices) are all important for the Member Care process.

During 2009, the outsourced Member Care program was not funded.

What chapters do - Best Practices
The AITP Web Portal Recruitment Page contains two articles submitted by Bob Heimann of the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter on "Small Chapter Professional Member Retention Stmt" and "Large Chapter Professional Member Retention Stmt".

To find this page, login.  Then hover over "AITP Leaders Only", hover over "Chapter Resources", and then select "Recruitment Materials". Here are direct links:
Click here for the Small Chapter Professional Member Retention document.
Click here for the Large Chapter Professional Member Retention document.

Larger chapters are encouraged to recruit a committee of volunteers so that contacting new, expiring and lapsed members can be shared and not an overwhelming list in any one month. For a smaller chapter, the number of members to contact within a single month usually averages 2-6 and could be handled by the Membership Retention board member. However, recruiting a "back-up" volunteer and future replacement is ALWAYS recommended.

Member Care 2010
Your Association Board voted to re-institute the Member Care program for 2010, but has not approved an outsourced vendor at the present time. We invite the Chapters to strengthen and supplement the Member Care efforts in each individual chapter. We need to continue to get our message out: "No matter how sophisticated the technology, it still takes people." ™ and Stay Connected! to become our Community of Knowledge.

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