Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why resigned members won't tell you why they've left

I found an article called "Why I cancelled my gold membership" and it sent a shiver down my spine. The author wanted to resign his Xbox Gold Membership. First, he outlined how difficult they make it to resign. Then he admits that he knew they would ask him why ... and the fact he had no intention of telling them. He then goes on to say that he is willing to share his reasons with the rest of the word. And he proceeds to do just that ... in detail.

Most people are not comfortable sharing negative opinions directly with the entity or person they have that opinion about. For example, if I were to ask you what you thought of me then you are unlikely to turn around and say "Frankly I think you are a skanky ho." Few people operate like that.

It is important to understand why your members resign. Tracking the true reasons for this may enable you to identify serious issues that will cause your membership to further decline. It is essential that you have processes in place to ensure your resigning members share their true reasons with you.

Posting them a resigned member survey is not the answer. If they don't care enough to renew why should they care enough to return the survey. Only those who really hate you will do that. The others will forever remain a mystery.

Telephoning and asking is better than posting a survey. But if an organisational representative is calling you will still encounter that resistance to truly share the reasons why they are resigning.

A phone call from an independent representative works better. That person can be a paid consultant or one of a group of members who have volunteered to make those calls.

How do you find out why your members resign? Is it effective?

1 comment:

  1. You make a great point. Our research indicates that those associations that maintain a relationship with their expired members, have higher renewal rates and tend to do better with their member reinstatement programs. Why? I believe its being member-centric or member relationship centric (that would account for the higher renewal rate). I also believe that people float in and out of careers and providing a positive member experience, even when a member is leaving, leaves the door open a bit wider than making it difficult if not uncomfortable for a member to leave.


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