Simon Webster explores ACCA’s approach to boosting satisfaction rates amongst members.
Today, membership organisations are working harder than ever to ensure their members are satisfied. They achieve this by communicating the long-term value and benefits of membership, thus nurturing a life-long association between them and their members.
At ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) – a leading global accountancy body with 740,000 members and students – our regular member satisfaction survey revealed that satisfaction was dropping in the UK. This was most acute amongst our members in small and medium sized practices (SMPs), where it was falling an alarming 15% below target.
These members work for – or own – small businesses and face many demands on their time. They look to their membership body for support and resources to make their lives easier.
We responded with a structured engagement and communications campaign across multiple channels including digital (website and social media), print (brochures, magazines and flyers) and email.
We segmented our audience in multiple ways, including those who were business owners/directors, each of whom received a piece of direct mail. This highlighted the benefits of membership to them and to their employees, and included a letter from the person we positioned as the face of their sector inviting them to connect via LinkedIn and/or email to help us build stronger links and understand ongoing issues.
We were confident in our core offering and focused on finding different ways to highlight and communicate this. Our audience was particularly active on LinkedIn and Twitter and we harnessed a number of advocates who believed in what we were doing to help amplify our messages across their own networks.
In the first quarter of 2019, a specific question in the satisfaction survey revealed a 19% growth in awareness of services amongst our target audience and a welcome upward shift in the satisfaction rate back towards the long-term target of around 80%.