Your Members Deserve Great Customer Service

by Charlie Thompson

Members are like customers, only more committed. In this blog we explain why great customer service is the bare minimum your members should expect, and explore how you can deliver more.


Membership-based organisations have a unique relationship with their stakeholders. Not only do relationships last longer than straightforward customer-retailer relationships, their interactions are less regular meaning each conversation carries more weight.

In standard retail and service relationships, customers are treated to extraordinary service. Think about the last time you reached out to a customer services channel for your favourite brand. For most, the call would have been answered quickly by a diligent, knowledgeable and friendly agent, seemingly willing to break all the rules to make you happy.

But the customer service for membership-based organisations can be dramatically different. For some organisations, experience dealing with customers is limited. For others, there is no dedicated customer service channel. In some cases the customer is funnelled through a series of hoops until someone can answer their question… and the worst thing is, no-one is ever ready to take the blame.

When members gain membership benefits from third parties like partner stores or affiliated brands and organisations, there’s often no centralised mechanism in place for dealing with customers. Aside from subscriber databases, there’s no link between the companies to keep tabs on the important elements of membership.

Happily, the solutions are simple:

 

Customer Relationship Management

There are plenty of tools out there to help organisations track and manage their relationships with customers, in most cases these can be easily adapted to work for membership-based organisations. CRM tools make it possible to automate interactions with members, organise information related to membership, and provide tools through which to deliver great support.

 

Dedicated, Centralised Communications

When it comes to memberships that involve a number of parties, you should always attempt to centralise customer services. There are relatively inexpensive ways to outsource these responsibilities, and if you tie in a smart CRM system, you’ll be amazed how much quality support outsourced customer services can provide.

 

Long Opening Hours

Members should be able to reach you outside of regular working hours. It’s not always convenient to reach customer services during a standard 9-5, so you should make it as easy as possible for members to get in touch when they can. Another thing to consider is the opening hours of your core service. If your gallery or museum is open on a Saturday and Sunday, your customer services needs to be too!

 

Multiple Channels of Communication

People like to be able to choose how they interact with others. For a busy person with hardly any time to spare, a phone call might be inconvenient. Can they reach a responsive, knowledgeable person by email? Have you catered to those who would prefer to do it all using online chat or IM? Of course, traditional phone support with a friendly voice on the other end (not a fancy answering machine) is the gold standard of customer service, you can’t do membership without it.


At Infinite Rewards, our white label rewards programs come with comprehensive, centralised customer services included. So while you’re busy running a membership-based organisation, you have one less thing to worry about. Find out more about our membership rewards solutions here.