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Customer retention in tough economy

I am in charge of member retention and CRM for a business membership organization. We have developed fairly strong relationships with our more than 2000 members, but we are losing them because of financial issues. Do you have any suggestions regarding keeping members in organizations during REALLY tough economic times?
The issue is fairly straightforward. If cost of membership is a central focus, it means members are keying more on that than the value membership brings. In other words, the organization hasn't created sufficient perceived value to keep members from exiting. Membership cost may have even been an incentive to join, at one time, but this tends to 'commoditize' what you offer rather than providing a set of benefits which are member-centric and member-driven.

Your organization needs to understand the most important, and best performed, aspects of membership, as defined by members themselves. Additionally, you should identify what is not done well and what is missing from your array of benefits. This includes gaining insights as to any unexpressed complaints members may have and what emerging needs they can identify. If possible, this information should be gathered on both a qualitative (anecdotal) and quantitative (dimensional) basis. This will help determine what aspects of performance to improve or add and what to emphasize, how to communicate them to members (current, former, and prospective), and how to assess their effectiveness in the future.

For more information, check out SearchCRM.com resources on customer loyaltyCustomer Lifetime Value.

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