Friday, 4 November 2011

Come Back to What You Know - Non-member Contact pt3

Ex-members are normally the most lucrative segment.  But before we hit them with an e-mail, let’s look at the process of becoming an Ex-member, as this is critical to future potential.

Simply put, the easier it is for a member to leave, the easier it will be to get that member back.
Sure, sometimes finance companies need to be involved in the leaving process, but if you can somehow soften the blow of leaving, then you should.  Perhaps you could have a look at your terms, and change any onerous conditions that will prevent people from ever coming back.

As the member leaves, it is important to record the reason and ask for feedback about your club.  This could be part of the online leaving process, or through an exit interview or call.  You should be interested in this information – particularly if you can fix it and stop others following this member.  Just by looking interested and perhaps even saying sorry (which costs nothing), it leaves the door open, and gives an opportunity to check their contact details.

Around a month later, you should ask again why the member left (referring to the last reason given if possible).  Again this could be a call, or via an online survey, for example.  It is surprising how different answers can be after an Ex-member has had time to ‘cool off’.  You get the chance to find out if they’ve joined another club, and to say that your door is still open to them.

Thereafter, all Ex-members should be contacted regularly (we often suggest quarterly) with a newsletter, survey, offers and promotions – for example an extension of the standard open weekend to include Friday and Monday for ex-members… something to get them back into the club.

Measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, how many come back, how many unsubscribe.  As with the prospects, this is a natural, not a negative effect, you don’t want an ever growing Ex-member database.

In summary, do more with the data that you have.  There are too many grudges held against Ex-members – they are leaving, so get over it, make it easy if you can, and make it even easier for them to come back.

Your database is so much bigger than your current members, and there’s a great deal of potential in the prospects and ex-members – keep in touch with them!

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