Approximately 1% of members are opinionated, loud and critical. They call, they write, they comment in public forums. They are down on the association and they are not afraid to let everyone know it.
As staff members we pay a lot of attention to these folks. We craft responses trying to sooth them. When that doesn’t work we may try to defend ourselves. As a final resort we may develop new policies, discontinue a product or reverse a decision. This 1% can have a profound effect on the rest of the membership when they are likely not representative of the majority of membership at all.
Most companies and organizations have an extreamly dissatisfied 1%. These are folks who dish out an ongoing level of unhappiness. After a few attempts you realize there’s nothing you can do to appease them. The best decision is to write them off and focus on the members that delight in having you serve them.
When you and the staff are developing new ideas and plans for future years put aside this 1% and instead focus on your best members. Listen and talk more to your best members.
Is your association listening to the wrong members? If you can’t make the 1% happy it is best not to worry about them while planning for your association’s future.