There was a great conversation thread on ASAE’s Collaborate about the value of calling new members. The discussion’s originator had just instituted a phone calling program but, members seem thrown off by the calls. Given this response, should the association continue calling members?
Based on the response to the New Member Engagement Study I would advocate the association keep testing this tactic because phone calls are one of the most effective tactics used for building new member engagement. Many respondents noted that instituting a new member engagement program was an iterative process. No new member email series performs flawlessly at the start, and the same is true with phone calls. Here are some things to test.
- Prepare new members for the phone call. Briefly mention they will be receiving a phone call, the call’s purpose, and the general timing of the call in an email.
- Or consider allowing new members to schedule a time for their call at a time convenient to them using an online calendar. (If not enough members schedule, go back to calling them).
- Over time test and record the time of the week or the time of the day when most members answer the phone and have time to chat.
- Play with the script especially the first sentence you say. What can you say to let them know this call will be of value to them?
- Test your tone. Members seem to respond best to a warm, enthusiastic welcome. For your particular members, you may need to amp that up or tone it down.
- Be fresh and keep your energy up. Making call after call can be a drag especially after dozens of voicemails and a few odd interactions but, members respond best when the caller is confident and kind and focused on them.
- Try passing the baton. If after testing, and testing, and testing you are still not getting anywhere. Try letting another staff member make the calls. Make sure they know the purpose of the call and key factors like setting the right tone. Over time does their method work better? Why?
Phone calls are a great way to for new members to experience both value and a sense of belonging. What can you do to make that tactic work even better?