As we continue to face COVID-19, the networks that form the foundation of associations are being challenged. With more members staying home to practice safe social distancing and annual conference plans shifting or cancelling altogether, there’s now a massive risk of member attrition. Instead of using resources to acquire new members to replace those who have left, it’s more beneficial and cost-effective to pinpoint these at-risk members early and put them on retention journeys.
In this guide, we will help you determine members who are at risk of attrition by identifying and leveraging key performance indicators (KPIs) using tools only available on the Salesforce platform. The first step is ensuring that you’re equipped with a fully fleshed out association management toolkit that is native to Salesforce.
This guide isn’t just helpful for times of crisis; associations will always have a few at-risk members. Employing these strategies going forward can become part of a successful, year-round member retention strategy. Let’s get started!
KPIs: Evaluate, Analyze, Repeat
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are strategic metrics to track progress towards quantifiable goals displayed conveniently within Salesforce dashboard components. For example, if a goal is to increase member engagement, you can decide to track in-person event attendance. Due to COVID-19, it’s clear that this KPI level has already significantly dropped.
How can you use KPIs to prevent member attrition? First, consider the most common reasons why a member would choose to renew their membership. The most revealing macro-indicator of this is similar to the reason why customers remain loyal to a business— whether the member feels they are receiving value from the association. However, that can be hard to quantify as a single data point. This is where KPIs can help.
By identifying a range of engagement KPIs and assigning weight to each one, associations can build an overall engagement score for members that indicate the amount of value being extracted through their membership. These interactions are basically KPIs that on their own can’t determine much. But when amalgamated together, you receive an accurate engagement score that can signify those members who are at risk of not renewing.
To build your engagement score, start with smaller data points, your KPIs. These are then aggregated and attached to the member’s record. This process involves your association tools and Salesforce CRM working together. For examples of what KPIs to track, the following metrics have been shown to be good building blocks:
- Email-open rates. Determine which members aren’t getting value from association communications. If a member continues to ignore emails and not respond to call-to-actions, it’s a good sign that they might not be interested in renewing their membership. Pardot’s Engagement Studio can flag this early and help guide you to make quick pivots.
- Event registrations. Those who often sign up for events hosted by the association are more likely to want to continue engaging. Those who haven’t engaged with any of these opportunities are less likely to find value in their membership. Investing in digital event experiences can help ameliorate relationships with inactive members in the age of COVID-19. Salesforce is great for managing virtual events and can provide a deeper insight to other event metrics as well.
- Online course sign-ups. Many associations offer continuing education opportunities through a Learning Management System (LMS). Consider tracking the rate at which members take advantage of the LMS. Viewing the rate of access (whether all at once at the beginning of a term vs. spread across a term) may inform the likelihood of a member to engage in other opportunities.
There’s no limit to the number of KPIs an organization can use to build an engagement score, and encouraging role-based access to organization-wide metrics helps promote transparency and adoption of a CRM platform. Many staff members can see parts of the picture, but only when the pieces are made whole can the full dataset be viewed and analyzed.
One successful strategy is the formation of a data management committee who can work with the organization’s Salesforce Admin to create and refine the reports that make up departmental dashboards within Salesforce. Refining dashboards and reports as part of a year-round member retention strategy provides real-time feedback and the ability to pivot strategically where required.
Regularly Review Salesforce Dashboards
It’s one thing to have identified the right KPIs in the right reports, but without regular review and assessment, the data won’t provide benefit for the organization. Regularly reviewing Salesforce dashboards as a team ensures that even the most non-technical staffers are working from real-time data in an accessible format. In times where each engagement and choice you make can greatly affect member retention, dashboards are the key to member success.
Dashboards provide a visual representation of how associations evolve, helping them to make data-driven decisions going forward. They can also help pinpoint weak spots in association processes, like at-risk members. Through dashboard components, organizations can identify trends and measure the impact of its activities.
Salesforce dashboards are intuitive to use and can easily track different engagements with drag-and-drop features. Maintain a comprehensive view of the entire membership base with access to member management data in line with engagement scoring.
Through it all, it is critical to use Salesforce native solutions to ensure that all data collected is seen in real-time through those reports and dashboards. Systems that operate outside of Salesforce can create data silos, and require costly and time consuming integrations to access data that becomes quickly outdated. Take advantage of the Salesforce AppExchange to find tools that help you maximize your investment in Salesforce to build out a 360-degree view of your members, rather than isolating key interactions in data silos.
Accelerate Decisions through Einstein Analytics & Insights
Another great function of Salesforce is the ability to aggregate data from multiple sources in Salesforce Einstein Analytics and create predictive scoring and insights. This can greatly increase the effectiveness of your engagement scoring.
For example, demographic data, historical membership data, event registrations, and LMS usage can be added to your marketing data in the Salesforce Pardot & Marketing Cloud. From there, build out an analytical profile of each member and indicate the score ranges for at-risk members. Einstein will assign a score to each interaction to create each member’s engagement score. Einstein Insights then takes that value to more effectively identify members or member groups at risk of attrition.
The better you can visualize your data, the easier it is to find trends and determine your at-risk members. Some software companies are even incorporating virtual reality into data analysis to help people perceive their processes in an entirely different space.
With Einstein Analytics’ easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface, you can schedule and automate reports based on anything you want. Compile reports using your KPIs as well as other member engagements.
Salesforce can be used to pinpoint at-risk members early on, granting membership teams precious time to ameliorate those relationships before they lapse. As organizations better understand and identify those members, they can start incorporating these insights into your engagement strategy.
Determining the types of engagements and opportunities different membership segments prefer can make their membership more valuable to them during trying times. Try to direct efforts towards those low-engagement members. Segment those members by why they’re at-risk to deliver more personalized and meaningful engagements, as well as ask those members if there’s anything they need or would like to see from you.
These extra steps can minimize member attrition before it happens, so it’s worth reviewing member-retention strategies, setting KPIs, configuring dashboard, and analyzing reports. Good luck!