Where membership is not regulatory/compulsory, looking for ways to reinforce the value of membership may be critical when they are considering what might need eliminating from their budget. Where membership is compulsory, providing reassurance, advice, information and updates on the action your organisation is taking during these uncertain times is going to be key to enhancing relationship.

It’s possible that some of the member benefits previously core to your Member Value Proposition (MVP) may be temporarily unavailable. Some organisations have physical facilities such as libraries, accommodation and conference/meeting rooms which they have had to suspend use of. So, how do we counteract the perceived diminished value? Can more of the resources physically found in your library be made digitally available? Can you help to facilitate virtual/digital meetings for your members? Can you deliver a program of online events which wasn’t previously planned to add value? Might now be the time to investigate adding e-learning to your offering? Using digital tools to solve physical engagement issues is likely to be of significant benefit moving forwards.

Where the culture of your membership centres around physical engagement, such as gyms, it’s important to communicate with them about ‘suspending’ their membership before they simply cancel it, that way, they’re not currently paying for it, but you retain the right to resume payments once things return to normal. In the interim you should work to retain the relationship and their loyalty. You could do so through the provision of a weekly update, with suggested exercise to try, potentially with video. You could also put all of these on social media for sharing and growing your organic reach for when you can open up membership again.

Content is a key component in any engagement/retention strategy, and right now, more is more! You may have team members whose role has been affected by recent changes and may have the skills and capacity to invest in content creation, if that’s the case, agree the headlines, get them researching and writing. Potentially your members may have more time on their hands or be more inclined to consider contributing towards your content strategy, so where you can canvas for this kind of involvement, it should yield some positive results. With social media usage at an all-time high, this is probably the ideal time to exploit the medium in terms of content publishing and promotion with the potential for organic growth through sharing being notably greater.

Another interesting tool to consider is one that connects members to each other enabling them to communicate directly, whether that’s via an online forum or mobile app, NetXtra have provided many variants of these platforms. Sometimes providing this sense of belonging to something bigger, and having a larger pool of peers to refer to in things adds significant perceived value, and generates content and engagement without much effort from the host organisation, however, it is advisable to have some mechanism in place to monitor these conversations, mediate and interject where appropriate!