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Hi Beth — By abandonment if you mean non-renewal, then yes, the just published 2016 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report highlights the renewal rates for many types of associations. There is a link to download a copy on the home page of this blog. If, on the other hand, you a curious about online web abandons in the renewal process, I do not know of any data source specifically for associations. I do think that this is an important item to monitor. There is clearly a consumer expectation for fewer clicks, pages, and information to complete in any online transaction. The more steps there are and the more complicated, the more likely there will be for a site abandon.
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Is there any data/research on abandonment rates? We are working on reducing our rate and I am curious if there are any benchmarks for membership associations.
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Always start the conversation by asking “How can I help you with this?”

This can be for anything in life, but I run into this a lot with discussions between vendors and my clients. My client will raise an issue of concern, and the vendor will respond by saying “That’s not my fault” or “That’s because of something someone else did.”

While that answer may be technically correct, it’s not the answer my client is seeking. Because regardless of what the issue is, when someone is complaining, they’re really just seeking a solution to their problem. And very often, the vendor may have an easy solution. Spending time on who is to blame is not productive, nor is it terribly helpful.

One of my sisters used to manage a GAP clothing store. She told me she learned very early on in her career that when a customer was upset about something (e.g., returning an item that didn’t fit or had not held up in the wash), rather than trying to trying to guess what the solution should be, she would simply ask “How can I help you with this?” She tells me that often the customer would say “Oh, I don’t want you to do anything. I just wanted you to know about this.”

Problem solved!

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Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and
don't manage to get anything done.
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On occasion when working with a client during the selection of a new AMS, my client will say something like this: “My board is very supportive of our project, but several board members have asked a question along the lines of ‘What benefit will we get from this new system?’”

And while the benefits of a new system will vary depending on your circumstances, here are the most common benefits of implementing a new AMS:

  1. Improved efficiency – With new and better technology, staff should become more efficient with data management, including centralizing data that may be managed in many different systems around the organization.
  2. Better customer service – With more centralized data, staff should be able to provide better service to members and customers. And with better technology, the online user experience for members and customers (e.g., joining, renewing, registering for events, etc.) should improve, too.
  3. Cleaner data – During the implementation process, you should take time to clean up the existing data prior to data conversion. And after implementation, you should have better processes in place to help maintain data integrity and cleanliness.
  4. Easier querying and reporting – Today’s technology is making it easier and easier to query the data. The tools are easier to learn and use, which means faster and better access to data.
  5. Better money management – Centralizing data and accounts receivables will help ensure your organization is billing and collecting money appropriately and in a timely manner.

Of course, there are a multitude of other potential benefits of a new AMS, but these give you a sense of the kind of benefits many organizations should see.

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