“What Makes This Organization Special Is…

…that call,” she said.  Special indeed.

The new member to South East Express Network (SEEN) local league of ABWA and I chatted before my presentation on the topic of Retaining and Engaging Members.  She shared that she had visited the group a few times as a guest/prospective member and then missed a meeting.  She received a call from a member to say that the group missed her and hoped all way okay.  “That call told me this group and its members are special.”

I began to ponder the last time that I received a personal contact from an organization who meeting I missed.  I’m still pondering two weeks later.

The proactive, genuinely caring step of reaching out to say “We missed you” is more than just a kind gesture.  It affects retention and engagement, and it is so unique that it will create a buzz that attracts others.

All practical reasons aside, the most valuable is that the follow-ups are the right thing to do.  The concept can be tweaked to work for groups of various sizes.  For example, an organization may need to pick a subset such as board members, key volunteers, past chairs, etc., but all organizations can find a way to incorporate un-automated check ins.

In this world of auto-responder emails, “constant contact” electronic communications, overloaded inboxes, etc., these follow-up calls will reveal the exceptional nature of your organization.  Look at your own programs, committees and processes to determine how to add personalized follow up steps.  Be consistent, persistent and authentic.  It matters.

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