Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Improving the Reactivation & Retention Process

You can attract and retain members by improving your Reactivation Processing, I would suggest observing and embracing the Best Practices used by many mega-churches. These Best Practices provides that when a new visitor is identified, he fills out a contact card, and “hidden” processes and procedures are automatically put into motion which includes:
 His contact info is entered into a tracking database;
 He is given literature and information about membership;
 He is assigned a “buddy” to help answer questions and encourage continued membership;
 He is contacted by the buddy for coffee or lunch to establish a relationship;
 He is contacted by the Pastor to thank him for his interest and participation;
 He is encouraged by his buddy to attend upcoming meetings and focus groups;
 He is encouraged to join a focus group or committee or task force that suits his interest or passion; and
 He is later encouraged to become a membership “buddy” with a new member.

This process works like a water wheel in that as new members join each is partnered with a buddy, who help bring him comfortably into the membership and at the end of the process, the new member becomes a buddy who helps pull in new members. This process reinforces relationships and helps build strong bonds among members as the organization grows. I am suggesting that you create a “process” that works like a water wheel for reactivation.

When someone reconnects with a brother, the process would begin with an email “Welcome” message that introduces him to the current E-Board membership, including their names, email addresses and phone numbers. The email must include some personal reference to the addressee so that it does not appear to be a form letter.

Most importantly, within seven days, the brother is assigned a “buddy”.

The buddy then calls the brother to encourage a meeting over coffee or lunch to create a relationship. This is critical. If this contact is not made, the opportunity to reactivate this brother will be lost. It is our brotherhood, our common and shared experience that should allow a relationship between the buddy and lost brother to develop. If the connection by the buddy is not made, there is no magnet to help reactivate this brother.

The buddy encourages the brother to attend an upcoming Chapter meeting or event. During this event the brother must be pulled into the Chapter organization – if the brother attends a meeting or event and is not asked to accept responsibility for a task or project – he will have no reason to return. You must give him a reason to return.

The buddy can help the brother be successful with their new task or project. The buddy can suggest other brothers or resources this brother can use to be successful. The E-Board should immediately highlight this new brother’s task or project in order to incorporate him into the Chapter. When his task or project is met with success, he should be asked to consider being a “buddy” for a brother new to the Chapter.

This process takes commitment and courage to embrace this as a Best Practice. Additionally, the chapter membership has to “buy-in” that this is the process that they will use when a brother reactivates which includes “pushing” him onto a committee and asking him to take responsibility for a project or task immediately and without delay. The desire to demand that the brother pay his reactivation fees has to take on minor importance with respect to the desire and demand that the brother connect into the Chapter and “step-up” and immediately accept responsibility for a project or program.

It does require leadership and hard work for it to be a success.

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