If you’re anything like me, coming up with New Year’s resolutions can be overwhelming and anxiety-ridden, not to mention their failure is often accompanied by evidence. I only have to look over my shoulder to the elliptical in my office to spot failed resolution #1 of 2016.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. The best way to ensure New Year’s resolutions are kept is to make sure they’re reasonable, specific, and actionable, and there’s no better place to start than with improvements to the member experience. Here are three resolutions to get you on the right path to a successful 2018.

#1 Map Out Current Member Experiences

According to our 2017 Member Loyalty Study, many benefits and services association members rank the lowest in terms of their experience are the most valued when it comes to retaining members. Make it a priority to address this disconnect by learning as much as you can about members in the new year. Consider creating a journey map to lay out the full picture of membership, illustrating the member experience from the first interaction to lifelong engagement. Members take different pathways throughout their membership lifecycle, and it’s critical to fully understand each one, while identifying gaps for improvement. Not sure where to start? How about with the most common gaps in their experience online training, certifications, and job opportunities.

#2 Build a Technology Strategy

This may seem like a no-brainer and if so, great! You’ve done your homework. However, if your association does not yet have a technology strategy in place, it’s time to get to work.

Associations that use the right technology give members a more seamless user experience, thereby increasing member satisfaction. But, getting it right the first time requires detailed planning with a focus on leveraging technology to improve the digital experiences that are the most valued by members. Begin with a high-level plan that answers the following:

  • Why you’re doing it  
  • What features/components will be needed to deliver key user experiences
  • How you’ll measure success
  • What is the timeline
  • Who is doing the work

And, for additional resources to help you on the way, check out the Abila Resource Library, with everything from how to shop for the right LMS to how to launch epic elearning content.

#3 Identify Opportunities for Personalization

According to our Digital Member Study, nearly 70 percent of surveyed members expressed interest in receiving personalized content, such as recommended courses, events, jobs opportunities, discounts, etc., based on their past activity.

This is especially true for Millennials and Gen Xers. Yet, only a third of members believe their professional membership organization is using member-provided information and search data to personalize their experience. Personalization presents a keen opportunity to close the gap between member expectations and dissatisfaction with their current experiences.

In the coming year, look beyond member acknowledgement and seek out opportunities to further personalize content. For ideas and best practices, check out this webinar to learn how the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) has kicked its elearning programs into overdrive by incorporating personalized learning, content bundles, and live and on-demand webinars.