Often through our research, we uncover misalignments in member expectations, opinions, and needs when compared to the priorities of their association. Our Digital Member Study is no different. There is a growing member experience disconnect as gaps exist between what members value and where they believe their organization delivers the best experience.

We have learned that training opportunities and certifications rank as some of the top benefits that drive member retention. However, members rank their digital experiences with training and certifications in the lower satisfaction tier. Organizations should examine the gaps and create a plan of attack to address the negative experiences.

Let’s take a closer look at one of these gaps related to members’ experience with online education.

According to the study 46 percent of members surveyed have taken an online course or signed up for education through their organization’s website. The figure below indicates members’ online education experience rating compared to the rating of the association staff.

Rating Online Education Experiences

For members, we can see that interactivity during courses, ability to attend a virtual conference and personalized course recommendations all rank at the bottom. Association professionals also rank personalized experiences at the bottom of their list.

So, why is it an issue that personalization ranks at the bottom? Well, the study also reveals that 69 percent of members are interested in receiving personalized content based on their past activity. This number jumps up to 84 percent when you look at just Millennials. The expectation for personalization is there and the digital experience is lacking.

Examine how you can leverage the information in your learning management system (LMS) and association management system (AMS) to improve this experience for your members. Personalization extends beyond member acknowledgement communications. Members understand that associations collect a lot of information about them; therefore, they expect to be presented with relevant content that aligns with their profile demographics, preferences, and furthering their professional career. But it doesn’t just stop there. They also understand you’re collecting data on their past activities and purchases. There is a rising expectation for relevant recommendations to be served up regarding additional courses, products, reading material, and even job opportunities, based on past behaviors.

To learn more about the gap between member expectations and association technology, take a deep dive into our Digital Member Study.