Sunday, 21 October 2012

How not to attract subscription paying members

A few weeks ago I applied to join a small specialist group that derives almost all its income from membership subscriptions. The group had what, at first sight, appeared to be a well-designed web site that was also tolerably up-to-date. The only feature that appeared slightly unusual was that although a prospective member could apply to join the group on-line there didn’t appear to be any option for paying the resultant subscription the same way.

I filled in the on-line application and pleasantly quickly I heard back from the President. He was away from his office and so he apologised for his short and rather impersonal reply promising to get back in touch within a couple of days. So far 10/10.

Ten days passed and I still had not heard anything so eventually I got back in touch with him and he apologised (again) and he promised (again) to respond – this time it was going to be “tonight”.   The score had dropped to 8/10 because although I appreciate that people have busy lives surely he had had a 15 minute slot sometime in 10 days to deal with society matters?

Needless to say he didn’t contact me and neither did the Treasurer or the Secretary who had also received a copy of my on-line application. Well I’m not going to chase them up again for a few weeks because I’m interested to see how long it will take them to successfully complete what really should have been a fairly simple task. As of today the score is 5/10.
The irony of publically accepting the need to attract new members when at the same time appearing unable to process applications in a timely manner is not lost on me.

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