A member in the Chamber of Commerce Professionals group on Facebook posed a very telling question recently about the value of chambers:
Question for you. What was the main reason your MOST RECENT new member joined. What was it EXACTLY for that ONE person. What sealed the deal for them?
In a time of the individual and personalized member experience, it’s now more important than ever to know why someone joins your chamber.
The answers from the group were inspiring. Many were the things we expected like that networking advantages and the business advice. Most of the members of your community should understand the value of those things.
Every business wants more business. Chambers are well thought of and established. They are able to make introductions and have a reputation for being a great place to meet business-oriented people.
Chamber Member Businesses Want Customers
The things that brought a smile to my face as I was reading the answers, were the chamber-specific, added value components, such as a member who joined for the weekly email blast (because it is a member-only perk).
I also love the stories of businesses the chamber used or awarded an honor to, who later joined as they discovered all of the benefits of being a chamber member.
So many wonderful stories.
As the Boomers retire and Gen Ys open businesses, the expectations behind joining the chamber of commerce will continue to change as well.
While it was once an unspoken norm that a business owner would join the chamber, it is now becoming more of an individualized process – a single courtship that must occur. Social media has given everyone a voice and an expectation that their needs and concerns will be addressed. If you can personalize the member experience you’re bound to have more loyal members.
Loyal, satisfied members talk.
Paying attention to why your members join and offering more of those reasons to them, will help your chamber remain strong through the upcoming decades.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image via Flickr by Liam Quinn