What do these companies do that could benefit chambers? They use auto-renew payment processing for their memberships.
A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook asked:
Does anyone do an automatic payment for dues? Something where people are automatically renewed?
There were several chamber professionals who rang in on the topic. In addition to needing a credit card or ACH on file, there are also several other things to keep in mind. Here’s what they had to say about offering auto-renewals.
Tips to Auto-renewing Memberships
Your members must be aware of this change. The most common way to handle this is to include a check box next to language stating that they understand they will be charged upon their membership anniversary date (or other agreed upon time).
Send out reminders
Even though you had them agree to it in the beginning, it’s probably been almost a year. Remind them their card will be charged on X date and ask them to review their billing information. People switch cards and accounts over the course of a year and performing this step will cut down on chasing payment for declined cards later.
Have technology that supports you
If you’re going to offer an auto-renew feature, make sure you are not creating more work for yourself. The point of auto-renew is to make things easier on the member and your administrative staff. If you’re hand keying individual invoices one at a time, and if a large percentage of your membership opts into this, you could have an administrative headache and a half.
Auto-renewals open up the door to monthly
If you have technology that simplifies the billing cycle, auto-renewals can also be applied to a monthly membership. If you choose to go in this direction, you’ll want to ensure you have a system in place for card declines and lapsed memberships, especially if you offer members discounts, as this can produce a lot of extra administrative work.
Are you auto-billing and using auto-renewals for your members? Tell us about it here.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image credit: Norma Davey