Your member content and services may be highly relevant, valuable and stimulating, but without one priceless commodity – trust – the loyalty of your members will be impossible to sustain.
The biggest threat to member confidence currently lies in conducting online transactions – and it’s becoming increasingly challenging for organisations to be transparent and accurate, and to keep abreast of e-commerce regulations.
Here are five ‘rules’ for conducting trustworthy online transactions:
Be completely transparent about conditions. Information on cancelling, refunds and returns must be clear and easy to find, and the process simple. Payment solutions like Recurly automate tasks including generating invoices and issuing VAT receipts, making mistakes less likely.
Put members in control. Ask permission to store their transaction history, check how they want their details to be used, allow them to select the type and frequency of communications they receive, and let them update and change their own information via the website.
Add value. By linking the website to a delivery system like Yodel you can give members visibility of how their orders are progressing. Trust can also be boosted with a simple ‘review’ functionality that lets people rate their purchase and experience.
Encourage full and frank discussion. Create opportunities for members to participate in online conversations about your services by creating and owning a presence on social networks. You can link directly to your LinkedIn group or Facebook page from the website, while Twitter feeds can be incorporated into the homepage.
Integrate all back end systems. Building seamless and efficient transaction processes means integrating the website with payment systems and member databases, to create a ‘member relationship management’ solution.
Member trust is the most valuable commodity: easy to obtain, but very difficult to retain. By following these five rules, associations can turn their website into a secure ‘gateway’ to resources, content and merchandise.
Article published first in the TAF Forum Newsletter