How To Deal With Resistance To Change From Members When Implementing Member Jungle
Humans aren’t massive fans of change. At the dawn of almost every innovation, a human stood nearby, talking about why we don’t need to change anything. There is a good chance that when the first caveman managed to hack a chunk of stone into a wheel, another caveman was standing around complaining about it.
This certainly holds true when it comes to membership management software. One common thing we hear from club managers as they sign up is their concern about how their members will take the change. Some members worry about the technical aspect of the change, and others won’t understand why changes are being made, and others will simply oppose any change out of principle.
To help you with this, we have spoken to many of our current customers and got their advice on dealing with resistance from members when starting out with Member Jungle. Most, if not all of them, encountered some level of resistance to change when implementing Member Jungle, so their advice is extremely valuable. So, let’s get into it.
How to deal with resistance when implementing a membership management system:
- Make sure you have complete committee buy-in
- Hold Meetings
- Communicate clearly with members
- Explain why you are making changes
- Listen to member concerns
- Demonstrate new system
- Create user guides
Ensure Committee Buy-In
Before you can even talk to your members about your planned changes, you need to ensure you have your committee’s full support. The last thing you want is to try to get your members on board while a committee member is actively undermining your efforts. So, make sure all of the committee members agree upon the changes, and no one will throw a spanner in the works. This way, you can face your members as a united front.
Why Are Your Members Resisting You Implementing Member Jungle?
It might seem a little obvious, but working out exactly why your members are resisting you making changes to the club is the first and most important step in dealing with their resistance. You cannot begin to understand how to alleviate their concerns best if you don’t know exactly why they are having those concerns in the first place.
The best thing you can do is send out an email, newsletter or other communication to all your members informing them of your plan to start using Member Jungle. In that email, tell them you are planning an upcoming meeting to explain what changes are being made and why they are being made. Make sure that they know that this meeting will be the perfect time for anyone with questions and concerns to come along and voice them.
During this meeting and the upcoming few weeks, it is essential to explain why you are making changes and listen to their concerns. Doing this will allow you to address the concerns of your members better.
Hold Meetings With Your Members
The first meeting is a great opportunity to explain to your members what you are doing and why you are doing it, but you shouldn’t stop there. You should continue to organise meetings and discussions where members who have questions, concerns or problems with the planned changes can attend. This will give you the opportunity to continue to explain your reasoning behind the change and continue to alleviate the ongoing concerns of your members.
The hope here is that the more you talk with your members about this change, the fewer people will have concerns, and the fewer people will need to attend your ongoing meetings about the change.
Have A Change Champion
While holding a lot of meetings can be a great way to alleviate member concerns, you should also assign one or two committee members to champion your planned changes. These should be people who are fully behind your planned implementation of a membership management system and are prepared to field questions and emails from members about the planned changes. These champions are also the people who are available to help members set up and login in to their new accounts for the first time.
So, work out who will make the best change champion for your club and make sure your members know how to get a hold of them.
Communicate Clearly - Explain Why You Are Getting Member Jungle For Your Club
Explain The Problems Club Management Is Having
It is common for the administrators of your club to be facing problems that your members aren’t aware of. Often members are simply enjoying the club with no idea that the people who run the club are spending countless hours organising and managing the club with outdated and piecemeal systems.
So, in your initial email and meeting with your club members, take the time to explain the problems you and the other committee members are facing. Outline the challenges you are facing, the issues with your current system and how Member Jungle will help solve them. This can go a long way in getting your members onboard with your plan.
Clubs are close-knit communities; if your members understand how the change will benefit you, they will be less likely to resist it.
Explain How Member Jungle Will Benefit Your Club And Members
Member Jungle won’t just benefit you and the other club admins and committee members. It will also provide a lot of benefits to your members. So, make sure they know what these benefits are.
Make sure your members know how much easier renewals, event attendance and communication will be. Tell them about all the exciting new features like online merchandise stores, digital membership cards and the mobile app. Make sure they know about anything and everything you think your members are going to enjoy and benefit from.
This will be an exciting new chapter for your club; make sure your members know this and are looking forward to it.
Make Sure Your Members Know That Some Things Won’t Change
At the end of the day, clubs are about connection and relationships, so make sure your members know that these changes won’t affect that aspect. Make sure your members know how much you value this aspect of the club and that you promise not to lose the personal touches of your club.
Take Every Opportunity to Demonstrate Your New Member Jungle System
You are definitely going to want to show your members all the capabilities of your new Member Jungle system, and you can definitely do this during those early meetings, but there is no need to stop there.
Many of the customers we spoke to said that in the beginning, they often demonstrated features of the system at their events. If you think about it, this is a really great idea. Your members will already be gathered together, so why not spend ten minutes explaining something useful and exciting about the new system? Some clubs spent time showing their members how the mobile app would allow for easier check-in for upcoming events. Others explained how the group chat features would allow for easy communication during events. Others still would schedule five minutes out of their event to show members how automatic renewals would work in the future.
What features you decide to showcase during events is up to you, but it is definitely something worth doing. Your events will most likely have a higher turnout than meetings, so that makes them the perfect opportunity to demonstrate features to your members.
Teaching Your Members To Use Member Jungle - Creating User Guides & Catering To Technophobes
I once failed one of those “Are you a robot” test seven times in a row. Hearing that, you may be asking two questions; Do you have good vision? And are you at all concerned that you might actually be a robot? The answers to these questions are: Yes, it’s 20/20. Yes, deeply.
My slightly long-winded point here is that when it comes to technology, there will always be a range of different skill levels and willingness to embrace new technology. Your club is definitely going to have members who can pick up the new Member Jungle system and app in seconds and others who are going to need support and training to simply log in to the website.
Create User Guides For Your Members
Creating user guides for your new system is a really great way to support those members who are technologically challenged like me. Try creating easy-to-understand How To documents to help your members learn the new system, overcome any doubts they may have and be ready for the new system to go live. This should help alleviate some of the pushback from members saying things like, “I don’t want another app” or “It’s all too hard”.
When actually creating your user guides and help documents remember that Member Jungle offers a lot of helpful How To’s and guides for both admin and members alike on our support portal. Here is an example of one that is designed to teach members how to use the app, The Member Jungle Mobile App - As a Member.
I would recommend looking through the help portal yourself to find the articles that best suit your club and the questions your members have. Then put all the documents together in a Word document or other file so your members can easily access and read them. Remember to customise the information to suit your members best; don’t just give them the link to the support portal and hope they work it out for themselves.
Create Video User Guides
Your user guides don’t need to be just a few printouts and word documents, a lot of clubs create full videos and walkthroughs of the new system to help their members. This can be an extremely effective way of teaching your members how to use the new systems.
If you are looking for some great examples of these videos in practice you should watch the below video from Down Under Rally.
While you’re on the Down Under Rally’s YouTube page have a look at some of the other videos they have made for their members about implementing Member Jungle. They have made some really good ones on downloading the app and how to login and use the system. They are great examples of really taking the time to help your members through the changes, and would be great inspiration for your own how to videos.
Accounting For Technophobes
There will always be people who resist change, new technology and will go kicking and screaming into the modern world. For these people, all you can do is explain why you are changing and how it will help and hope for the best.
The good news is that despite the Member Jungle system allowing for automation and streamlined processes, it still allows you to do things the old-fashioned way. Suppose you have all your members on board except five holdouts who are utterly refusing. In that case, you can manage their membership, take in-person cash payments and still give them the old-fashioned plastic membership cards. Many clubs will eventually start charging extra for these manual services as they take up extra admin time, which is a good way to nudge them into adopting the new system. Remember that as useful as the app is, members can survive without it, and you don’t need all of your members on the app to start using Member Jungle properly.
Help Your Members Embrace Change
Change can be a scary prospect for anyone, but it really is the key to life. You made the right decision in choosing to use a membership management system to help you run your club. Now, all you need to do is help your members see why this is the right change to make.
Take the time to help and support your members through this change by hosting lots of meetings, creating user guides, and really listening to their concerns.
As I've already mentioned, a great place to start is the support portal. So jump on there and start finding information you want to share with your members. Remember, there is also training available for committee members if you want to make sure everyone is on the same page before you take this to your members.
If you are looking for some tips and making those all-important early meetings better, why not read, How To Run More Effective Club Meetings.
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