Is this some kind of new and clever promotion? Pay 12 months for six months access?
I am contacting you regarding my lapsed membership of your august organisation, following receipt of my third and final renewal letter in the post today.
I confess to not being a lifetime member, nor spending every leisure hour seeking out NT properties, but I do live in a part of the country that is almost wholly owned by yourselves, so splashed out and bought family membership last year. We made good use of it, to wring out all the value an annual membership offers and was so impressed, I wrote a blog last year following a visit to your Ascott property near Leighton Buzzard.
You have reminded me in your letter that without my support, you cannot continue to protect 700 miles of glorious coastline, 200 inspirational gardens, 300 historic properties and 612,000 acres of precious countryside….that’s quite a burden of guilt to put on a pair of shoulders!
And the question is of course; what will I do on these barmy summer days when I no longer have access to 200 parks? However will I spend a rainy weekend when I’m no longer able to amble at leisure through galleries and libraries? How will I sleep at night knowing I am no longer doing something special and worthwhile and being an all-round good egg by helping to protect so many historic treasures for generations to come?
And what of your volunteers, will they miss me? I’ll sure miss them.
I’m getting through it somehow, but feel that as one of 3.7 million members, that your automated renewal letters and quaint ways of getting in touch are quite possibly limiting your numbers. You are clearly not short of communications staff who roll out impressive marketing campaigns, both on and off-line and are at home using persuasive language to encourage repeat purchase. But as is so often the case, the communications don’t chime with the gritty customer reality of membership renewal.
I haven’t told you what my problem is; my membership lapsed in February 2014 and for various reasons, I have not renewed it. This last letter made me chuckle as it must have slipped through the ‘is this lapsed customer going to laugh at us?’ department, because the expectation is that I will happily renew my membership back-dated to February 2014. You even thoughtfully included a Free post Plus envelope for my cheque. Why would I pay for 6 months for the price of 12? Is this a new type of clever promotion?
You do have options for your customers to get in touch:
- I could have entered into correspondence with you asking for the membership renewal date to be changed, but I don’t know where the nearest post box is nor what a stamp costs anymore.
- I don’t do telephones much these days either, so went onto your website to see what options you gave me there….there was only one option: back-dated renewal.
- Maybe I missed it, but why no email@example.com?
- No response on @nationaltrust and @southeastNT either.
I can’t be the only lapsed member? Does everyone just pay up regardless of how many months they actually have left to save our national treasures? Is this what you rely on?
Please don’t take your members for granted, by giving potential members lots of easy options and the rest of us don’t even deserve an email address.