YMCA Consumer Relations

            Hello friends and family! Hope everyone is doing well, staying happy and healthy! We’re back to spread word about the Y and their goodwill nature. Have you ever wondered how the YMCA keeps up relationships with their consumers? Consumer Relationship Management (CRM) is defined as, “A strategy for managing a company’s relationships with clients and potential clients. It often makes use of technology to automate the sales, marketing, customer service and technical processes of an organization” (Stokes, 2013, p. 203). How does the YMCA fit CRM into their business model? Well, let’s take a deeper look into what they do to make sure consumers stay engaging with the brand.

            Loyalty is everything when it comes to a brand, it is important to ensure that any organization keeps up with their consumer trends. In the realm of marketing, CRM is an important aspect to consider when reaching out to a target audience. If a CRM model is executed in an effective manner, there could be great benefits. It can promote customer loyalty, satisfaction, increase in revenue, and potential acquisition of new customers. Companies strive for quality, efficiency, and continual customer satisfaction. The happier the customer, the longer they stay with the brand.

YMCA CRM Program

            The YMCA provides services, information, and resources to their member and even non-members to be able to access on their website, social media, and local sources as well. Since the organization deals with getting the word out about their resources, the main focus of their CRM program is to reach their target audience, families, to help those in need. In order to reach this target audience, the information has to be put out there for people to find with ease. The best and easiest way to do that is through social media which is a platform that millions of people use on a daily basis. Because there are local Y’s near big cities all across the globe, the social media pages correlate with the local Y’s making it easier for locals to find their Y and the resources associated with it. There is daily engagement with consumers all over the world through these social media pages that output the latest news, information, and updates on the YMCA. All of the social media platforms lead back to the website so that people can gain more information about the organization. Beyond social media and the website, the YMCA utilizes “Salesforce technology, each YMCA is able to get a holistic view of every member that passes through their doors regardless if they are fitness center users or take advantage of the free programs the Y has to offer” (Salesforce.org, 2017, para. 3). With the technology, the Y is able to keep track of the people that use their services and that way they can cater to their needs to help expand their audience.

Customer Service Policies and Customer-Facing Business Process

            After searching the web for YMCA customer service policies, the conclusion of the search confirmed that there was no set-in-stone policy. Since the organization strives to benefit people in the community, customer service is aimed to ensure that people get the resources they need. The customer-facing business process is centered around making it easy for consumers to find information about the company and contact the Y if there is a need for further clarification. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, “YMCAs across the country are meeting urgent community needs by providing emergency services like childcare, food distribution, shelter and outreach to seniors” (YMCA USA, n.d.). The YMCA truly cares for the community and puts the community first making sure people are taken care of and provided for. There are many places throughout the website to contact the YMCA or find a local Y’s contact information to reach the necessary resources. Links to social media, email, phone numbers, and contact forms are listed in the contact us page as well as other places on the website.

            All content on the YMCA websites are geared towards families and within those families are different segments like children, adults, and seniors. When consumers navigate the company website’s resources, they will find information about youth development programs along with health and wellness programs for all ages. The website may not have specific customer service policies, but there are policies regarding ADA accommodation, youth wellness facility guidelines, cell phone and camera, childsafe environment, code of conduct, privacy, and whistleblower (YMCASF, n.d.). These policies that ensure inclusion, can be found on the Member and Guest Code of Conduct page within the website.

CRM Model

            The YMCA applies the Salesforce technology in their CRM Model, with the technology they are able to keep track of the details of people who have any experience with Y no matter how small the interaction. According to a Salesforce blog, “In 2019, 84% of customers said the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services — up from 80% in 2018” (Elson, 2019, para. 1). The blog further explains that customers value interaction with live representatives within the company. With the development and progression of technology, personal interactions are valuable for a full and positive customer experience. Salesforce talks about digital purchases, chatbots, and voice technology that have emerged in more recent years, which will continue to change the dynamics of CRM models everywhere.

            Since Salesforce presents valid points about the trends in the customer experience, the Y has yet to include some of the elements mentioned in their own CRM program. The YMCA makes it easy for customers to access any information, contact information, or resources that are necessary, however, chatbots could improve the experience. At times, some people may need elaborate information on specifics of programs that benefit them personally. Chatbots on the YMCA website could help consumers navigate the site to gain access to in depth information efficiently. With the upward trends of the overall customer experience, customer engagement provides the personal interaction that consumers seek when making decisions about what company they prefer. It is all about the customer and making sure they are satisfied, the Y is all about the community and to make the community happy, they could make small improvements to better the experience.

References

Elson, S. (2019, December 29). Customer Relationship Management Trends to Watch for in 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020, from https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2019/12/customer-relationship-management-trends.html

Insights. (2019, October 31). YMCA Member Loyalty: Y Choose Your Y? Retrieved July 31, 2020, from https://www.listen360.com/member-loyalty-ymca/

Salesforce.org. (2017, June 15). From A to Z: Salesforce and the Y. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.salesforce.org/blog/z-salesforce-y/

Stokes, R., & The Minds of Quirk. (2013). EMarketing: The essential guide to marketing in a digital world (5th ed.). Cape Town: Quirk eMarketing.

YMCA USA. (2020, July 28). YMCA of the USA. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.ymca.net/

YMCASF. (n.d.). Member and Guest Code of Conduct. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.ymcasf.org/policies/ymca-san-francisco-member-and-guest-code-conduct

Published by Sharleen Chandra

Hi, I’m Sharleen. Previously a teacher and social media marketing manager, I became a full-time student in the Marketing and Communications Master's Program at Franklin University. I spend most of my time with my family and my loving puppy. With SC Slice of Life, you will enter into a new world of endless possibilities! You will get lost in the adventures at every turn!

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