Graham Penman

Graham Penman

I'm Graham, Head of Automation at jaam. My goal is to help companies, departments, and individual users be more effective through automation by combining great people and great technology.

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Taming the Renewals Monster: Top tips for membership organisations

Rnewals Monster

As a chartered body, regulatory agency or another type of membership organisation, you likely understand the struggle of ensuring timely membership or subscription renewals. The survival of your organisation hinges on member retention, yet managing the end-to-end process can be an ogre-sized challenge.

At jaam, we call it the Renewals Monster: a complex, timing-consuming beast that involves reminding members to renew at the right time, providing clear instructions, handling payments, ensuring all details are up-to-date, and more.  

Are these scary issues keeping you up at night?

We’ve identified four mini monsters that might be disrupting your renewals workflow – and your sleep. Let’s explore these challenges in more detail and examine the tools and strategies that can be deployed to tame the beast.

1. The Data Monster

Data Monster

It may seem obvious, but it all starts with your data: where it’s located, how it’s accessed, its uses, and its accuracy.

Data gremlins tend to creep in when information is managed in outdated systems. CRMs are crucial as they hold essential data, but they often sit in old platforms that complicate data integration. This leads to data that’s fragmented and managed in inefficient ways, such as using Excel for imports and exports.

Unfortunately, this creates a domino effect on reporting and analytics, making it nearly impossible to gain actionable insights from your membership base. Additionally, while there’s much discussion about how AI can transform organisations, its effectiveness is limited without high-quality data.

A key aspect of our work with member organisations is to ensure data quality. Data that is accurate, complete, consistent and reliable provides a strong foundation for strategic decision-making and growth.

Here’s what quality data looks like:

  • Accurate: Correctly captures member interactions.
  • Complete: All necessary fields are populated for thorough analysis and informed decision-making.
  • Consistent: Uniform across all platforms and databases, providing a clear view of members and their needs.
  • Timely: Up-to-date, reflecting the current state to support agile and accurate decisions.
  • Relevant: Pertinent to the objectives, focusing on what matters most and avoiding distractions.
  • Valid: Adheres to defined rules and frameworks to ensure the integrity of analysis and outcomes.

2. The Process Monster

For many, the renewals season is met with a sense of dread. Manual tasks upon manual tasks are required, from sending out renewal notices and follow-up emails to chasing payments and processing invoices.

Process Monster

When every step relies on human intervention, it becomes a substantial drain on time and resources. Often, organisations are forced to bring in additional temporary staff to handle the influx of renewals-related tasks.

When these processes are run manually, it also introduces a risk of errors. Whether it’s a typo in a renewal notice, a missed follow-up email or an oversight in invoice processing, the manual nature of these tasks leaves ample room for mistakes. These mistakes can lead to delays in renewals, payment discrepancies and ultimately, dissatisfaction among members.

It also means an inconsistent member experience. We all work differently, and that’s great! But each staff member may have their own approach to managing renewals, leading to variations in communication styles, timing and accuracy. It can complicate things. Knowledge silos can appear. Ultimately, these manual processes lack scalability.

As organisations grow and membership numbers increase, the burden of managing renewals manually becomes increasingly unsustainable. Without scalable solutions in place, organisations risk becoming overwhelmed by the sheer volume of renewals-related tasks, hindering their ability to effectively manage their membership base.

3. The Payment Monster

Payment Monster

This tricky problem has many teeth. Has it ever bitten your team?

Despite the prevalence of digital transaction platforms, many organisations still rely on traditional payment methods. This could be due to member preferences or a reluctance to change. Payments are often taken over the phone, cheques still arrive by mail, and BACS transfers are pushed into bank accounts without clear identification.

Unfortunately, these methods slow down the payment collection process and introduce unnecessary complexities and risks. Each payment must be manually processed, recorded and reconciled with the corresponding membership account, turning payment reconciliation, payer identification and membership status updates into a logistical nightmare.

Additionally, each payment channel has its own processes, timelines and requirements. These must all be carefully coordinated to ensure smooth financial operations.

4. The Product Monster

Offering a diverse portfolio of membership options is great for providing value, but it also makes the renewals process monstrously complicated.

Product Monster

Variables like geographical locations, professional bandings and organisational sizes make it difficult to keep member communications seamless. How do you make sure that every member gets the right information at the right time?   

Segmenting members into distinct groups based on shared characteristics or preferences is a common solution, but this relies on having robust data management systems that can analyse and sort data accurately, ensuring that each segment receives tailored communications that are relevant to their specific needs.

Another challenge lurking in the shadows? The unique renewal rules, prices and eligibility criteria associated with different membership levels. For global organisations, the additional need to handle various currencies adds complexity. Managing these issues and ensuring accurate renewal fees requires a sound data management strategy.

Together, these mini monsters create a formidable beast. How do you tame it?

When embarking on a quest to tame your Renewals Monster, technology is your trusty sidekick. The following automation and AI solutions can help you cut through the chaos. Choose one or use them all – they work together like a band of steadfast companions.   

Process automation and workflow management solutions

These technologies transform manual, paperwork-intensive tasks into streamlined, digital processes. Automatically orchestrate the entire membership renewal lifecycle, integrating data from various sources and pulling in capabilities as needed, from AI to human expertise. With this approach, you can minimise human error, bridge data divides and ensure a seamless flow of information across platforms, keeping member data consistently up-to-date and readily accessible.

Document automation and processing

Save time, reduce effort and improve accuracy by automating all document-related tasks in the end-to-end renewals process. By auto-generating renewal notices, invoices and other communications based on predefined templates and data integration, you can speed up response times and provide a smoother renewal experience for members.

Software robots

Using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology, your team can deploy software robots to handle tasks across various software applications and systems. This is particularly useful if you have a fragmented IT setup and a complex membership structure.

These robots can automatically adjust renewal prices based on different membership tiers by fetching the relevant data, applying the correct pricing rules and ensuring accurate billing for each member. Plus, they can generate detailed reports on renewal rates, member retention and other metrics across different membership categories, helping to streamline operations.  


Chatbots can significantly enhance the member service aspect of renewals by providing 24/7 assistance. They can answer renewal-related queries, guide members through the renewal process and even handle transactions like fee payments. Chatbots can be integrated into your organisation’s website or mobile app, offering a convenient and interactive way for members to renew their memberships anytime and from anywhere.

Mobile apps

Having a mobile app can increase member engagement and satisfaction, as it provides a seamless, accessible and efficient way to handle renewals and other membership-related activities. Members can manage their accounts, receive renewal notifications and complete renewals directly from their smartphones.

AI and advanced analytics

Advanced data analytics and machine learning algorithms can dig deep into your data, unearthing hidden insights that reveal the true needs, behaviours and preferences of your members. This allows you to craft personalised member offerings and communications, using tools like AI-driven personalisation engines.

AI’s prowess doesn’t stop there. It can also curate and deliver content that aligns perfectly with individual member interests, significantly boosting engagement levels. Whether it’s through tailored newsletters, dynamic website content or targeted social media posts, AI ensures that each member receives the information most relevant to them, thereby enhancing the overall value of their membership.

Lastly, AI’s ability to scrutinise patterns in member renewal and churn rates can provide you with the foresight to predict future behaviours. This proactive approach allows you to tailor renewal strategies to better meet member needs and significantly boost retention rates.

In all these ways, automation and AI technologies help you to subdue the Renewals Monster and restore peace to your membership realm.

jaam to the rescue!

With our expertise in technology and experience in partnering with membership organisations, jaam is here to help you harness chaos and turn even the most gruesome renewals process into an efficient, powerful catalyst for growth in your organisation.

Here’s how we can support you at every step of the journey:

  • Understand the process:
    We’ll start by mapping out your entire renewals process to identify all the touchpoints from member interaction to board decisions. This helps pinpoint where challenges such as data inconsistencies or unnecessary manual tasks exist.
  • Break down the challenges:
    Once the challenges are clear, we’ll work with you to divide them into smaller, more manageable parts. This approach prevents you from feeling overwhelmed and allows us to focus our attention on each specific issue.
  • Implement solutions:
    For each identified challenge, we’ll help you to identify and implement targeted technology solutions. This could involve automating tasks with low-code tools, enhancing data quality or streamlining payment processes.
  • Transform the process:
    Our ultimate goal is to optimise your renewal process by leveraging the latest in technology, data analytics and AI. This step transforms the beast from a fiend into a friend – one that is efficient, member-centric and adaptable.
  • Reap the benefits:
    With a well-tamed renewals process, you can expect improved member satisfaction, enhanced operational efficiency, and better sustainability and growth for your organisation.

Ready to battle it out with your Renewals Monster?

Explore this topic in more detail by watching our webinar and exploring our CIARB case study.  Or get in touch now to find out how the jaam team can work with you to transform your process into a powerhouse of efficiency. And turn that monster into something cute and friendly.

The Renewals Monster