❔"Are there differences in how to approach member experience versus customer experience?"❔
Are you ready to define what customer experience success means for a nonprofit organization, association, or even a professional development organization? In this enlightening episode, Jeannie Walters places a spotlight on customer experience (CX) in member-based organizations and shows how you can use best practices and tools from the CX toolkit.
With a focus on the individuals your organization serves, let's navigate the member experience journey and discover how CX can help you understand and fulfill the promise that you've made to your members. Anybody who calls themselves a member of something feels a certain sense of belonging. We want to respect that and make sure that we are inviting them to belong in all the right ways. Together, we'll tackle the conventional ways of tracking success and uncover why they may or may not be the best fit for your organization. Tune in, engage, and let's revolutionize your member experience.
Learn more about CXI® Flight School -- cxiflightschool.com
CX Mission Statement Workbook -- bit.ly/cx-mission-workbook
CX Success Statement Workbook -- bit.ly/cx-success-workbook
Experience Investigators Learning Center -- experienceinvestigators.com
Experience Action. Let's stop just talking about customer experience, employee experience and the experience of leaders. Let's turn ideas into action. Your host, Jeannie Walters, is an award-winning customer experience expert, international keynote speaker and founder of Experience Investigators, a strategic consulting firm helping companies increase sales and customer retention through elevated customer experiences. Ready, Set, Action.Jeannie Walters:
Hey there everyone. It's another edition of Experience Action with me, Jeannie Walters, and before we get started today, I just want to remind you to check out cxiflightschool. com. But we've got a great question yet again, so let's get started.Listener Question:
Hi, Jeannie, my name is Jack. I've been following you for quite some time on LinkedIn and your content has really helped me as an experience professional. But I actually run a member-driven organization. We're a non-profit and I've been wondering if there are differences in how to approach member experience versus customer experience.Jeannie Walters:
I love this question again. Do I say that every week? I feel like I say that every week.Listener Question:
It doesn't mean, it's not true though.Jeannie Walters:
You all are so smart with the questions that you bring forward. So here's something that's really interesting when I talk to different prospects, different clients, different organizations, what have you, a lot of times they come up to me, individuals will come up to me and they'll say you know what, Jeannie? This all sounds great. I love how you talk about customer experience, but I work in B2B or I work in a non-profit, or I work in education or health care or fill- in- the- blank, and somehow they think that what we do in customer experience doesn't necessarily apply to them or it's just too different, too abstract. They can't get their leaders on board. So here's what I would say is the real difference. When you're talking about member experience in nonprofits or associations, maybe different professional development organizations, things like that, when we're talking about member experience, the ultimate goals are pretty much the same as customer experience. We want to make sure that we are focused on the individual that we are serving, that our organization is serving. Somehow or other, our brand, our organization, whatever we want to call it. We made a promise. We said this is the experience that you're going to get. This is why your time, your membership fee, your dues, your volunteerism, your donation. This is why it's worth it. And so number one in both member experience and customer experience, but I think there's a special place for this member experience, is to really understand what is the promise that you've made to your members, and so that all comes back to understanding those foundational parts of building a member experience program. Number one: do you have a member experience mission statement? What are we really promising? And I'm going to give you a little clue here. In today's world, we can't just say that we are offering things like networking or professional resources, because in today's world, most people can find those things outside of the organizations of yesteryear. So we really have to think hard about the member experience journey. What does it look like in the beginning? What is the value for somebody who's just joining? How do we keep them engaged? How do we make sure that we're supporting them on whatever journey they're actually on? So, for example, a lot of nonprofits kind of rely on donors again and again and again, and they don't necessarily change how they're communicating with them and they might start seeing that donorship goes down after a while. And that's because we have to make sure that we are meeting people where they are. Now think about how we move through the world as individuals. Different phases of life have different priorities. We might have different needs, we have different expectations. So we have to really make sure that we're matching up the member journey of a nonprofit or a professional association or a university or any of those things alongside what is actually happening for this person, because a lot of professional associations, for example, they often have trouble retaining members in today's economy because people might do something for a year and think, well, I don't know, that's a lot of money for something that maybe I can get outside of the association. So we really have to look at what is the promise that we're making and how do we live up to that along the member journey within context of what the member is actually going through. We need to understand them. So that's one area of difference I would say is to really understand that journey in a different way than just a customer journey. The other thing that I've seen is that a lot of times these organizations with members, their members might play many different roles all at the same time. For example, in a professional development organization, I might, as a member, attend different learning events and I might volunteer on a committee and I might help plan one of those events and then they might ask me to present to my peers. So, in a way, I'm both gaining the benefits of being a member and providing them at the same time for my fellow members. That's a win-win. So what does all of that mean? Well, that's when you might want to look at what are you tracking? What are your measures of success? So, just like we build a customer experience success statement, I would encourage you to look at a member experience success statement, because there might be different ways that you measure, because in traditional capitalist commercialism we are really tracking things like hey, how much revenue are we getting, how many sales? All those things that might not exactly apply to an organization with membership. So what you might want to do is really look at your goals, understand some of the research you might have available and look for things like wow, we've noticed that when people volunteer, they stay longer. That's a clue. So what does that mean? Well, how can we find ways to get people involved in a less time-heavy way? Because the number one thing people will tell you when they say no to volunteering is that it takes too much time, they have different priorities. What if we offered a micro-volunteering opportunity to get people engaged and involved without as much commitment? How can we build that journey so that they're more likely to get engaged the further along they go on that journey with us? And then ask yourself what are your organizational goals? Do you want to increase member retention? Do you want to increase referrals? Do you want to increase advocacy or donations or amplification of your message? Whatever your goals are, it's very important to really make sure that you understand what success looks like. Now I've worked with quite a few nonprofit organizations and one of the things that I've noticed is actually there is sometimes, just like in customer experience, a heavy emphasis on things like acquisition. How do we get more members? More, more, more. And we're not necessarily paying attention to how do we keep our members and get them so engaged that they are helping us get more members? So really look at and extrapolate what are the real goals that you're trying to get for your organization and how can the member experience that you provide for your members actually support those goals and the vision for your organization? Of course, I love using journey mapping. Now I did this with an organization I'm a member of and we realized that we had this whole group that we referred to as alumni. They had been through the initial program, they were paying their dues, but not much else, and the board asked me to really help them figure that out. And what we figured out was we didn't know what the promise was. Once you went through that initial program, which was amazing. How do we actually, what are we promising alumni after that? And so we had to really look at what is the alumni experience specifically for this membership, and it really opened up so many opportunities and, ironically, it made that initial program even better because we were able to get those alumni more involved. So, really, as you think about the value of your organization for your membership, make sure you understand the promise that you've made, make sure you understand what the organizational goals are, and then really look to any research you have as far as surveys or journey mapping or these different opportunities to get people involved, because that will tell you you know what if we helped people get involved earlier or more frequently? Or you know we're offering all these webinars and nobody's showing up, what are we doing wrong? It gives you information about what the member experience really is, and then, of course, you want to make sure you're monitoring and evaluating and acting on your member experience performance. This is based on the metrics, that you track those measurements of success and then really look at what is happening over time. Now, sometimes what happens is the world changes and we don't change with it, and I've seen this quite a bit with member driven organizations. We have to make sure that we're paying attention to what is happening outside of their membership. How can we support people either at that individual level or sometimes we have organizational members based on the type of organization we're running and really look for what is it that we can do to really support the real lives of our members? We want to collect feedback from our members. We want to make sure we're checking with our stakeholders. Sometimes those include boards, sometimes those include donors, sometimes those include leaders of the organization that could be sponsoring this type of nonprofit. We really want to continue to check in with them. And then we want to show how we are improving the member experience, continue to paint a picture for the future so people understand where this organization is going, why they will benefit from it and how they can really contribute and be a part of it. Anybody who calls themselves a member of something, they feel a certain sense of belonging. So, we want to respect that and make sure that we are inviting them to belong in all the right ways. So I really respect what you're doing. I think it's great when we do have an opportunity to include members in this way, whether you're a credit union or a school or a nonprofit or an advocacy agency or a professional development group, whatever. I think it's pretty amazing that we as humans raise our hand and say I want to be a part of that, and so that's something we should really really respect and we should make sure that, individually, they feel like they belong. And so, using journey mapping, using measurements of success, tracking and analyzing the feedback, acting on it and then communicating both with our membership and with those stakeholders that's really what's going to move your member experience forward. And all of those things I just mentioned are best practices and tools in the toolkit from customer experience. So if you're listening to this and you're thinking, well, I've heard you say member experience more in this episode than I've ever heard you say. That's probably true, but customer experience can be applied in many, many ways. The difference is defining your own success. Make sure that you understand what your organizational and your membership goals are. So I hope that's helpful. Keep up the great work. I love all you nonprofit people. I know it's hard work and I know that there are lots of individual people who not only feel a sense of belonging, but they feel a sense of ownership in a way that they want you to know. So I know that sometimes dealing with members can be a unique set of challenges as well, but that's why hearing their feedback, letting them know where the organization is going, can really really be successful. So keep up the great work everybody. Don't forget to check out CXIFlightSchool. com. It's CXIFlightSchool. com. For those of you who have asked, CXI stands for Customer Experience Investigation. Technically, that's our registered trademark, but I like to say it's also about innovation and inspiration and imagination and all these amazing things. So check that out and let me know what you think and, as always, leave me your question. I cannot wait to hear what you smart people ask me next week. Thanks so much, and I'll see you next week. To learn more about our strategic approach to experience. Check out free resources at ExperienceInvestigators. com , where you can sign up for our newsletter, our year of CX program, and more. And, please follow me, Jeannie Walters, on LinkedIn.