Making CX Your Business

Mom and Pop corner grocery stores can teach us a lot about getting to know our clients. Often a cornerstone of their neighborhoods, these small stores are as varied as the neighborhoods they serve. Their inventory tailored to meet the needs of the clientele. The owner’s eyes well attuned to both what is selling and who is buying it. Know your members and you’ll know your business. It’s easy to lose track of the specificity when running an Association with

Know your members and you’ll know your business. It’s easy to lose track of the specificity when running an Association with a membership that far exceeds the number of staff supporting them. It can be equally challenging for organizations to keep their work fresh and new for members with similar needs and opportunities. One of the most effective ways to keep your fingers on the pulse of your Association is to always know who your top 50 members are at any given time. It can seem daunting. Five or ten is way more manageable, but with such a small sample size (if your pool is substantially larger) may significantly skew your perspective. CX (Customer Experience) is quickly becoming an essential skill for organizations to get right.

One of the most effective ways to keep your fingers on the pulse of your Association is to always know who your top 50 members are at any given time. It can seem daunting. Five or ten is way more manageable, but with such a small sample size (if your pool is substantially larger) may significantly skew your perspective. CX (Customer Experience) is quickly becoming an essential skill for organizations to get right. According to a Walker study, by 2020 CX will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

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Taking the time to thoughtfully, but systematically track your Top 50 members will uniquely position you to:

  • See emerging trends in your members’ needs and develop new offerings when/where appropriate
  • Sustain a personalized level of knowledge of your member needs and interests
  • Better understand the lifecycle status of each member, which will;
  • Enable you to take action in servicing, growing, or replacing a member in your portfolio
  • Identify value-add opportunities for your members by connecting them to each other or like-minded resources

Spreadsheets and calendar reminders can be invaluable tools in managing yourself in this strategy that can be made more manageable through a process-driven approach. Or if your team uses project management tools like Asana or Basecamp, create a project that is literally “Top 50 Members” and create a centralized resource and action plan for sharing and tracking engagements and opportunities with each of them.

Sometimes the feeling of needing to “hustle” for members is easy to capture, other months the feeling of “auto-pilot” kicks in and in the blink-of-an-eye the relationship feels stale and is downgraded both in value and worth (consciously and unconsciously) in a member’s mind.

Commit to getting to know your Top 50 members over the next six months and see how it changes your Association. In better understanding your current members, you will more readily identify opportunities for new member prospects.

Keep the daily Mom and Pop “counter interaction” in mind when thinking about your organization. There’s a lot to learn in the verbal and nonverbal interaction with your members. Find out what makes them tick, what adds value both to them personally and their business, and you’ll have your own tailor-made offerings in no time that make you an invaluable cornerstone to their business.