The ‘JOY’ of membership

Why is is important to create an incredible member experience? This question was posed to us at a recent workshop convened by Answers for Associations, facilitated by Sue Froggatt. The day was jam packed with very thought provoking ideas, dispelling a number of misconceptions and empowering us to think outside the square when creating a memorable experience for members.

We at Regional Leadership are only starting to embark on our membership journey and so the workshop came at a very critical time in the thinking and design of what a memorable experience might look and feel like.

Sue provided her worldwide expertise and was more than generous in providing other insights and tips to all of us, taking the time to understand our organisations.

A number of key takeaways for me on the day include:
1. Successful membership organisations have a strong Member-centric culture. Culture is critical and must be understood and demonstrated by the Board and staff.
2. Customer service does not equal customer experience, we need to understand the member experience through the lens of “feeling.”

3. We need to develop a member journey map for the various member journey’s e.g. “the journey into membership”, “the first year of membership,” and “the participant journey into membership” to name a few.
4. Consider the language we use, does it detract or inspire people/organisations to join, e.g. is using the word ‘member’ a detractor?
5. Are we in the membership space or the peak association space and therefore should we consider different terminology for those who want to join? How does our community want to ‘associate’ with us?
5. Critically, we need to develop a clear member experience statement which articulates what and how we want our members to feel and how we will measure this.

So after a long day in Sydney I headed for the airport to reflect and think about the day and how the learnings might inform our membership offer. In particular I considered deeply what relationships could RL offer people and organisations and how we might map the journey of each relationship so everyone who ‘joins’ RL experiences the ‘JOY’ of membership in whatever form that takes.

thanks again to Answers for Associations and Sue Froggatt for a memorable workshop.

Kat Baddeley

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