Associations should always be looking for ways to boost their members success. Our last post discussed how essential a Value Proposition is to success. We know from that article that understanding your association’s Value Proposition requires a deep understanding of your members.
With that in mind here are three simple steps non profit leadership can take to get to know members better.
1. Recognize who your members are and how you should segment them
Who are your members? This question is more complicated than it sounds and will shed light on just how many different people are part of your organization. Once you figure out who is in your organization you can begin segmenting them into different groups. In professional organizations newer members may be there to network and find mentors while older members may be there for group insurance or headhunting.
By segmenting you can also identify trends in your membership that you may miss otherwise.
2. Understand member’s expectations
What do your member’s expect out of you? Even if you think you know the answer to this question it is useful to confirm by asking members. After you’ve segmented members as suggested above try to get someone from each segment’s opinion. Take your time thinking about their responses.
3. Check how you’re performing against your member’s expectations
Reflect honestly about how your association is doing compared with what members expect. First look at things you are doing well. You may need to make adjustments or small changes it is important to keep in mind all the things your members are appreciative of. After that examine which expectations you are not meeting. Are there key expectations your organization is not meeting? Prioritize them and get to work on repairing it.
There are likely a third category of things your organization does that were not covered. This third list is a great to look at because it will have inessential services on it. Some (but not all) of these services are not valued by your members so why are you spending money offering them?
When you are ready to sit down with members to learn about their expectations check out our post on great meetings. Have you been surprised by what members find valuable versus what you thought was valuable? Let us know in the comments or on social media.