During challenging times it is important for us to optimise member engagement to enable enhanced member value, existing member retention and growth particularly when it costs us 8 x more to recruit a new member than retain an existing member.
In this short blog article Sector Thought-Leader and consultant, Sue Froggatt, introduces us to a new member engagement related concept – Member Experience Engineering…
What is Member Experience Engineering?
Member Experience Engingeering focuses on evaluating the membership experience and either removing negative elements of the experience or enhancing/buidling upon the positive elements.
Where did the concept originate?
I first read about the concept of ‘engineering the customers experiences’ back in 1994 in an article by Carbone and Haeckel from IBM in the journal Marketing Management. Before this Bill Gates was looking into the user experience. He built special labs to observe the customer using the hardware and software. He realised it was the experience that was driving value. The intangibles (feelings and experiences) were more important and valuable that the tangibles. The concept has been around in the commercial sector for a while, but is relatively new to the membership sector and it’s the subject of a book I am co-authoring with US membership expert Mark Levin, called ‘Managing the Membership Experience’.
Why do you think there is a need for member experience engineering?
Today we are all short of time and attention. Our time is precious. We don’t want it wasted. We don’t want to ‘jump through hoops’ to get simple things done, like having to repeat information again and again. If a customer has a bad experience, they will tell their friends, family and anyone else who will listen. They will become disengaged and disloyal, and if they have an opportunity to easily switch supplier, they will. So, we need to focus more on the membership experience. We need to find negative experiences and either eliminate them or engineer a more favorable outcome for the member.
What are the benefits of adopting this approach?
The business case for investing in the customer experience has been well documented. Engaged customers deliver a 23% increase in profitability and 86% of customer will pay more for a better experience. That’s why many leading commercial organisations, like Starbucks, Disney, McDonalds, Lego, General Electric and Eurostar, invest heavily in managing the customer experience. A membership organisation that becomes intentional about using this concept will increase value and expect to see more engagement and more loyal members.
How can I find out more about this emerging concept?
Sue will explore this new and evolving concept further in her session at the membership and association sector’s leading membership development focused conference, Membership Excellence 2015.
Find out more about Sue’s session and 20+ leading association/membership professional and expert led sessions PLUS interactive networking seminst stream, the sectors only dedicated membership development focused trade exhibition and inclusive professional networking drinks reception via our dedicated conference website – www.membershipexcellence.com.