advocacy blue

Member experiences that result in advocacy, or not

What is it about the member experience that results in members advocating, or not, others to join their professional association? For many it’s a culmination of experiences, though there can be just one key touchpoint that can lead to a make or break, as my examples below show:

Business woman Copy

This member was generally satisfied with her professional association membership. She was receiving regular updates about changes to legislation, educational resources and local events. She was engaging as and when it seemed relevant. Then a friend recommended she spend quite a lot of money to attend the annual conference. Trusting this friend explicitly she booked a place and went along. The content of that conference, the inspiration gained from the speakers and the networking that took place resulted in this person becoming emotionally engaged and bonded with the association like never before. She now understands their strategy and what they are striving to achieve within the profession and wants greater involvement. She is also now a strong advocate of both the association and the conference.

college student Copy

This member was in the early stages of her career and had attended a number of training courses accredited by her professional association. She was also broadly satisfied with the association until she found that the higher level training course that she needed to attend wasn’t available locally. Despite complaining on several occasions it appeared that no-one was listening or making any effort to help her progress in her career. As a consequence, this person was very reticent to recommend the association to others.

Casual businessman2 Copy

This person thought they would make an effort to engage with the local branch of their association and meet others in their profession, and so went along to a local meeting after work.  At the desk he registered his name, sat on one of the chairs laid out theatre style, listened to the speaker of the evening and then went home. No-one really welcomed him or engaged him in conversation and he was too shy to break into the friendship groups that were so apparent. This left him disappointed and unlikely to recommend others to join the association and become an active member.

These real examples demonstrate how important it is to map the member journey and understand the experiences that members are having along the way. This mapping is generally undertaken using qualitative research, with provides the opportunity to explore in detail behaviours and attitudes, and identify the nuances of experiences that trigger positive outcomes.

By Heather Forrester, Managing Director


This entry was posted in Membership, tagged Engagement and posted on August 17, 2016

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