Demonstrate member value by frustrating your members

Best Practices : Article

association_value You’re right, that title seems really counterintuitive. Let’s be honest, it’s really never a good idea to frustrate your members. Ever. But a recent experience on my home front brought that concept to mind. Let me explain. 

One recent morning – on a school and work day nonetheless! – our internet service at the house stopped. With a big family and oodles of connected devices, that’s always a pretty bad scenario. Right as we began to troubleshoot, a message came onto our PC screen from our ISP: “Pay your bill now, and your Internet service will resume immediately.” After a quick phone call to the ISP office to verify authenticity, a few clicks later payment was made and within seconds service resumed. (It turns out a newly issued credit card had fouled the auto-pay on our account, and the ISP wasn’t happy about it.) 

While the ISP’s action was perhaps a bit heavy handed (perhaps a glimpse into the ugly future of Internet accounts receivable?), it made me think about delivering membership value in associations. If a member of your association were to get locked out of your organization’s website because their dues renewal was unpaid, would they get so frustrated about not getting to your content that they would call immediately to settle their debt? Inducing that level of panic through association content may not be totally realistic, of course, but it is a question worth considering as your organization builds and manages its membership value proposition: How annoyed would your members be if they couldn’t get at a particular benefit for some reason? If the answer is that they’d be about ready to storm your association’s offices to demand access, then you probably have a benefit worth keeping. 

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