When I was in college, I had a summer job as a server for the local Pizza Hut in North Platte, Nebraska. It was a great summer gig – flexible hours, uncomplicated menu, extra cash from tips. Plus, I worked for a great boss.

One morning, as we gathered for our weekly team meeting, the boss kicked off the meeting by requesting that we sit in silence. Then, he just stood there in front of us. This was not a typical way to begin a meeting. It actually became uncomfortable and awkward as he just stood there, looking at us, looking at him.

After what felt like an eternity, he finally looked at his watch and said, “THAT was 2 minutes”.

What?!? Only two minutes? It felt SO much longer than that.

He went on to point out that this is what two minutes feels like when a customer is standing at the door waiting to be seated. Or needing a drink refill. Or waiting for their bill.

Point made. Life lesson taught. Well done, Pizza Hut boss.

On the surface, the lesson is about delivering good customer service. More deeply, it’s really about the existence of two different perspectives on the same experience.

This explains why your organization can deliver something you believe is exceptional and yet it doesn’t move the dial for your recruitment or retention goals. There’s likely *something* that isn’t quite connecting for members and it’s really hard to figure out what that is, until you can perceive the experience through their eyes.

That’s why I believe the co-creation process is so powerful. Bringing an organization and their members around the same table solves problems in a way that is more likely to resonate for members.

I'm curious if you've ever experienced an a-ha moment like this – where it suddenly “clicked” that you were seeing things differently than the member’s perspective?

I'd love to hear about your thoughts in the comments. 

 

Joy Duling is Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.  Since 2005, Joy and her team have helped associations, trade groups and membership-based nonprofits run their programs more easily and deliver exceptional member care.

You can find FREE tools, tips and training to help you run and grow your membership organization in The Joy of Membership Help Hub.