The road to creating an engaging and effective member experience is full of misperception potholes and long-standing “we’ve-always-done-it-this-way” detours. Sadly, such misperceptions and well-intended traditions can hold an organization back in its growth. I recently asked people who had gone through one of my Member Experience Design Groups about their perceptions about Experience Design BEFORE the program, vs. the reality that they discovered AFTER. Today, I want to share two themes that commonly arise. 1. Expecting change to happen from a narrow fix Julia summed it up perfectly, 

“Before attending the Member Experience Design Group, it was my perspective that we were in need of several defined processes to on-boarding a new member. After attending the Member Experience Design Group, I have realized the on-boarding stage is just one part of the entire Member Experience.”

In fact, one of the reasons why organizations often struggle to create change is because they focus on such a narrow piece of the experience that they can’t create traction. There are other parts still dragging them down, so the positive changes get lost. 2. Expecting that delivering a high-quality member experience requires more time and money Cindy said, 

“I thought I had to be available for everyone, regardless of whether it made sense for my time or if I was making money. I now realize there are many benefits that don’t cost time such as additional educational materials, clarity on what is included with the program, or even a small gift. The calls with other types of memberships has been very eye opening as I always get great ideas from them, such as having an introductory committee made up of members to welcome new people.”

There are many ways to leverage no-cost or low-cost strategies as part of a compelling member experience. What’s most important is the strategy behind the activity, not how much money or effort it requires. I’d love to hear about your experiences with member experience design.  What aspects have you been working on?  Where do you anticipate needing to improve in the year ahead? Drop a reply in the comments below and let me know! If you’d like to catch the Crowdcast that I did recently on this topic, you can go here. Have a great rest of your week, and Happy Thanksgiving!  How I Can Support You: When you're ready to do a deeper dive into the member experience that you're delivering so that your organization can grow more quickly and easily, I can help in 3 ways: 1) Strategy Only – where we map out your best approach to solve challenges and you implement on your own; or 2) Strategy + Team Support – where we map out your best approach to solve challenges and my team helps you implement; 3) Strategy + Group Support – where we map out your best approach to solve challenges and you work alongside other organizations who are working on the same thing. The best way to get started is by scheduling a quick call.   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.