The Steady Thumpa-Thumpa-Thumpa – THAT’s Your Member Experience

May 20, 2020

When my daughter was in fifth grade, she started playing the bass in her school orchestra. It was a big beast of an instrument – even the quarter-size version was bigger than she was. Her dad and I spent many years lugging that thing between home and school. In fact, she was so little when she started that she had to stand on a stool so that she’d be tall enough to reach the strings. (Yes, as a mom, I thought that was the cutest thing ever.)

By the time she got into high school, she was pretty darn good on that thing. One of my favorite memories is watching her play in jazz band concerts where I could always pick out that steady bass line – thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa.

Up and down the strings, she’d work, striking each note with rhythmic precision. She wasn’t typically the one in the spotlight. No, that was left to the flashier trumpets, trombones, and saxophones.

Instead, her work set the beat and created the foundation that the other instruments would build on.

The reason why I’m telling this story is because most people think that member experience is the big flashy stuff – slick welcome kits, fancy technologies, unscalable processes, etc. Things that provoke a “wow”, but simply aren’t practical, affordable, or realistic for organizations that have lean staffing and budgets.

This simply is not true. Your member experience is the thumpa-thumpa-thumpa base line that pulses underneath everything that you do. It’s a predictable rhythm, delivering exactly what is needed when it is needed. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to be there and it does have to be reliable.

Just as a bassist has to work to perfect their craft, delivering an effective member experience also requires attentive practice. Left to happenstance, the rhythm of your member experience will be off and the whole piece of work can feel out of sync.

How intentional is the rhythmic beat of member experience within your organization? Are there places where you hear it strong and other spots where you’re concerned that it’s “off” or becomes muffled?

Hit reply and share your thoughts. I personally read every response.

Hey there.  I’m Joy Duling, Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.

Clients hire me to help them design and deliver exceptional member experiences. If you lead an association, trade group, or membership-based nonprofit, you can find FREE resources to help you run and grow your membership organization by visiting here:

I look forward to connecting with you there.