26 February 2009
I think Jeffrey raises an interesting point: do associations use technology to insulate ourselves from our members rather than using it to automate routine tasks so that we can devote MORE time to personal service?
Like it or not, we live in a self-service culture. When was the last time you voluntarily went to teller line at the bank? And associations are in the service business these days, even more so than the more traditional information and advocacy roles we play. But we have increasingly rare opportunities to experience real human connection with our members. When those connections happen, I think it's critical that we think about ways to remove the rote so we can focus on the relationship.
So that becomes the question: where in your usual round of association business - joining and renewing, volunteering, purchasing products, registering for and attending events - can you create experiences that stand out to your members in a positive way and help them feel connected with your association and proud to claim membership?
In a time when people are looking closely at every penny they spend, we all better have some good answers to that question.