3 Key Takeaways from the 2019 ASAE Annual Expo

Robert S. Poulin
by Robert S. Poulin
President

Last Updated: October 18, 2019

AdobeStock_216002687agencyQ presented on Customer Experience at the 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting, a conference hosting over 6000 industry professionals from across the country. The conference brings together association leaders to discuss industry trends, showcase the latest in customer experience and member experience strategies, tools and techniques, and connect association professionals. Let’s do a quick recap on what we learned and how we have been applying this knowledge towards enabling associations to achieve their mission.

There were three major takeaways:

1. There Are No New Problems – How can you gain younger members and retain existing members, create cost-effective digital transformation, and enhance your organization’s marketing and advocacy abilities? You aren’t alone if you’re struggling with any of these. In fact, these challenges are becoming increasingly relevant as all associations must continually improve their abilities to stay relevant and start growing.

These are not new problems, but the root causes of them may be different for each organization. You need to gain a deep understanding of how these problems affect you, what the underlying issues are, and what strengths you can leverage to resolve them. Do you know who your members are and what they need? Do you know what’s changed over time for your members? Do you know what your competition is doing better or different? Every organization has to have answers for these questions if they want to overcome their challenges.

2. Design Thinking is Invaluable – Organizations of all kinds have trouble identifying the source of their pain. Investing in tools and strategies that allow your organization to drill down to identify your true pain points and the needs of your target audiences is vital. Without a comprehensive grasp on the problem, it’s genesis, and the areas of friction preventing progress, you’ll continue wasting resources focusing on the wrong problem.

Design Thinking and Design Sprints are methodologies that view strategic challenges holistically and focus attention on the real problem. These approaches draw from a wide range of perspectives within your organization to develop more effective solutions, which is particularly valuable for associations with a broad set of stakeholders involved in decisions.

3. CX is the Key – CX leverages your understanding of your members’ needs and pain points to improve their customer journey. The challenge is to align an organization’s value proposition to the specific needs of different member audiences. CX is how you communicate and reinforce your organization’s value proposition along each touchpoint in the customer journey. The key is anticipating individual members' needs and communicating relevant information at every step.

With a robust CX strategy, associations can recognize which negative aspects of their member experience can be eliminated- such as a difficult renewal process. To create great experiences for their members, associations need to identify positive experiences they already provide, determine which have the greatest potential for impact, and strengthen and elevate those. Amplifying positive experiences and removing negative experiences is key to providing value to your members.

Most associations already have the information on their members needed to enhance their customer experience, it’s a matter of interpreting the data and implementing the strategy effectively.



agencyQ led an interactive workshop at ASAE teaching organizations to implement these strategies. Being at the premier event for associations helps us understand the challenges they face and provide the best solutions. We know about the difficulty of diagnosing the root of your member, marketing and mission problems, and we have the expertise designing customer experience strategies to resolve them. Reach out to see how agencyQ can solve your biggest challenges and help you achieve your goals.

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