December 2, 2015

How the Consumer Market Is Transforming the Association Space

How the Consumer Market Is Transforming the Association Space

For decades, technology has aggressively advanced the consumer market. Our cell phones have become our lifelines and instant gratification is the norm. Rather than calling movie theatres for movie times, we can use an app to not only buy tickets, but reserve the seats as well. Booking travel online has become the preferred method and paying bills can easily be done during a lunch break. Technology allows consumers to indulge in a buffet of services, right at their fingertips. These advancements have not only changed the way we live our lives, but how we manage our personal health, finances, businesses, and even professional memberships. Technology allows consumers to do everything instantly, shouldn’t they expect the same from their membership experience? Associations with outdated practices and technology are not meeting their members’ expectations. It’s time to take a look at how associations can survive in the age of instant gratification.

It's hard to think of a time when we weren't able to complete tasks electronically.

These changes have affected the way association’s members view their membership experience. Rather than calling their association to update their member information, they want to do it at the touch of a button. Instead of mailing a check to pay dues, they want to pay online. These are all changes that associations must make in order to keep their members satisfied. Just like everything else in their world, members want to experience one thing: convenience. Members want to update their membership information as easily as their Facebook status.

It is becoming vital for associations to not only keep up with the demands of their members, but today’s need for instant gratification.

Associations can do this by providing their members the ability to self-serve. Your members should be able to do things at their own convenience. Gone are the days of waiting hours to receive membership benefits. With online registration and automation, members can receive value from their new membership in a matter of minutes. These self-service capabilities not only empower members, but alleviate staff of additional manual work. Staff members are able to focus on their primary responsibilities, rather than manually updating member data.

Self-service capabilities motivate your members to be active in their membership while allowing your staff to be more effective and efficient. To learn more about how giving your members more power can improve their experience, download our white paper Self­-Service and Member Happiness.