You Just Can’t Fake It

copy-of-susan_headshot4 With thanks to Bruce Temkin for The 6 Laws of Customer Experience: The Fundamental Truths that Define How Organizations Treat Customers , this essay looks at telling the truth to all your Toastmasters club members and prospective members all the time. In a word, it’s about transparency.

You can fool some people for some of the time, but most people can eventually tell what’s real and what’s not. Club members can sense if their happiness is not really a top priority with the executive team (Sergeant at Arms, Secretary, Treasurer, VP/Public Relations, VP/Membership, VP/Education, President. )

Second, no matter how much money, time and effort you spend on advertising, you can’t convince potential members that you provide better experiences for them than you do. They will discover exactly what your club is like on their first visit.

Here are some suggestions.

Don’t hide behind a 4th priority. While it’s possible to come up with a long list of priorities, there’s no way that many will get a great deal of attention. Anything below your 3rd priority is absolutely not a priority at all.  Make your club members’  experiences one of your top three priorities.

Sometimes it’s better not to start. If you’re not committed to excellence in member experience, then don’t start a major initiative; it’s a lot of hard work. And if member experience isn’t a top priority, then your club will likely fail. Frustrated club members will be increasingly reluctant to re-engage in membership retention and building in the future.

Advertise to reinforce, not to create positioning.  Since members ultimately know how you treat them, the best you can do with marketing is to reinforce the truth. If you want to change how you are perceived, then start by treating your members better. Then use advertising to reinforce the new way that they’re being treated. Talk about how individual members succeed and how they perceive those successes.

IF YOU ARE  NOT COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE IN MEMBER EXPERIENCE, YOU CAN ONLY FOOL YOURSELF.

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