Client success initiatives have become very popular in the software space over the last five years. Client/customer success is defined as, “a business methodology of ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product or service. Customer success is relationship-focused client management, that aligns client and vendor goals for mutually beneficial outcomes.”  

Client success best practices involve understanding an organization’s key performance indicators and measures of success and proactively guiding them on how they can use your solution to meet their goals.  

Working with associations every day, I have seen many similarities in the product/client relationship and association/member relationship. Like software, associations work to demonstrate value on a regular basis and aim to ensure a renewal. Given the parallels, taking a page from the software book makes a lot of sense for associations trying to improve their member retention rates. 

The success or win interview is one popular client success strategy that you can implement for your members.  

When onboarding a new client, we conduct a success interview to kick off the relationship and level set on what success looks like for the organization. In this interview we ask key questions that serve as a touchstone to reference throughout implementation and beyond. We ask: 

  • What are your organizational goals? 
  • Imagine you have used the product consistently for a year. What will the product have done in that year to make your organization more successful? 
  • At what point will you be able to realize the full value of your investment? 

Now take these questions and alter them to fit how your association would interact with a new member: 

  • What are your professional goals? 
  • Imagine you have been a member for a year, what will your membership with our association have done in that year to make you more successful? 
  • At what point will you be able to realize the full value of your membership investment? 

By asking these questions at the start of the relationship youre able to gain key insights into the reasons an individual is joining your organization and what he or she hopes to get out of it.  

Depending on the answers to these questions you can immediately start to demonstrate value by promoting different offerings that will help them meet their goals. This could include education offerings, career advancement support, volunteer roles, and mentorship opportunities just to name a few.  

By showing you are invested in their goals and providing solutions to help them succeed right off the bat, you are starting on the path of earning a lifelong member. 

For more tips on supporting the lifetime member journey check out our whitepaper on how to deliver a great member experience from recruitment to renewal.