Voice of the Member Research


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A presentation given for ASAE in November, 2008, concerning how to collect and use "Voice of the Member" data for associations.

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Voice of the Member Research

  1. 1. Voice of the Member Chris Stiehl & Henry DeVries StiehlWorks & New Client Marketing Institute November 19, 2008 Connecting Great Ideas and Great People
  2. 2. What We’ll Cover Today <ul><li>Why should we care about this topic? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we uncover the “Voice of the Member”? </li></ul><ul><li>What can we do with the “Voice of the Member” once we have it? </li></ul><ul><li>What other “Voices” might we listen to? </li></ul><ul><li>What examples of this type of work do we have? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Some of What You Will Learn <ul><li>Learn how to acquire the “Voice of the Member” in their language, organized the way that they think. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to develop metrics that predict success with your members and prospects. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to let your members write your member satisfaction surveys. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to use all of that information to take the most impactful action. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research at ASAE in San Diego <ul><li>We interviewed 15 members in attendance </li></ul><ul><li>We asked them what they would like to learn about doing “Voice of the Member” research </li></ul><ul><li>Almost all of them had surveys; many were doing occasional focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Most of them did not have a system for conducting the research, nor a systematic way of incorporating the data into their activities – they just reacted to low survey numbers </li></ul>
  5. 5. Results of Having a Systematic Approach <ul><li>Increased membership </li></ul><ul><li>Increased subscriptions to products </li></ul><ul><li>Increased interest among members in helping to attract more members </li></ul><ul><li>Higher customer satisfaction among members </li></ul><ul><li>Better retention rates; fewer defections </li></ul><ul><li>Attracted more former members back into the fold </li></ul>
  6. 6. An Example of What We Already Know versus How We Think About Success <ul><li>Let’s think about going to the movies… </li></ul>
  7. 7. Movie Theater Example <ul><li>If you owned a movie theater and went to Europe on vacation, what would you want to know about your business while you are gone? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Polling Question <ul><li>What would you need to know about the movie theater business to know that things were going well? </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue Complaints </li></ul><ul><li>Gross receipts Concessions receipts </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance Costs/Problems </li></ul>
  9. 9. Movie Theater – Part 2 <ul><li>You are trying to select between two theaters (equal price, distance and start times). How would you decide? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Polling Question <ul><li>How would you decide which theater to go to? Remember, start time, distance and price are non-issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Fresh Popcorn/Concessions Cleanliness </li></ul><ul><li>Type of crowd (no kids, etc.) Cup Holders </li></ul><ul><li>Comfortable Seating/Stadium Seating </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of Parking Friendly Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Convenience Quality Sound </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Movie Theater Example <ul><li>Why don’t the lists agree? How did we know they wouldn’t? </li></ul><ul><li>How would you characterize the two lists: - Looking forward versus backward - Bottom-line oriented versus customer-focused - Predictive versus reactive - Do the items on the list tell you what to do to get better if you are in europe? </li></ul><ul><li>When you look at the customer list, what types of experiences do you think lead to what was said, positive ones, or negative ones (pain)? </li></ul>
  12. 12. What Does This Mean to You? <ul><li>Should the lists agree? </li></ul><ul><li>How tough is it to think like a customer? </li></ul><ul><li>… like a member of an association? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the “Voice of the Customer” in the movie theater example relate to what you should measure to predict success with your members and prospects? </li></ul>
  13. 13. The model of knowing your customer so well that you anticipate their every need!
  14. 14. Customer/Member -Driven Improvement Model
  15. 15. How Does This Work?
  16. 16. Does Customer Satisfaction Matter? Retention after competition For AT&T based upon Satisfaction previously
  17. 17. Your Members and Six Sigma <ul><li>266 of the largest 500 publicly held companies in the US as of 11/1/06 were implementing Six Sigma. </li></ul><ul><li>The Design for Six Sigma Roadmap lists 35+ steps. Step #2 is “list all detailed customer and functional requirements of the product or service.” </li></ul>Is that “enough said?” How do you get the “detailed requirements?”
  18. 18. Starting the Voice of the Member Process <ul><li>Understand What You Are Trying to Accomplish: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write down what we already know (your mission statement, for example) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand what “pains” we know in our membership, if any </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market to the members’ pain; work on what is painful to them. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Knowing What Can/Cannot Be Said
  20. 20. Learning How to Listen for Pain <ul><li>The best approach is to use one-on-ones, but many use focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Learn both “passive listening” and “active listening” techniques </li></ul>
  21. 21. Efficiency of One-on-Ones
  22. 22. <ul><li>15 in-depth interviews </li></ul><ul><li>produce better information </li></ul><ul><li>than 7 focus groups </li></ul>
  23. 23. Voice of the Member Process Phase 1 Phase 2 Identify Issues Write Interview Guide Test Interview Guide
  24. 24. Collecting the “Voice” Requires Skill <ul><li>Techniques can be learned with practice, but not everyone is comfortable nor able to conduct good interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Not everyone is capable of being a good respondent </li></ul><ul><li>You need to learn how to write an interview guide, prepare, probe, develop needs statements, the “5 why’s”, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>You must prepare and rehearse …but, </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s get a feel for the process! </li></ul>
  25. 25. Writing the Interview Guide <ul><li>Start with the idea that you are creating an encyclopedia of relevant issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Arrange questions within a topic from the broadest to the narrowest. </li></ul><ul><li>Group questions into a natural pattern or flow. </li></ul><ul><li>Make the questions open-ended. </li></ul><ul><li>Rarely will 50% of the interview guide be used in any one interview, but all of it will be used over the course of all of the interviews. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t think quantitatively about qualitative research. </li></ul><ul><li>Gain familiarity with the guide so you will be comfortable skipping around – following their passions. </li></ul>
  26. 26. 10 Questions to Ask <ul><li>What are the three most important things that you do? </li></ul><ul><li>What gets in the way of doing those things? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do you spend most of your time? </li></ul><ul><li>Where would you like to be spending most of your time? </li></ul><ul><li>If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be? </li></ul><ul><li>If I said joining ______ was a good value, what would that mean? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the biggest pain about working with our association? </li></ul><ul><li>What things are a big help; i.e., what data or tools have been provided that really work well? </li></ul><ul><li>Describe for me the “ideal” association for your company. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe for me a recent time that your experience with an association was less than ideal. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Voice of the Member Process Hundreds of phrases “ Winnowing” Attributes Phase 2 Phase 3 Interviews Audio Recording Transcription
  28. 28. Pros & Cons of “Passive Listening” <ul><li>Subtle but powerful behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Lean forward </li></ul><ul><li>Engage your eyes </li></ul><ul><li>Sit at an angle </li></ul><ul><li>Use verbal & nonverbal cues </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t fill silences; so people take longer to formulate their thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>Tends to reduce introduction of biases </li></ul><ul><li>You may not get as much detailed information, especially if the subject has trouble composing their thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>You may get data that is subject to interpretation because it has not been explored enough </li></ul><ul><li>You are required to have a “poker face” – not to respond to what the subject says in any way except, perhaps, to nod or say, “Uh huh.” </li></ul>Pros/Behaviors Cons
  29. 29. Pros & Cons of “Active Listening” <ul><li>Make speakers feel acknowledged and heard; therefore, likely to share more </li></ul><ul><li>Clarifies meaning; if there was a misunderstanding, it can get cleared up </li></ul><ul><li>Creates easy summaries and transitions </li></ul><ul><li>Provides another tool to surface needs and pain, besides probing </li></ul><ul><li>Allows time for thoughts to be organized </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for stories and interact, encourage </li></ul><ul><li>You may interrupt a speaker’s train of thought or reduce their enthusiasm for discussion </li></ul><ul><li>You may interject your own interpretation of the issue through paraphrasing </li></ul><ul><li>You may incorrectly mislead the respondent into thinking the topics that are paraphrased are more important than those that were not paraphrased </li></ul><ul><li>If not done well, can confuse the issue of who is being interviewed </li></ul>Pros/Behaviors Cons
  30. 30. Learn what to listen for… <ul><li>Listen for Growth Opportunities/Pains/Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for Product/Service Quality (rework) </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for Problem Correction (make it right) </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to Foster Customer Loyalty (repeat business) </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to Improve Brand Management (str. & weak.) </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for Market Research (trends in real time) </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for Competitive Advantage (possibilities) </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for Context (identify exact likes and dislikes) </li></ul>
  31. 31. Learn to Recognize Needs and Pains: Consider a Cup of Coffee <ul><li>“ I’d like a hot cup of coffee” </li></ul><ul><li>– too vague; probe what hot means </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’d like my coffee in a styrofoam cup” – a solution; probe why </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’d like my coffee to be 105 degrees” - a target value; probe why </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hot coffee tastes better” - an opinion; probe why </li></ul><ul><li>“ I want my coffee to stay hot all the way to work” - a need statement we can design to; probe for distance, time, target values . </li></ul><ul><li>Listen for Needs and Pains! </li></ul>
  32. 32. Voice of the Member Process Phase 3 Structure of Customer Needs Data Analysis Card Sort Focus Group
  33. 33. The Hierarchy of Needs <ul><li>Written in the language of the member </li></ul><ul><li>Written to describe the ideal (translate negatives into a description of the ideal) </li></ul><ul><li>The hierarchy represents how the members think, not necessarily how staff thinks </li></ul><ul><li>One or more focus groups of 4 to 6 members organize the needs in an interactive process </li></ul><ul><li>They are instructed to put things together that go together and name the categories </li></ul>
  34. 34. Hierarchy of needs derived from member card sorts. A description of the ideal conference.
  35. 35. Questions?
  36. 36. Customer/Member -Driven Improvement Model
  37. 37. What are the Key Criteria for a Good Metric? <ul><li>Must be internal and predictive of meeting a need </li></ul><ul><li>Must be measurable (I can get a number) </li></ul><ul><li>Must be controllable (I can make the number change by taking action) </li></ul><ul><li>Targets are known (What score do I want to hit?) </li></ul><ul><li>Interactions are known (What else is impacted by moving this number) </li></ul><ul><li>It is repeatable (If I measure twice, I’ll get the same number) </li></ul><ul><li>It is easily implemented Remember the “fresh popcorn” example? How did we measure “freshness?” </li></ul>
  38. 38. Polling Question <ul><li>What metrics predict how your membership would respond to a survey question about the “responsiveness of the association staff?” </li></ul><ul><li>Time to return calls </li></ul><ul><li>Time to return emails </li></ul><ul><li>Attitude when returning calls </li></ul><ul><li>First call satisfaction </li></ul>
  39. 39. Do Your Metrics Predict Success? <ul><li>It is tough to come up with predictive metrics. </li></ul><ul><li>By the time you get a survey result, the damage has been done. This has been described as driving down the road while looking in the rearview mirror. </li></ul><ul><li>You should never be surprised by a survey result. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Customer/Member -Driven Improvement Model
  41. 41. Writing Good Survey Questions
  42. 42. Hierarchy of needs derived from member card sorts. A description of the ideal conference.
  43. 43. Survey Questions Members Want to Answer <ul><li>Use the categories from the hierarchy that they created. </li></ul><ul><li>When you get a survey result, you know what they are talking about. </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys designed this way get much higher response rates. </li></ul><ul><li>The surveys are shorter and address issues than members care about. </li></ul>
  44. 44. Always Ask About Importance <ul><li>You want to work on issues where your score is not as high as you’d like, that are also important to your members. </li></ul><ul><li>If all you know is “satisfaction,” that is not enough. You must also know how important the issue is. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Polling Question <ul><li>What metrics predict that a current member will let their membership lapse? </li></ul><ul><li>Economy </li></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of relevant data to their business </li></ul><ul><li>Bad meeting/networking experience </li></ul>
  46. 46. Customer/Member -Driven Improvement Model
  47. 47. What is Important about Leather? <ul><li>In a chair…. </li></ul><ul><li>In a car…. </li></ul><ul><li>In shoes…. </li></ul><ul><li>In a briefcase…. </li></ul><ul><li>In a couch…. </li></ul><ul><li>In a baseball glove? </li></ul>
  48. 48. Polling Question <ul><li>What is important about leather in a car? </li></ul><ul><li>Cost Comfort </li></ul><ul><li>Suppleness/Feel That I Know It’s Real </li></ul><ul><li>Smell </li></ul><ul><li>Durability </li></ul>
  49. 49. Cadillac Leather <ul><li>We had decided that fly bites, mange, neck and belly wrinkles were all “defects.” The customers called them “natural markings.” </li></ul><ul><li>After spending $20,000 on VoC research, we were able to save $3 million per year with new standards and increase satisfaction! </li></ul>
  50. 50. Hidden Virtues <ul><li>How does the Leather Story relate to you? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the “hidden virtues” at your association? </li></ul>
  51. 51. What Are Prospects Thinking? <ul><li>In our interviews, they are thinking about… </li></ul><ul><li>Time needed to benefit from membership </li></ul><ul><li>Convincing management that membership is worth the expense </li></ul><ul><li>Time needed to submit data to the association’s databases </li></ul><ul><li>What exactly are the benefits and are they worth it? </li></ul><ul><li>Are my competitors in already? </li></ul>
  52. 52. Polling Question <ul><li>What metrics predict that a membership prospect will join your association? </li></ul><ul><li>Economy </li></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><li>Having relevant data to their business </li></ul><ul><li>Having the right industry members already </li></ul>
  53. 53. Managing for Success <ul><li>Learn how to listen! </li></ul><ul><li>Create predictive internal metrics! </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the members how you are doing. </li></ul><ul><li>Create staff teams to resolve issues and improve the metrics. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the member-driven model; always have the members’ voice in the room! </li></ul>
  54. 54. A Model of Customer/Member-Driven Improvement Pain (Voice) of the Customer External Measures Internal Measures Process Improvement Qualitative Research Quantitative Research Process Metrics Improvement Initiatives
  55. 55. For More Information
  56. 56. Thank you for your participation! <ul><li>Chris Stiehl & Henry DeVries </li></ul><ul><li>StiehlWorks & New Client Marketing Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: 619-516-2864 & 619-540-3031 </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: [email_address] & [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Web site: www.painkillermarketing.com </li></ul>