We all want to be understood: to be heard, listened to, cared about.
We want those who are close to us to “get us.” It’s high praise when you can say to someone, “you get me.” We all know what it means and what it feels like. To get someone you have to care about them. We have to want to know what makes them tick. And, in most long-term professional relationships, no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care (cheesy but still true).
Our customers and members want us to get them. And when they feel that we get them, we got them. We’ve got them because we understand what they care about, how they want us to communicate with them, and how we package, price and promote our offering in a way that says we know who they are, what they value and how they want to interact with us.
One of the places so many organizations fall short is their membership value proposition. The one-size-fits-most approach doesn’t work anymore, because there is real competition for their time, money and attention. Today, your members aren’t bound to your organization like they once were. They can get continuing education credits online from other platforms or read all the latest industry news they want from free apps on their phones. Ever try to explain to a millennial why they need to pay dues so you can advocate on their behalf?
At the end of the day, your members (and potential members) are consumers, which means they have diverse expectations for what your organization should deliver. Customization matters more than ever. Knowing the distinctions among your audience is paramount. An audience knows right away if you get them.
And once someone feels you don’t get them, you’ve lost them.
Think about your own behavior. What organizations are you loyal to? Who gets you? Who’s got you? Amazon gets us (sure, they have the data, but customer obsession is at the root of why they invest so heavily to get us). Starbucks gets us; they even write our name on the cup. What’s the one thing your members and customers would say about you that makes it clear you get them?