Written By Amanda Kaiser, SmoothThePath.net
Amanda Kaiser is a member engagement specialist and consultant for the association community. Amanda writes a popular weekly blog at SmoothThePath.net.
In the age of infinite choice, organizations can not afford to make the purchase experience difficult. And so we see one-click online ordering, retail stores with no checkout lines, curbside pick up, and more. All of these changes, which would be unheard of just a decade ago, seek to make the consumer experience easier. Frictionless.
Grocery chain executives are likely having conversations like this, “maybe my grocery store carries the same items as the grocery store down the street, but I can change the grocery buying process making it quicker and easier for shoppers. Busy people will shop here when they see they can save 10 minutes or a half an hour a week purchasing their groceries.”
The only places where we still see friction-full buyer experiences are where buyers have few choices. The airlines, utilities, government offices, hospitals, etc.
If you work for an association where membership is required or an association with a 98% retention rate and no competition, your association might be able to get away with a bit of friction.
The rest of us need to design frictionless experiences wherever members interact with us, including:
- Intuitive member applications
- Easy to understand membership tiers (or no tiers)
- Immediate access to behind-the-pay-wall member benefits upon joining
- Timely, valuable new member messaging that solves the problem they currently have
- Professional development opportunities even if I cannot come to an in-person event
- Easy access to other members who have the same niche project, goal, or challenge
- Quick response to members who call, email, or chat
- Quick-to-read but highly valuable newsletters
- Intuitive website navigation
- Curated networking
- Customizable data
Try standing in your member’s shoes and list all the points of friction between members and the association’s policies, or staff, or systems. Get started by picking an easy one to solve and gradually work through your list eliminating all the points of friction in your members’ experiences.