“Walking in your members’ shoes” is just what you’re trying to recreate when mapping your member customer journey to better understand your members, and personalise communication, content and offers based on where they are.

What is customer (member in case of associations) journey mapping?

Customer journey mapping is a visual representation of what your members go through from the moment they’ve first heard about your association to becoming loyal and engaged volunteers and ambassadors.

The mapping helps you understand how your potential and current members see your association, how they interact with you and gain insight into the pain points they’re facing that keep them from purchasing.

The main objectives of customer journey mapping are:

Using MarTech to complement your strategy, you’ll be able to send perfectly placed communications, recommendations, reminders and follow ups, proving you understand each member in your database.

Creating a member journey map

To create a powerful and insightful map, generally you’ll need to follow the next steps:

The first step of the customer journey mapping process is collecting customer data. From member surveys to digital data from your database and the website, qualitative and quantitative data will provide you with insights to create an authentic journey map.

A persona is a ‘character’ derived from research insights, demographic data, and customer interviews created to represent a common group of people. Unlike traditional member segments, personas have all human characteristics.

Creating your member persona helps you understand them better and, eventually, create a deeper connection with them with deeper understanding of their demographic profile, behaviours and pain points.

Every member journey is unique and includes different touchpoints. To begin with, look at your website, and then you can expand this to other areas such as:

  • Marketing channels (social media, print advertisement, email, partnerships etc);
  • Direct interaction (landing pages, follow-up emails and marketing automation, call centre etc)
  • Customer service (purchase process, payment, cancellations, invoicing);
  • Indirect contacts (word of mouth, recommendations and customer reviews).

For many professional associations, a member journey would be typically divided into six important stages: Discovery, Consideration, Service Use (Trial), Membership, Renewal and Engagement & Advocacy.

Analysing each of these is crucial to map the journey your member has with your association.

Tip: Complete the exercise from the members’ viewpoint, not how you expect them to use your process.

Remember, your customer journey maps are not static. The more data you collect, the more your association evolve, your maps will change. Make sure you regularly update them and your communication considering the changes.

We discussed Member Journey Mapping during our recent Membership MarTech Talk event.

We’ve also developed a Member Digital Journey workbook. Please, reach out to our team if you would like a copy. 

In summary, when mapping your customer journey remember the following key points:

  • Gather quality information about your customer and member experience. Where possible use actual customer feedback to determine the path taken.
  • Identify key customer persona, their wants and needs
  • Map out the main touchpoints your association has
  • Keep it simple, the idea is to provide context and understanding to help identify areas for improvement or influence in the customer’s journey.

In the age of customer centricity, journey mapping is an essential process that helps associations to better understand their potential and current members; and identify the issues customers have in their journey. Member journey mapping is a powerful tool your association can use to create a highly personalised member experience.