Association Leadership Briefings
Jul. 8, 2013

Change the tone of your conversation with your members
Social Fish
By now, most organizations realize that to satisfy today’s demanding customers they have to do more than just pushing generic products and benefits to the market. A go-to solution is “customer service.” This usually translates to more of the same: using mechanical tools to address human-based gaps in value and relationships. The mantra among customer service advocates is to “listen to your customers.” While this is of course is pre-requisite to deeper levels of customer knowledge, it is inadequate as a goal unto itself.More

Mapping member value: Answering the fundamental questions
The Demand Perspective
You’ve done the surveys; studied the benchmarking reports; scanned the environment; analyzed the competition. You’ve asked members point-blank what they want, what they need, what their biggest challenges are. You’ve developed programs, products, and services, based on what you think members are telling you. You’ve given them every bit of information they need to take full advantage of their membership…but, your members still aren’t using their benefits. What is wrong with these people? And, what do you have to do to get them to pay attention?More

Practical tips for overcoming resistance
Harvard Business Review Blog Network
Although many managers and leaders are under pressure to get things done quickly, pressuring subordinates frequently leads to resistance. This is not due to stubbornness as much as it is due those subordinates simply feeling overwhelmed by the volume of work they have. Emotions also come into play; for instance, if you're trying to get through to an irate customer or shareholder, it can be tough to break through the resistance their anger creates.More

The 4 pillars of stable leadership
The beautiful thing about stable leaders is they provide a stabilizing influence on others. They are leaders you can trust — they are leaders you can build around. Stable leaders model a level of constancy and consistency that individuals, teams, and organizations so desperately need, but often find missing.More

When perks pay off
Associations Now
Association executives have plenty of things to be anxious about. That is in large part why the CEO is typically the highest-compensated person on staff. Time was, an association CEO’s compensation package often included a robust mix of salary, bonuses, and perks like flight upgrades and game tickets. As nonprofits have absorbed more scrutiny from the IRS and the general public, however, many perks are becoming less and less common.More

Status quo or strategic agility?
Midcourse Corrections
No one said change would be easy. Some associations and conference hosts just refuse to embrace change of any type. You turn you head and before you know it, some of these organizations have lost their way and slowly disappear. They lose their appeal. People stop using their services.More

10 ways to improve your Google rank
Now that it’s possible to create a website at relatively little cost, start-up companies as well as established businesses have an increasing number of competitors when selling their products and services online. With this saturation of the market and Google pushing their organic search results further down the page in favor of their paid listings, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to be noticed online without paying Google for the privilege.More

Here's how to actually empower customer service employees
Harvard Business Review Blog Network
There is perhaps nothing as fundamental for organizations as customer service. Any company in a truly competitive market suffers an inevitable decline if it ignores this basic discipline for too long. The importance — and difficulty — of engaging an organization's "front line" to deliver on the customer strategy has been a recurring topic for Harvard Business Review. It's one of the fundamentals that companies in all industries must remember to revisit and for some, resuscitate after periods of neglect.More