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How EVERY vendor should treat their customers; and every association should treat their members

I recount below a conversation I had recently with Mark Sedegly, CEO of MemberClicks:

Wes: “Mark, do you offer any kind of ‘optimization services’ for your clients, to help them get better use from your AMS?”

Mark: “Yes, we do, and it’s free.”

Wes: “Free? Why would you offer it for free?”

Mark: “Because it’s important that my clients understand how to use the system the best way possible. That will keep them happy. If a customer is unhappy, I’d rather they leave than have them stay and be unhappy.”

Wes: “Really? You’d rather they go than continue to pay you?”

Mark: “That’s right. It’s our goal for all of our clients to be happy. An unhappy client inevitably is going to share their unhappiness, and that’s a lose, lose. I would rather help them resolve their issue even if that means pointing them to a different product/competitor. Of course I don’t want that to happen, but ultimately I would rather the customer be satisfied.”

I think this philosophy makes a lot of sense. And for those of us managing associations, the same rule can apply. Ask yourself: Are your members happy with their membership? And if not, what can you do to make them happy? And are you helping them leave if they’re not happy and you can’t make them happy?

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Testimonials

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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