In my capacity as a consultant to associations, one of the things I do is pay attention to how retail outlets are using CRM systems and their websites. Why? Because how your members experience retail sales is what they will expect from your organization.

Whether it’s shopping online or shopping in the store, what your members and customers experience there is what they’ll expect to see from you. How many times have you heard this from your members?

“I can see all my past purchases on Amazon, why can’t I see what I’ve bought from you on your website?”

“I can track my shipping status when I order from Home Dept, why can’t I do that with you?”

“When I want to buy something on Zappos, I can chat with a salesperson right on their website. Why can’t I do that on your website?”

Is it fair that your members compare you to multi-billion dollar companies? No. But it’s reality.

So if you want to know what your members and customers will expect from you when it comes to customer service, pay attention to what the big retailers are doing. They set the bar.