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?

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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