Lately, I’ve been helping a member-driven organization (let’s call it “Wonka”) identify their value proposition for members. We’ve done a boat-load of research to arrive at these findings:
- Wonka members are finding less (or no) value in what Wonka is selling. In fact, Wonka’s NPS is -18%. This means they have more detractors (people talking smack about them) than promoters (raving fans.)
- The products and services Wonka invented several years ago (which were BIG sellers) have become dated, and have more competition; and
- Wonka members perceive other organizations to be more accessible and/or more relevant. Members are shifting their support to those places.
On Thursday, I had to deliver this news to Wonka’s Board of Directors. In effect, I had to tell them that Wonka had the equivalent of a giant booger on its nose. Would I be insulting them? Would they be ready to hear this?
To my delight, they totally got it. They had a sense that this was going on, and the research made it clear.
Truth is, Wonka’s value to members had been slipping for some time. But in true Midwestern fashion, folks were just too polite to say it, or to cancel their membership. A strange gift of the recession is that members are being less polite. If your organization has the equivalent of a booger on its face, your members tell you.
Lucky for Wonka, they are ready to hear it. Being told about this booger (and given ample evidence), the Board and staff now have a reason to reach for a hanky, excuse themselves to the restroom, or even to see a doctor about why the condition exists.
I pity the organization that is completely unwilling to admit the booger on their face. Instead of saying, “Thanks for telling me. Do you have a Kleenex?” they say, “Are you sure? Maybe you need to have your eyes tested” or “I’ll just wear a veil,” or “So what? I still have some friends.”
Face it. This recession is showing many of us that we do, in fact, need a little hygiene. And the organizations that are going to come out of this economic hail storm are going to be the ones with enough curiosity to ask, courage to see it, and creativity to grab the right hanky to prevent future issues. We intend to be one of those organizations , and we’re so thrilled that Wonka will be, too!!