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The Process leading up to Member Success

To define Member Success, you must know what success looks like for your members. The definition will be different for each member, and the method of achieving it will be different for every company. The first thing about Member Success you must know is that it’s not member support: it’s a way of proactively working with your member.

If your members aren’t constantly getting value from what they’re paying you, you can understand from a business perspective why they will stop paying.

The Features of Member Success

Member Success is a mindset before it’s a department. It takes an “analytical approach towards retaining existing members and draws on great communication skills to forge long-lasting relationships with members.”

It’s part member onboarding – part member relationship-building – part member retention.

Member Success teams should be divided into 3 groups by function:

  • Professional Services:

Project management, initial implementation, and setup of any add-ons required

  • Technical Support:

Resolves technical issues, freeing up the Membership Coordinator’s time to work closely with members.

  • Member Success Program Management:

To be the face of the post-member enrollment operation and the person the members build strong relationships with. They also coordinate the efforts of the professional services groups or leaders and support groups, such as various member committees.

Member Success Teams Department – Goals and Responsibilities

  • Turn members into advocates (Raving Fans*) *Ken Blanchard; Sheldon Bowles – Raving Fans, © 1993 Morrow Publ.
  • Increase member retention
  • Optimize the member lifecycle
  • Manage member success
  • Refer members to valuable products, resources, and services not currently in their use, but ones which resolve a specific need they have
  • Generate new member referrals
  • Increase member lifetime value
  • Monitor products, resources and service usage
  • Track success metrics

Additionally, Member Success teams take part in the member onboarding process which is the vital initial start-up of the resources in line with the member’s vision.

Member Success Management Defined

Member Success is the outcome we’re solving for your members (and its ultimately your organization’s purpose), but we can’t just assume or hope it happens organically.

So that brings us to Member Success Management, which we’ve created a definition around.

Member Success Management is the proactive orchestration of the member’s journey toward their ever-evolving Desired Outcome. More on this later, but for now Desired Outcome = the members’ Goal Achievement + Appropriate Experience.

Member Success Management is where you take the goal of Member Success, understand the steps required to get there, and ensure it happens.

A couple of things to note in that definition of Member Success Management:

  1. “Proactive orchestration” – rather than letting the members stumble around and hope they get value from your products, you acquire members with success potential and then have a clear path (made up of success milestones) that you work the member through in a way congruent with the Appropriate Experience portion of their Desired Outcome. This could include training, professional services, high-touch onboarding, self-service onboarding, in-app cues, email follow-up sequences, or training to bridge success gaps. Being “proactive” can mean anticipating and planning for events to occur, but also monitoring for events that have occurred in “real-time”, enough such as that intervention appears “proactive” to the member. In other words, they didn’t have to reach out for help; we were already there.
  2. “Ever-evolving Desired Outcome” – We want our members to change, to evolve, to grow. The member you had at sign-up shouldn’t be the same member 6-months, 24-months, or 5 years later. They will evolve and their Desired Outcome will evolve, too. If we do everything right, as the member evolves, there will be logical points where member engagement (attending more events, purchasing resource add-ons, etc.) will make sense. Our purpose is ensuring their success and as they evolve they need to consume more to feed that growth.

The 8 Elements of Member Success Management

The definition of Member Success Management is one thing, but what actually goes into this critical part of your growth strategy.

They are:

  1. Segmentation
  2. Orchestration
  3. Intervention
  4. Measurement
  5. Expansion (and Renewal)
  6. Communication
  7. Instrumentation
  8. Operationalization

We’ll go into much more detail about these elements in future articles, but for now, just know they are definitely critical to your Member Success and its Management.

Keep watching this page for more articles about Member Success for your organization. We’re Association Project Management, LLC – experienced especially in Membership matters for organizations like yours.

Here at Association Project Management, LLC we’ve developed a 10-statement survey that will assess how well your association is positioned to stop the membership erosion and start adding more new agencies to your ranks than you are losing through decline. If you’re interested in this self-evaluation toll, email us at We’d love to get your feedback, and help you make some positive growth changes for your membership goals!

APM helps member-based organizations & professional trade associations achieve Member Success, stabilize their member retention and guarantee membership growth through Prospect Development and Member Recruitment, as well as Member Engagement and Concierge Onboarding.

Organizations implement our programs to sustain their current revenue, reduce losses due to churn (member non-renewal) and generate new revenue by creating Raving Fans® who evangelize new members that over time becomes automatic, organic growth. “Members begetting Members”.

Association Project Management, LLC also provides a list of other project management and project completion services through a virtual staff member – a committed, trusted expert who helps to reduce costs, lower risks, improve efficiencies, meet deadlines, solve challenging problems, support strategic initiatives and produce better outcomes for your association staff.

Contact us today to see how we can help your organization excel in 2020!

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