Monday, June 10, 2013

Satisfaction vs. Happiness

Surveys fill and often overfill our lives.  As we look to improve the services and resources that we offer our members, and in turn increase their engagement with our organizations, we too turn to these tools to evaluate how we are doing and what changes we need to make.  Of any of these, few are as uniform as our member satisfaction surveys.  They can include the basic “Is your membership fitting your needs” to a long listing of individual products that are touched by member pricing and benefits and evaluation therein.  Thinking about these surveys I wonder…

Is satisfaction the same as happiness?

When we ask our members and customers about our products, satisfaction seems to be the right gauge.  They made a purchase, used one of our products – did it meet their expectations?  Would they recommend it?   What modification would they like to see?  Next to tracking purchase/usage this can be one of the most effective tools we have to measure how effective each product is.

Membership is an animal of a different color.  Though sold on a website, membership is not a product as much as it is a relationship between the member, the organization and the community.  I find it hard to believe when a member is thinking about renewing that their ultimate decision is based on whether or not they were ‘satisfied’ with their membership.  To me, that sounds like – did you have enough line items in your list of benefits?

The value of membership comes down to relationships and engagement.  Did they participate?  Did they take action?  In short, did they feel like they ‘belonged’ and grew from that belonging? 

Following this philosophy, the question of membership renewal becomes less cerebral and more emotional.  While a satisfied member may renew, a happy member will.

Generating happiness is harder in some ways – we essentially have to say, how is what we are creating AWESOME?  How do we ensure that our tools and resources evolve from independent silos to connected experiences that leave our members smiling?  That they walk away on such a high that they can’t wait for their next taste, and with their happiness they want to pay it forward and get others involved? 

If we incorporate easy and logical into access, interweave community sharing and connection into usage and recognition and reward into completion, everything from conferences to certifications will become happiness generators.  And if our members find a place where their money buys them both the knowledge and network access they need combined with an emotional high, the question of membership renewal will be much easier to answer with a positive response.

No comments:

Post a Comment