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Data Driven Member Engagement Through Service Journeys

Process Automation
#CRM#Member Experience

Every nonprofit organization has member data but it’s often not easy to put it to greater use beyond running billing and email blasts. Traditional CRM data structures provide valuable information but often lack the necessary context to drive action and fail to capture the full picture of member interactions — as important Information is not captured. This is where service journeys can make a big difference, helping focus on key data points that offer a tangible and effective way of gaining deeper insight into your members' interactions and needs.

Packaging value

Thinking of your nonprofit from a services perspective can be a simple, yet powerful strategy that prompts you to see your organization in terms of the value you deliver to your members. ==We see service journeys as a great way to package value into standard processes that we can track, measure and therefore improve over time==. Because a service journey can resemble a mini project — with a start, a middle and an end — they can feel very familiar to manage. (It also creates movement flow)

With service journeys we can take a structured and data-driven approach to managing the member experience, going beyond knowing what member type they belong to and what events or courses they attended. Understanding what services you provide and then structuring their delivery into discrete stages will create data and segmentation that becomes immediately relevant and actionable!

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“We see service journeys as a great way to package value into standard processes that we can track, measure and therefore improve over time”

A practical example

We collaborated with a nonprofit that offers various services, including several professional trainings to boost member income. They had a good understanding of which training members were taking. However, once they adopted a service journey perspective, they realized that most of their trainings could be organized to support stages of a broader “professional growth journey” for their members. 💡The lights were on and they started to get excited about how to make that happen in their CRM!

They could now identify the different stages that a member goes through as part of their typical professional growth journey in their sector. They also acknowledged that each member may be at a different stage or have a different pace - and that they may have different needs. Further, they realized that each stage may require varying levels of support and engagement - much like in a project.

Tangible results

Understanding the stage of each member in their professional growth journey provided immediate insight. They could now think of how to tailor their engagement with each group more effectively as well as make better decisions on where to focus their limited resources. They were now suddenly able to start personalizing their member experience through better segmentation and make better resource management decisions using their data.

Breaking down the stages and mapping actions

Defining the journey’s stages became crucial to determining the responsible party for actions. For example, stages like "Registration Approval" indicated that the organization must take timely action, while stages like "Ongoing Training" indicated that the member was driving the process, with follow-ups as needed by the organization. Finding the right balance between keeping the number of stages small while being able to drive meaningful action is something that you will figure out and adjust over time. We try to design service journeys that contain around 5 stages.

Delivering better member experiences

The service journey concept not only improves the delivery of services but also provides a lens to understand every member's engagement with the organization. Each member is part of one or more journeys, and they should flow through a defined set of stages typically towards an outcome. This leads to improved and consistent service execution as you can plan what needs to happen at each stage instead of being reacting throughout the process.

This approach will also clearly highlight what are members not engaged in any journeys, providing a useful data point to better engage and support them where it makes sense.

A pragmatic approach

We don’t follow the traditional Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) templates or methodology, which usually focuses on mapping customer interactions, needs, and perceptions as they engage with you. Instead, our approach is to break down the service delivery into stages with clear ownership and action steps. The clarity in execution that comes from implementing this approach enables the alignment between experience, processes, data, and technology, resulting in a substantial improvement in service quality and perceived value by the member.

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