Thursday, December 25, 2014

Apple, Amazon, QVC & Associations


Ok, I finally broke down and switched from my trusty Blackberry to a new iPhone 6.

The iPhone 6 buzzed through its battery so I went to an Apple store for the first time.

Wow! What an awesome experience. An impressive culture. And a friendly, helpful tech rep who shared some easy steps to reduce battery usage. (Wish the AT&T store would have shared them when I bought the phone!)

Even in the middle of the Christmas rush, the Apple store was an experience most associations dream about (or should!).

The experience reminded me of some other organizations which offer associations and nonprofits models for customer service and organizational culture.

Let’s take a look:

Amazon: commerce
Amazon.com is really good at one thing: Commerce. Amazon makes it easy and convenient to buy with “one-click” shopping, it offers “Prime” to eliminate customer uncertainty around shipping costs, and prices that are either the lowest or “close enough” to keep people coming back for more. Based on your prior interactions, it shares tips on what you might want. Their computer systems retain your information so you don’t have to re-enter your information. In short, it makes the buying actions quick, easy and friendly.

QVC: community
QVC is different. It’s all about community and the convergence of social, entertainment and shopping. See QVC's Successful Formula For Social Shopping by Paula Rosenblum
  • The company achieves a 50% open rate on post-purchase emails. That’s a stunning number. 
  • On-air talent sells the merchandise. Each has her/his own personalities, followers and air times.
  • On-air customer testimonials help build community as well as sales.
  • Multiple pricing strategies encourage purchases:
    • Clearance Price, Easy Pay, Event Price, Featured Price, Today’s Special Value, Super Saturday Price, Lunchtime Specials, Member Price
In addition to service as models for associations and nonprofits, the experiences they create for customers serve as competition for associations and nonprofits. Our members/donors expect similar treatment from us.

What does your association do to create and foster a culture attractive to your members/donors?

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