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You Guide. Members Follow.

Ever experience a guided tour? You visit a world outside of your own and allow someone else to assist you in exploring the surrounding unknowns. You've heard of the sights, there have been rumors about the experience, but it is all new to you. To ensure you don't miss any must-sees or well-kept secrets, you permit a guide to lead the way. You entrust the entire adventure to the expert who will ensure that you get the most bang for your buck—and time!

Did you stop to think about your expectation of the guide in the moment? What did you require of them and hope to get out of the experience? Were you confident that the tour guide understood these requirements you placed on them? How did you know?

Association leader, these are questions we must start to ask ourselves when our members and potentials begin to journey with our organizations. We have to unlace our shoes, slip into theirs, and begin to tour our associations through their eyes. Believe it or not, we are tour guides for our members, and they approach our organizations with a set of expectations we are required to understand and meet.

We have to unlace our shoes, slip into theirs, and begin to tour our associations through their eyes.

Think about it. A tour guide ensures that everyone in the group is entertained, informed, and has a memorable experience—the kind they would want to go back and tell their friends and peers about. They help immerse us into the unfamiliar, help us feel like one of the locals, and assist with cultivating new friendships and partnerships along the way. A great guide knows how to capture our intellect and imagination simultaneously while helping us see the big picture. And in the grand scheme of things, they allow that picture to feel small enough to be obtained. In a gist, the tour guide shapes the experience of the tour.

So, how does one give their members an adventure of a lifetime? The membership journey your association provides must collide with your members' wants, needs, and expectations. Here comes a chicken and egg scenario. Your members' wants, needs, and expectations should merge with the journey you take them on. The two go hand-in-hand. You can't offer a proper tour through your association without knowing your members. Yet, their journey while venturing your organization further provides insights into who your members are and their requirements.

To obtain the tour guide of the year award, you must develop and produce a member journey map for your association. This mapping visually depicts and tells the story of a member's experience with your association. The narrative presented by the map begins at initial engagement and takes us through the long-term relationship a member should have with the organization. It speaks to every touchpoint your members have with your association to include the where, when, how, what, and why.

The goal is to understand your members' journey so gaps can be filled, improvements made, and accurate offerings positioned and presented at the right place and time. It equips and empowers your association for tour guide success. With the member journey map in hand, you are sure to provide one heck of a time.

Maps tell us where to go and how to get there. This one is no different. As you guide your members through a tailored-made and custom-fitted experience, the member journey map will show you what is required to get the job done right!


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