Make Your Customers’ Experience a Delight, Not a Fright

Make Your Customers’ Experience a Delight, Not a Fright

By Beth Zemach, Senior Project Manager

When an association recently transformed its brand and name, it decided to also update its forms, including its membership application.  The membership manager, thrilled at the prospect of collecting loads of great data at a time when fresh members are most enthusiastic to provide it, packed the form with so many items it would be good for only one thing for the new member -- a good snooze. Sound familiar?

As an industry, we are so hungry for quality data and we feel there are so few opportunities when customers are open and willing to give it, that our bias often overshadows the customer experience – an incredibly important thing we need to regularly consider. One very important place to put the customer experience up front is during the data collection process.

Data can be successfully collected in a variety of ways throughout a customer’s relationship with our organization, including when someone joins or rejoins, purchases a product, responds to a survey, or registers for an event. With all of these potential opportunities, we must be intentional in what we’re looking for when we ask.

When it comes to giving your customers a better data experience, I’d encourage you to think “less is more.” Here are a few tips to ensure you’re giving them a great experience:

  • Before asking a question, think about how you are going use that information after it is answered, and carefully consider the reason that you are putting an item on a form before you place it there.
  • Decide what key variables are most important to collect at the time you need to know it. Some change quicker than others, and not every variable needs updating; some are eternal, such as birthdate. 
  • Check to make sure a data point is not duplicated somewhere else in the organization’s databank, or you know that it needs to be updated.

Ultimately, if a piece of data will definitely contribute to a strategic goal of a project then by all means include it on your form. Otherwise, skip it. Less IS more in your customers’ eyes.

Below is a quick guide for considering where certain items typically reside or can be collected.


911 Challenge: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of how to turn your membership application, a new member’s first touch with your organization, into a delightful experience and we’ll publish it in a follow up post we're working on.