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Posted by Gary Toyn on Oct 1, 2019 10:58:00 AM

Researcher Gary W. Toyn has long investigated the challenges faced by organizations across the membership spectrum. In this study, Gary turns his attention to the central question of member expectations - and how recent data suggests a growing perception gap among the membership organizations that serve them.

At Access, we frequently consult with clients and prospective clients who are seeking to boost member engagement and retention. In the course of those interactions we see a surprising gap between organizational leaders and their members. Frequently, the misalignment that exists is due to a lack of understanding of what today’s members really want from their affiliation.

In many cases, leaders of organizations have never asked members what they need or want, nor have they asked what types of services and benefits members expect. Some leaders rely on guesswork or assumptions in identifying their member’s needs, and others simply ignore member feedback altogether.  We see this happen far too often.

Posted by Kendra Lusty on Jun 21, 2019 9:56:27 AM

Last week, we released the article Superior Customer Service: Your Loyalty Program’s Secret Weapon. In it, we discussed the importance of customer service to any business, but especially to those with loyalty programs, which rely on a positive customer experience to succeed. In part 2 of this series below, we give some tips on how to enhance your own customer service efforts.

I worked in a call center. Briefly.

Fresh out of college, I wanted to be making money as I searched for a “real job” so I took a position that was notoriously easy to get, at a place that would hire just about anyone.

Admittedly, this company put a lot of effort into training according to client expectations. However, it’s very hard to make a group of teens, job seekers, recently laid-off, etc., really care.

Posted by Kendra Lusty on Jun 12, 2019 10:49:54 AM

Confession time. Whenever I have to call customer service, I always cringe, waiting for that dreaded phone tree before I ever get to talk to a person.

I think my record is 18 selections before I got frustrated and pounded 0, which wasn’t listed but thankfully sent me to the operator anyway.

Seriously, I prefer to use a company’s website to find hours of operation, pay bills, and all the other automated tasks you usually find in a phone tree.

So unless one of your options is “If you would like to hear a duck quack” then I’m probably not going to find my answer automated in your system. No, if I’m resorting to dialing a number, I want to talk to a person, dang it.

Rant over.

Posted by Kendra Lusty on Dec 13, 2018 8:20:00 AM

We’ve discussed often on this blog how customer engagement begins with employee engagement. In fact, we strongly believe the best path to happy customers is to start internally.

It’s why we invest so much of our heart into making sure our own employees feel valued.

The fourth quarter here at Access has been both rewarding and humbling. That’s because our employees have honored us in return.

As we’ve been evaluated for end-of year recognition by a variety of organizations, they’ve examined our benefits, work-life balance, company culture and more. More importantly, they surveyed the employees themselves to anonymously learn how they feel about working here.

And what do you know, we even won a few awards.

Most recently, Access Development was named one of Utah’s best companies to work for by Utah Business Magazine.

During the survey process, employees reported, “The culture at Access is more like an extended family than a workplace. We value each other for their personalities and their skills to work together to accomplish a common goal. Our company also emphasizes the importance of a work-life balance and believe that the employees are the most important part of the company. The general feeling here makes me want to come to work everyday and focus to get my job done the best I can.”

Access has also received recognition from 4 other diverse organizations in the last year.

“We owe it all to our excellent employees,” said Lisa Oyler, HR director at Access Development. “If we’ve done anything right here at Access, it’s been to hire the most amazing people who bring energy and talent to our workplace.” 

Speaking of amazing employees, we’re looking for a few more “A” players to add to the team. So if you know someone looking for a more satisfying job, try nudging them toward one of these available positions.

Posted by Kendra Lusty on Nov 21, 2018 8:13:09 AM

I’ll never forget how tiny my daughter was when she learned to say “thank you.” If you gave her a marshmallow, you were guaranteed an enthusiastic “thank you.” So people kept giving her marshmallow after marshmallow after marshmallow…

After marshmallow…

I’m convinced that’s why she learned to say it often.

Aaaaaand why so many social gatherings ended with her vomiting clouds.

Posted by Kendra Lusty on Nov 12, 2018 1:44:51 PM

We’ve been sharing the inner workings of the Access’ discount network for a few weeks now. This week in part 3 of our series about the partnership marketing team, we discuss the current effort to enhance the travel experience for members.

When people hear the term “travel discounts,” they usually imagine discounts on hotel stays, car rentals, etc. You know, expenses associated with getting there and staying there.

Indeed, those things are important. Extremely important. So much so, in fact, that we place a great deal of effort into securing major discounts on them. Alone, however, they don’t account for the entire travel experience.

From family activities to business luncheons, travelers fill their days with shopping, recreation, dining out and more.