Market Research Basics: The Legendary PMA (Part 2)

By | Industry, Marketing, Mission Delivery | No Comments

What’s most important is what you do with your PMA. A PMA is used to help you see what areas of your market you are best penetrating. A PMA is a good tactical tool to help you see where your best future opportunities for attracting new members are. It can help you understand more about your communities and members.

But there are lots of things that PMAs are not. They might help you figure out if there are enough rooftops in your area for a new location, but they are not appropriate to tell you if you should invest in that new location, what programs you should offer, or where that new program delivery center should be located. You need primary research for that—conversations with your community to find out what they value, what they will pay for your services and programs, and how their travel patterns impact your location selection. PMAs also won’t tell you if those rooftops are going to connect to your fundraising case or your volunteer opportunities.

In summary, PMAs are an inexpensive, but valuable research tool if you use them for what they’re intended.

But if you’re trying to make strategic decisions about the future of your organization, you need more than a PMA. You need a market research professional and process that can help you gather and analyze the data you need to chart your course.

Put a Positive Spin on Service

By | Customer Experience, Engagement, Industry, Mission Delivery | No Comments

I’ve got a member service pet peeve. Let’s call it a a rampant “problem” in most service situations these days. And it generally occurs, but is not limited to, someone under the age of 30 providing the service.

It’s the “no problem” problem. If I am at a restaurant, and you are my server, and you bring me a glass of tea, and I say, “thank you,” and you reply, “no problem”….that’s a problem. The server saying no problem is like saying that it could have been a problem but was not a problem this time. It implies that the server does not feel particularly inconvenienced by serving you.

Now I’m not one of those cranky customers that will confront someone who says “no problem” with some curmudgeon response like, “of course it’s not a problem, remember, I’m the customer.” But I do regret the lack of training in the service sector that would teach a well-intentioned employee that how you phrase even the smallest of exchanges can make the difference between customer disappointment and customer delight.

There is the rare occasion where those providing a service might say “you’re welcome.” I can even think of a few customer service superstars who consistently reply to a thank you with “my pleasure,” or “glad to help,” or “you bet,” or even “sure thing” (think Publix, Southwest, and Chick-Fil-A.) What a psychological difference that makes! I savor those exchanges and generally give that person my business card in case they ever want a job.

Disney staff are masters of the positive spin. On a recent trip to Disney I asked a “cast member” what time the park closes. His response was, “our park is open for your pleasure until 9 pm.” That’s pretty different from “we close at 9.” Disney takes engagement a step further. Disney cast members are trained to proactively approach guests. If you look a little lost or confused, they don’t wait to see if you ask for directions, they ask “can I help you find something?” (Ummm….No….I was just thinking about how to get past that cart without my daughter seeing that Cinderella bubble blowing gun that costs $21.) Disney also has an intensive training program where cast members are cross-trained to answer questions even if it’s not about their particular job. (I’m absolutely certain that training includes specific instructions to never reply to “thank you” with “no problem.”)

For those interested in more positive spin on customer service training, our Director of Support, Matt Popinski, strongly recommends reading The Disney Way. I’d be satisfied if folks would just say “you’re welcome.”